André Fabre July 13 2014
This book is an homage to the doctors of Venice. Along centuries, they gave an outstanding contribution to the glory of their city. The Serenissima was indeed a city loaded with mysteries. The book presents the secret storyof the Venetian doctors never published until now
The very first great Physician of Venice was Tommaso Rangone(1493-1577), physician and soothsayer but also great patron of the Arts : he is portrayed in the foreground of three celebrated Tintoretto paintings and his statue is still standing above the porch of Chiesa San Giuliano, few yards from Mercerie.
All along XVIth and XVIIth centuries, the "Golden age" of
In first place comes Giovanni-Domenico Santorini (1681-1737), genuine Venetian, born and dead in Venice where he had in charge the small but superb Ospedaletto now Mecca of classical Venetian music. Also, Santorio Santorio (1561-1636), one of the creators of experimental medicine and Nicolò Massa (1485-1569) whose Anatomy Treatise has been the Grays Anatomy of many generations of medicine students.
Leonardo Fioravanti (1518-1586) lived (and died) in
A specialplace should be given to JeromeFracastoro (1478-1553) : physician of princes, humanist and poet.Greatpioneer in the fieldof infectious diseases, one of his poems got an outstanding fame: "The French disease", story of ayoung and handsome shepherd named "Syphilis" ("Companion of love") disfigured by ahideousdisease. By chance, a new medication, the "guaiac", had just arrived from
As early as XIIIth century, the University of Padua, twin sister of Venice, had been a leading centre for all medical sciences and overall, anatomy, with such great names as Benedetti (1450-1512) "maestro" military surgeon, Bernardino Ramazzini (1633-1714) initiator of Occupational medicine and Charles Patin the outcast physician of Louis XIV, Girolamo d'Acquapendente (1537-1519), creator of the great Amphitheatre of Padua, Giovanni Santorini (1680-1737) founder of anatomical pathology, and the most celebrated of all anatomists, Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) who spent 7 years, at the zenith of his career, in Padua.
It should also be cited the story of a reat adventurer and (maybe) physician from
The story of the Jewish physicians of
In Venice, "hospitals" as "Mendicanti", "Ospedaletto" or "
The physicians of Venice, a city so widely open to all epidemics from Orient, had a major role during all major plague epidemics spreading the city (1345, 1575, 1630 and many others), as well as the frequent outbreaks of cholera and typhoid. As a memorial to the Great Plague, still stand in
Venice was first, in History, to devise a comprehensive system of protection against communicable diseases : the so-called "Lazaretti" scattered on three islands of the Laguna..
The second part of the book is dedicated to "Physicians visitors of
For the great physician poet, Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805) the trip to
Pr. Adrien Proust (1834-1903), attended as specialist of Tropical diseases, many medical meetings in
Dr. Freud (1856-1939), claimed all his life to be a true fanatic of
Dr. Léon Daudet (1867-1942), highly controversial French writer, came in visit to
Dr. Destouches (1894-1961), better known as Céline, left in his celebrated book "Journey to the End of the Night" some sarcastic comments on the Serenissima: "In
Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931), physician gone best-seller author, was fervent disciple, in his books as in life, of the great Venetian seducer, Giacomo Casanova. Unfortunately,
At the end, come all "escort physicians" following their notorious patient in visit to Venice : Dr. Francesco Aglietti (1757-1836), friend and physician of Lord Byron, Axel Munthe (1857-1949), the great author of "Story of SD$S", escort to the future Queen of Sweden and Dr. Pietro Pagello (1807-1808) who had George Sand as patient during her honeymoon n Venice with Alfred de Musset
The book ends up with a pilgrimage to the high places dedicated to the great Saints Healers of Venice : San Panteleimon, "the all-compassionate " , San Luca, "the Evangelist" and Santa Lucia, "Patron of the Blind".
Over centuries the Serenissima has sent a message of pride and seduction but also of tenacity and courage.
Her destiny was magnificent but the physicians of
Book published by L'Harmattan Editions,
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 Daphné du Maurier (1907-1989) on this point came close to Sigmund Freud “The experts are right, …
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Date de dernière mise à jour : 25/07/2014