This little book contains four short works, three of them published in 1596 when Liddel gained his medical degree. As part of the fulfilment for this degree, he was required to publicly defend a list of theses which would later be issued in printed form. Liddel’s disputation was on the subject of melancholy and was presided (or examined) by Franciscus Parcovius, professor of medicine at Helmstedt.

Although a part of the academic requirement for a degree, these public disputations were also important ceremonies and celebrations. This volume contains a congratulatory poem by Liddel’s friend, Cornelis Martini and a collection of laudatory verses by Liddel’s friends and colleagues at Helmstedt. There is also an earlier disputation praesided by Liddel and defended by Martini which would have been another popular debate given the close friendship between the two.

A public disputation often took place on a holiday or feast day. The 23rd of September, when Liddel’s doctoral public debate took place, is the northern autumnal equinox, often the start of German harvest festivals.