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THE HUNT FOR A MANUSCRIPT ON CINCHONA SAUL JARCHO* In the course of research on the history of the Jesuits' bark, later known as cinchona, it became necessary to investigate the spread of the drug to northern Italy. The value of the bark had been observed or suspected by Jesuit missionaries in a part of Peru that now belongs to Ecuador, and they sent samples to Seville, where a few favorable results were obtained. In time the drug reached Rome. Its spread was then given further impetus by a famous theologian, Juan Cardinal de Lugo, a SpanishJesuit. Before long it reached Milan and Genoa. Much information was made available in a book titled Cortex Peruviae redivivus profligatorfebrium [The Peruvian bark, destroyer of fevers, revived] issued in Genoa in 1656 by Sebastianus Baldus, a Genoese physician who later changed his name to Badus. The same author provided additional data in 1663 in a work titled Anastasis corticL· Peruviae [Resurrection of the bark of Peru]. Further facts were contributed much more recently by a Capuchin, the Rev. Cassiano Carpaneto de Langasco, O.F.M. CAP., author oîPammatone , cinque secoli di vita ospedaliera [Pammatone, 5 centuries of hospital life]. The principal subject of this book is the Pammatone Hospital, famous in Genoa for 5 centuries. It is believed that in this hospital Bado made extensive early trials of the new powder, which he had seen distributed in Rome under the direction of Cardinal de Lugo (1583-1660), and Pietro Paolo Pucciarini, a secular brother of the Jesuit order and apothecary of the Collegio Romano. On page 134 of his solidly documented work, available in the New York Public Library, Father Carpaneto transcribes a note made on the comparatively early date ofJuly 4, 1659, in the Leges et Decreta Hospitalis, a manuscript volume that is included in the Archivio Provinciale dei Cappuccini in Genoa. Based on research assisted by the National Library of Medicine, LM-04505. ?Address: 11 West 69th Street, New York, New York 10023.© 1988 by The University of Chicago. AU rights reserved. 0031-5982/88/3103-0591101.00 Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 31, 3 ¦ Spring 1988 \ 437 This important note, presented in 117 Latin words, is the official statement of a hospital chancellor. It reports the first Genoese trials of China china, which was one of the common names of a bark brought from Peru. This substance, says the document, was tested in a hospital designated as the Hospitalis Sanctae Misericordiae. It produced marvelous and frequent successes in dispelling the quartan and tertian fevers, and other fevers mixed in with these, with great benefit to the patients and no little expense to the hospital, after it was introduced a few years ago into the said hospital by the eminent and learned Master Sebastian Badus, physician in the same hospital, as is evident from the testimony ofthe eminent Master Franciscus Antonius Gibbonus, selected with high praise a few years ago for treatment of the sick at the same place, and of Master Johannes Baptista Anigone, pharmacist of the said hospital. By order of the Honorable Officials of the same . . . ad cálculos omnium consensu. Fully approved by me, the undersigned chancellor. To make further progress with the research, it became necessary to visit Father Carpaneto and, if possible, to examine the note that he had found in the Leges et Decreta. My wife and I arrived in Genoa on aJune day in 1987, after equipping ourselves with photocopies of Carpaneto's book. These we supplemented with a compass and a Baedeker guidebook of northern Italy, "twelfth remodeled edition . . . 1903," which contains a map of Genoa on the scale of 1:10,000. An additional impedimentum was a map of Genoa, "toponomastica e monumentale," scaled at 1 : 15,000 and dated 1973. The old maps in Baedeker showed, approximately in the center of Genoa, an area about 125 meters square labeled Cappuccini. This must be our first objective. To the west of it was a streak labeled Funicolare, which suggested that the area is hilly. It is. On leaving our hotel on the Via XX Settembre, my wife and I erroneously turned to the left, that is, eastward, in search of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 437-439
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
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