History, Medicine, and the Traditions of Renaissance Learning
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: University of Michigan Press
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List of Figures
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Note to the Reader
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Among historical works produced in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the Nuremberg Chronicle, the Chronicon Carionis, and Paolo Giovio’s Histories of His Own Times stand out for several reasons. The Nuremberg Chronicle has achieved lasting fame as a masterpiece of Renaissance book production. Successive recensions of the Chronicon Carionis perpetuated...
Part 1. History in Medical Literature
Preface to Part 1. A Diagnosis from History
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On May 10, 1575, the surgeon Ambroise Paré was summoned to determine whether the cause of death of two servants of a member of the Parlement of Paris was murder or “a sodaine apoplexie.” Fortunately for the victims, Paré, realizing that they were not dead but only profoundly unconscious, succeeded in reviving them. He also quickly recognized that the case was one of...
1. Bodies Past
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In a famous passage, Sylvius, teacher and subsequently critic of Vesalius, explained to the readers of his Introduction to Anatomy (1555)...
2. History and Histories in Medical Texts
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These words introduce not (as one might imagine) one of the many Renaissance treatises on the ars historica but a medical commentary. They appear at the beginning of Girolamo Mercuriale’s exposition of the case histories in books 1 and 3 of the Hippocratic Epidemics. Although his formulation reads like a direct echo of Bodin’s famous threefold classi‹cation of history into divine, natural, and human, Mercuriale gave it a decidedly medical...
3. Life Writing and Disciplinary History
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ccording to Laurent Joubert, the Montpellier physician and naturalist Guillaume Rondelet made learning fun: “He taught in a very humorous way, and held his audience with anecdotes [historiis] and fables, but his teaching was extremely thorough and comprehensive.” This vivid glimpse of a successful Renaissance medical professor in action comes from Joubert’s biography of his former teacher.1...
Part 2. Physicians, Civil History, and Antiquarianism
Preface to Part 2. Rival Physician Historians of the Italian Wars
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The French really call you a golden river. Now [we have] your sweet book on human anatomy, and it seems witty to them[;] . . . without doubt you are the prince of all orators and physicians of our age”—thus Symphorien Champier expressed his appreciation of Alessandro Benedetti’s Anatomice, a description of human dissection notable for its classicizing vocabulary, citation of exclusively ancient sources, and rhetorical sophistication. The...
4. Milan: Problems of Exemplarity in Medicine and History
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With characteristic acerbity, Girolamo Cardano of Milan expressed his sharp awareness of the problematic nature of exemplary history—the truism, from antiquity to the Renaissance and beyond, that history, magistra vitae, teaches imitation of the good and avoidance of the bad...
5. Rome: Medicine, Histories, Antiquities, and Public Health
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Throughout the second half of the sixteenth century, Rome was the scene of a battle of the books over the potability of Tiber water. On the one side, Giovanni Battista Modio denounced the water as undrinkable and proclaimed any physician who pronounced it wholesome as incompetent. On the other, in a series of publications spread over some thirty years, Alessandro...
6. Vienna: Physician Historians and Antiquaries in Court and University
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Wolfgang Lazius—proli‹c author of works on the civil history, the chorography, the antiquities, and the noble families of his native Austria; indefatigable collector of medieval historical documents; and professor of medicine in the University of Vienna—habitually identi‹ed himself on his title pages as “medicus et historicus.”1 Lazius’s self-identi‹cation introduces a relation of Renaissance history...
7. Beyond Europe
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Medical men both read and contributed to Renaissance and early modern writing on the world beyond Europe. News of New World diseases and remedies engendered famous controversies within the European medical community, and some works of physician authors on exotic plants probably reached a substantially wider audience.1 But the interest of sixteenth- or seventeenth-century physicians in regions outside Europe was by no means...
Conclusion: Medicine, History, and the Changing Face of Scientific Knowledge
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Over the span of two centuries covered by this book, profound changes took place in European politics, society, and intellectual life. The Europe of absolutist and confessional states, already on the threshold of early Enlightenment and new science and inhabited by such figures as Naud
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Page Count: 456
Publication Year: 2008
Series Title: Cultures of Knowledge in the Early Moder