Pathology in Practice: Diseases and Dissections in Early Modern Europe

1st Edition

Silvia De Renzi, Marco Bresadola, Maria Conforti

Routledge
Published December 21, 2017
Reference - 236 Pages - 9 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781472463814 - CAT# Y256708
Series: The History of Medicine in Context

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Summary

Post-mortems may have become a staple of our TV viewing, but the long history of this practice is still little known. This book provides a fresh account of the dissections that took place across early modern Europe on those who had died of a disease or in unclear circumstances. Drawing on different approaches and on sources as varied as notes taken at the dissection table, legal records and learned publications, the chapters explore how autopsies informed the understanding of pathology of all those involved. With a broad geography, including Rome, Amsterdam and Geneva, the book recaptures the lost worlds of physicians, surgeons, patients, families and civic authorities as they used corpses to understand diseases and make sense of suffering. The evidence from post-mortems was not straightforward, but between 1500 and 1750 medical practitioners rose to the challenge, proposing various solutions to the difficulties they encountered and creating a remarkable body of knowledge. The book shows the scope and diversity of this tradition and how laypeople contributed their knowledge and expectations to the wide-ranging exchanges stimulated by the opening of bodies.

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