Liddel studied and practised medicine at a time when the relevance of the traditional medical texts was the subject of debate. Traditionalists followed the teachings of the second-century physician Galen whilst the more revolutionary mediciners used the controversial works of the sixteenth-century alchemical doctor, Paracelsus.
Liddel owned seven works by Galen and 12 by Paracelsus. Most of these contain extensive marginal notes by Liddel. Liddel studied both authors closely, noting the relevance of the two schools of medicine and was perhaps seeking a middle ground between the two.
In addition to the extensive marginalia that appear in the books he owned by Paracelsus and Galen there is a leaf in his copy of Petrus Severinus’ Idea medicinae philosophiae which he hastily titles Paradoxa Paracelsi. In some of the printed works which appear later by Liddel, there are a number of postscripts to sections where he further explores this theme, entitled Paradoxa Paracelsistarum.
Liddel’s marginal notes exemplify the debate on the teaching and study of medicine at the end of the sixteenth century.
Heavily annotated by Liddel (and one other) throughout and on additional leaves bound in at the end. There are many manuscript notes on aspects of Galenic medicine. Amongst others, it contains a ms. copy of Galen’s Commentary on Hippocrates’ Aphorisms in Liddel’s hand, written in Greek and with a Latin translation that is perhaps Liddel’s own.