Friday, June 12, 2009

Renaissance Childbirth

Online exhibition from Edinburgh University Library Special Collections
"Special Collections holds some very early editions of the works of German physician Eucharius Rösslin (also known as Eucharius Rhodion), who died in 1526. He wrote a guide for midwives with the title Der Rosengarten (‘The Rose Garden’) which was first published in 1513, and later translated into Latin and other European languages. The text was based on Rösslin’s own experience of supervising midwives in the city of Worms, and on writings from classical times. The wood-engraved images by Martin Caldenbach, who trained under Albrecht Dürer, are among the first attempts to depict the foetus in the womb. Shown here are images from the 1532 Latin edition, as well as the title-page of our copy of the 1538 Latin edition and a page from the English edition of 1626 which shows the birth chair – which resembles an instrument of torture."
Access: Free