Google full text of our books:


The Clock and the Mirror:
Girolamo Cardano and Renaissance Medicine
Nancy G. Siraisi

Paperback | 2015 | $60.50 | £45.95 | ISBN: 9780691628103
Hardcover | 2016 | $167.50 | £125.95 | ISBN: 9780691653792
378 pp. | 6 1/8 x 9 1/4 | 1 halftone
Add to Shopping Cart

eBook | ISBN: 9781400832354 |
Our eBook editions are available from these online vendors

Endorsements | Table of Contents

Google full text of this book:

Girolamo Cardano (1501-1576), renowned as a mathematician, encyclopedist, astrologer, and autobiographer, was by profession a medical practitioner. His copious writings on medicine reflect both the complexity and diversity of the Renaissance medical world and the breadth of his own interests. In this book, Nancy Siraisi draws on selected themes in Cardano’s medical writings to explore in detail the relation between medicine and wider areas of Renaissance culture.

Cardano’s medical advice included the suggestion that “the studious man should always have at hand a clock and a mirror”—a clock to keep track of the passage of time and a mirror to observe the changing condition of his body. The remark, which recalls his astrological and autobiographical interests, is emblematic of the many connections between his medicine and his other pursuits. Cardano’s philosophical eclecticism, beliefs about occult forces in nature, theories about dreams, and free transitions between academic and popularizing scientific writing also contributed to his medicine. As a physician, he greeted two different types of medical innovation in his lifetime with equal enthusiasm: improved access to the Hippocratic corpus and Vesalian anatomy. Cardano presented himself as a practitioner with special gifts. Yet his medical learning remained rooted in the Galenic tradition that he often criticized. Meanwhile, he negotiated a career in a medical community characterized by personal and social rivalries, a competitive medical marketplace, and strong institutional and religious pressures.

Originally published in 1997.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Nancy G. Siraisi is Professor of History at Hunter College and the Graduate School of the City University of New York. Her books include Avicenna in Renaissance Italy and Taddeo Alderotti and His Pupils, both published by Princeton University Press, and Medieval and Early Renaissance Medicine (Chicago).


"If one wanted to know just what effect the Renaissance had on medicine, this book would be the place to start. Nancy Siraisi proposes lucidly and elegantly her answer to this important academic puzzle. Her use of Girolamo Cardano's self-revelations makes this the liveliest of works on the famous scholar."--Vivian Nutton, The Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine

"Girolamo Cardano was an idiosyncratic man in an idiosyncratic age, and Nancy Siraisi has traced the processes of accommodation between the drive for invention and the reliance on convention so prevalent to Cardano and his century. Her story of Cardano's role in the history of medicine bridges the history of the body, Renaissance occultism, and the emerging science of experimental philosophy and probabilistic knowledge. Siraisi has read Cardano with great intelligence and erudition, and is a sure guide through the paradox and particulars of his age."--Mary J. Voss, Princeton University

Table of Contents

Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Nancy G. Siraisi:


Subject Areas:

Shopping Cart options:

  • For ebooks:

Our eBook editions are available
from these online vendors:

  • Google Play eBook Store
  • Intel Education Study eBook Store
  • Many of our ebooks are available through
    library electronic resources including these platforms:

  • Books at JSTOR
  • Ebrary
  • Ebook Library
  • EBSCO Ebooks
  • MyiLibrary
  • Dawsonera (UK)

    • For hardcover/paperback orders in United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Australia

     Paperback : $60.50 ISBN: 9780691628103

    Add to shopping cart

     Hardcover : $167.50 ISBN: 9780691653792

    Add to shopping cart
    View contents of your shopping cart

    • For hardcover/paperback orders in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan

     Hardcover : £125.95 ISBN: 9780691653792

    Add to shopping cart

     Paperback : £45.95 ISBN: 9780691628103

    Add to shopping cart
    View contents of your shopping cart

    Prices subject to change without notice

    File created: 10/12/2016

    Questions and comments to:
    Princeton University Press

    New Book E-mails
    New In Print
    PUP Blog
    Princeton APPS
    Sample Chapters
    Princeton Legacy Library
    Exam/Desk Copy
    Recent Awards
    Princeton Shorts
    Freshman Reading
    PUP Europe
    About Us
    Contact Us
    PUP Home

    Bookmark and Share
    Send me emails
    about new books in:
    European History
    History Of Science And Medicine, Philosophy Of Science
    More Choices