www.facebook.com/104586329647201/posts/3711135762325555/?d=nThe latest 'Pharmaceutical Historian' is here!
Members should have received their paper copy, but - as ever - it's available open access to all here:
- the 1927 formulary of Peking's first Western teaching hospital
- archives and sources regarding the Society of Apothecaries' drug supply to India, c.1703-1882
- the life and work of Indian pharmacy researcher, educator & historian, Harkishan Singh (1928-2020)
- understanding early modern English apothecary prescriptions ... See MoreSee Less
Presentation of the book: "The Pharmacy in the expedition of Magellan and Elcano". Authors: Cecilio Venegas Fito and Antonio Ramos Carrillo. Commemorative edition of the V Centenary of the first circumnavigation of the Earth. 1519-1522. ... See MoreSee Less
www.facebook.com/1751423428277189/posts/4003984699687706/?d=nMedical Humanism Series 2:
'Counsel of the famous doctor Peter de Tussignano for avoiding pestilence' ("Consilio del famoso Pietro da Tussignano contra peste"), c. 1494
Coloured engraving from Johannes de Ketham, "Fasciculus de Medicina" (1493/1494), Rare Material, Shelf-Mark R-327, f. 26r, "Vincenzo Pinali" Ancient Library, Padua.
The woodcut illustrates a bedside visit for a patient supposedly affected by the plague. The physician represents Pietro da Tussignano (d. 1401), a forteenth-century celebrated author of treatises on regimen and healthy living, breathing a pomander of laudanum to protect himself from miasmas, which were effluvia of putrid air that are transmitted from bodies affected by plague to the surroundings, therefore becoming a vehicle of infection. Despite this, the doctor is portrayed in physical contact with the patient while taking his pulse. The pulse reveals the activity of the heart whose heat increases in parallel with the attempt by the body 'to cook the corrupted humours' and so to overcome the disease.
The physician is flanked on either side by assistants each holding wooden torches, in order for the air to be dried as much as possible, by a fire of oak wood or of well-dried boughs of laurel, of myrtle, juniper and other odoriferous woods [to decrease transmission of the plague. The assistant on the right also holds a basket for embers.
The patient, an elderly gentleman, showing facial features that are compatible with the so-called "Facies Hippocratica", a harbinger of impending death from the plague. On the opposite side of the patient’s bed are three older women, most probably relatives of the patient, attending to the patient’s needs.
Other than illustrating the text of the "Fasciculus de Medicina" (on which see Medical Humanism Series 1), the artist here has depicted the main gestures and rites of an early modern bedside visit, according to the Hippocratic precepts. Revealing, in this sense, are the gestures of the physician, showing compassion for the patient but also discreteness and professionalism. During the Renaissance, academic medicine rediscovered the sense of the rapport doctor-patient as one of the most fundamental aspects of medical practice: the doctor is no longer supposed to only pronounce the prognosis (he or she will/won't live) but to interact with the ill person, so as to establish a bond of mutual trust towards the healing path. ... See MoreSee Less