Marco Aurelio Severino (1580-1656) was a surgeon and anatomist based in Naples. A native of Calabria he studied at the University of Naples, before gaining his doctorate at the University of Salerno in 1606. Initially returning to his native Tarsia, by 1609 he was back in Naples and was eventually elected as Professor of Surgery and Anatomy there. Books such as De recondite abcessuum natura, published in 1632, and described by De Moulin as ‘the first textbook of surgical pathology’, made him famous in northern Europe in the seventeenth century. His friendship circle included the English physician William Harvey (1578-1657) and the Danish anatomist Thomas Bartholin (1616-80). As Schmitt and Webster have argued, Severino (now rather neglected by historians of medicine), deserves more attention as he was ‘the major medical figure and one of the primary intellectual and scientific forces in the highly developed Neapolitan culture’.
Marco Aurelio Severino, De efficaci medicina libri III. … (Frankfurt, 1671), p. 106.
Severino published his De efficaci medicina libri III at Frankfurt in 1646 and it was subsequently reprinted at Paris (1646 and 1669) and Frankfurt (1671 and 1682) in Latin editions and in French translation at Geneva in 1668-70; 1679 and 1708. As you can see, Edward Worth bought the 1671 Frankfurt edition but this was not the only book in his library by Severino. In fact, Severino was clearly an author Worth was interested in reading: he has a 1725 Leiden edition of another surgical work by Severino, his Trimembris chirugia; a Frankfurt 1643 edition of the aforementioned De recondita abscessuum natura; and a Frankfurt 1668 edition of his Celeberrimorum anatomicorum Severini …, Jasolini et Cabrolii Varia opuscula anatomica praemissae sunt observationes chirurgiae infusoriae hominibus adhibitae; dissertatio de generatione animalium Theodori Aldes [pseud. ie. Matthew Slade] … contra Harvejum, & nova ductus thoracici cum emulgente communio. M. Gayani … ex Gallico sermone in Latinum versa.
He also collected non-surgical books by Severino: Vipera Pythia; id est, De viperae natura, veneno, medicina, demonstrationes, & experimenta nova (Padua, 1651), which, as the title suggests, was a book on poisons; and his most famous work: Antiperipatias, hoc est, adversus Aristoteleos De respiratione piscium diatriba : De piscibus in sicco viventibus commentarius in Theophrasti Eresii libellum hujus argumenti. Phoca illustratus, scilicet anatome spectatus, & philosophico critico examinatus de radio turturis marini, ejusque vi, medicina, veneno. Marci Aurelii Severini … Accessit vitae authoris synopsis (Amsterdam, 1661). Severino’s continuing popularity as an author is perhaps indicated by another of Worth’s purchases: Cl. V. Marci Aurelii Severini … Epistolæ duæ : altera de lapide fungifero: altera de lapide fungimappa … orbi literato curioso communicatæ a F.E. Brückmann (Wolfenbüttel, 1728).
Marco Aurelio Severino, De efficaci medicina libri III. … (Frankfurt, 1671), p. 107.
Du Moulin, Daniel, A History of Surgery (Dordrecht, 1988).
Schmitt, C. B. and Charles Webster, ‘Harvey and M. A. Severino: A neglected medical relationship’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, vol. 45, no. 1 (1971), 49-72.
Text: Dr Elizabethanne Boran, Librarian of the Edward Worth Library, Dublin.
 De Moulin, Daniel, A History of Surgery (Dordrecht, 1988), p. 129.
 Schmitt, C. B. and Charles Webster, ‘Harvey and M. A. Severino: A neglected medical relationship’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, vol. 45, no. 1 (1971), 49-72.
 Ibid., 53.