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Thomas Sydenham - bibliography

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Thomas Sydenham, English physician, born (or at least baptized) September 10, 1624, Wynford Eagle, Dorset; died December 29, 1689, London.


  • Methodus curandi febres. 1666, 1668; Amsterdam, 1666.
    3rd edition entitled: Observationes medicae circa morborum acutorum historiam et curationem. London, 1676, Geneva, 1683.
    The present work is a third edition of Sydenham’s book on fevers, first published in 1666 under the title Methodis curandi febres. It is the first definitive edition, being entirely rewritten and about four times larger than the earlier editions. It contains his important study on epidemiology and is one of the fundamental texts in this branch of medicine, with numerous observations on epidemics in London from 1661 to 1675.
  • Observationes medicae circa morborum acutorum historiam et curationem.
    Londini, G. Kettilby, 1676.
    Sydenham recorded important observations on dysentery, scarlet fever, scarlatina, measles and other conditions. Includes (pp. 272-280) the most minute and careful description of measles that had so far appeared; this is reprinted in Medical Classics, 1939, 4: 313-319.
    This is really a third edition of his Methodus curandi febres, 1666; second edition, 1668. The Latin texts of both editions of Methodus curandi were reprinted, with Latham’s translation, an introduction and notes by G. G. Meynell, Folkstone, Winterdown Books, 1987.
  • Febris scarlatina. Page 387.
  • Epistolae reponsoriae duae. I. De morbis epidemicis annorum 1675-1680. II. De luis venereae historia et curatione.
    London, 1680, 1685; Geneva, 1683.
  • Dissertatio epistolaris de observationibus nuperis circa curationem variolarum confluentium nec non de affectione hysterica.
    London, 1682; Geneva, 1684. An Dr. Cole zu Worcester gerichtet.
  • Tractatus de podagra et hydrope.
    Londini, G. Kettilby, 1683; Leiden, 1684; Geneva, 1686.
    German translation in Sudhoff’s Klassiker der Medizin, volume 6, Leipzig, 1910.
    Of the many great works of Sydenham, this is considered his masterpiece. He clearly differentiated gout from rheumatism.
  • Observationes medicae circa morborum acutorum historiam et curationem.
    Ed. Quarta, Londini, G. Kettilby, 1685.
    Contains (Book 3, Cap . 2; Book 5, Cap. 4) an important account of smallpox, particularly the epidemics of 1667-1669 and 1674-1675. Sydenham attributed smallpox to a specific inflammation of the blood; he clearly distinguished it from measles,. His treatment of fevers with fresh air and cooling drinks was an improvement on the sweating methods previously employed. English translation in his Works, ed. R. G. Latham, London, 1848, 1: 123, 219.
  • Schedula monitoria de novae febris ingressu. Londini, G. Kettilby, 1686. 2nd edition, 1688; Amsterdam, 1687. Charles Goodall (died 1712) gerichtet.
    Reprinted in Medical Classics, 1939, 4: 327-353.
  • Integri processus in morbis fere omnibus curandis.
    Nürnberg Miscellanea curiosa, 1692; Amsterdam, 1694; London, 1694; Geneva, 1696; Edinburgh, 1750; English translation, London, 1707, 1724; Dutch, Haarlem, 1714, 1727M Amsterdam, 1736, 1741, 1746.
    Sydenham’s posthumously published Processus integri was the customary handbook for English physicians for more than a century. This translation is by William Salmon, an “irregular” who wrote many astrological and semi- popular works as well as many translations into English of medical works originally in Latin.
  • Opuscula omnia. Opera universa medica.
    London, 1705, 1844, 1846, (the latter two published by the Sydenham Society); Leiden, 1726, 1741, 1754: Leipzig, 1695, 1827; Padua, 1725; Geneva, 1716, 1723, 1736, 1749, 1757, 1769; Venice, 1762; Napoli, 1767. English translation, 7th edition, 1717, 9th edition, 1722, 11th edition 1740, and further English editions 1742, 1749, 1752, 1763, 1788, 1809, 1848-1850; Philadelphia, 1815. French translation, Paris, 1774, 1784; Avignon and Paris, 1799; German, Vienna, 1786, 1787; Leipzig and Altona, 1795; Leipzig, 1802; Ulm, 1838, 1839, 1845, 1846.
  • Opera omnia.
    Ed. Gulielmus Alexander Greenhill. London, Sydenham Society, 1844; 2nd edition, 1846. Includes a bibliography of the Latin editions of all his writings into the nineteenth century. A better edition of the above (editio altera) appeared in 1846. The original work, printed in 1685, is called editio altera, although no earlier edition is known to exist. An edition of Sydenham’s Opuscula was published in Amsterdam, 1683.
  • The Works of Thomas Sydenham, M.D.
    2 volumes; London, 1848. Translated from the Latin edition of Greenhill, with a biography of Sydenham by R. G. Latham. This work is not always reliable and should be compared with the Latin text, with the nearly contemporary translation by Lohn Pechey (London, 1696), and with that by John Swan (London, 1742).
    However, som say this is the best English translation of Sydenham's work.
  • Praxis medica. The practice of physick. 3rd edition. London 1716.
  • Anecdota Sydenhamiana.
    Oxford, 1845, 1846. Published by the Sydenham Society. This society was founded in 1845, and in 1854 renewed as Sydenham New Society
  • Selected Works. Published by John D. Comrie, London, 1922. On Thomas Sydenham, his time and work:
  • Kenneth Dewhurst:
    Dr. Thomas Sydenham (1624-1689): His Life and Original Writings.
    London, 1966. Includes the controversial “De arte medica” and the “Anatomia,” in addition to “Theologia rationalis” and a number of medical fragments. More complete versions of these last works, with other material, are in the unpublished “Medical Observations by Thomas Sydenham,” the so-called Vaillant Manuscript, of various dates, in the library of the Royal College of Physicians. This manuscript is partially in Sydenham’s hand, and partially in Locke’s.
  • Goeden:
    Ueber Sydenham’s Bedeutung in der Heilenden Kunst. Berlin, 1827.
  • L. M. F. Picard:
    Thomas Sydenham: Sa vie et ses oeuvres. Thèse pour le doctorat en médecine.
    Thèse de Paris. Dijon, 1889; 178. Also Paris and London, 1889.
  • Heinrich Andrae:
    Ueber die Medizin Th. Sydenhams. Dissertation, Zürich, 1900.
  • Joseph F. Payne:
    Letters and Fragments of Thomas Sydenham. Janus, 1898; 3: 4-11.
    In Dictionary of National Biography. London, 1900.
  • Karl Knab:
    Die Systematiker der Medizin im 17. Jahrhundert und ihre Bekämpfung durch Th. Sydenham. Dissertation, Berlin, 1911. M. Greenwood on Sydenham as epidemiologist. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, London, 1918/1919; 12:. Sect. Epidemiol, pp. 55-76.
  • Sir G. Newman:
    Thomas Sydenham as reformer of English medicine. London, 1924.
  • O. Temkin:
    Die Krankheitsauffassung von Hippokrates und Sydenham.
    Archiv für die Geschichte der Medizin, 1928; 20: 327-352.
  • J. van der Kleij:
    Thomas Sydenham und Zijn verhandeling over de hysterie.
    Bijdr Gesch Geneeskunde, 1930, 10: 271-278.
  • Martin Müller:
    Die Herkunft der Lehre Sydenhams von den tellurischen Ursachen der epidemischen Konstitution. Archiv für Hygiene, 1930, 104: 367-377.
  • Knud Faber:
    Thomas Sydenham, der englische Hippokrates und die Krankheitsbegriffe der Renaissance. Münchener medizinische Wochenschrift, 1932, 79: 119-33.
  • Fielding. H. Garrison:
    On Sydenham’s View of Causation in the Light of Seventeenth Century Thought.
    Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 2nd series, 1933, 9: 53-58.
  • K. Dehurst:
    Dr Thomas Sydenham, his life and original writings.
    London, Wellcome Institute, 1966.
  • D. G. Bates:
    Thomas Sydenham: The Development of His Thought, 1666-1676.
    Unpublished doctoral dissertation, The Johns Hopkins University, 1975.

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