By Nancy G. Siraisi

During the Renaissance, collections of letters either happy humanist enthusiasm for historic literary varieties and supplied the flexibleness of a structure acceptable to many sorts of inquiry. the broadcast collections of scientific letters through Giovanni Manardo of Ferrara and different physicians in early sixteenth-century Europe could therefore be considered as items of scientific humanism. The letters of mid- and past due sixteenth-century Italian and German physicians tested in Communities of discovered Experience through Nancy G. Siraisi additionally illustrate practices linked to the thoughts of the Republic of Letters: open and comparatively casual communique between a discovered group and a liberal alternate of knowledge and concepts. also, such released scientific correspondence could usually have served to supply mutual reinforcement recognition.

Siraisi makes use of a few of these collections to check techniques to sharing scientific wisdom throughout huge areas of Europe and inside of a urban, with the target of illuminating geographic ameliorations in addition to range inside of social, city, courtly, and educational environments. The collections she has chosen comprise essays on basic scientific issues addressed to colleagues or disciples, a few recommendation for person sufferers (usually written on the request of the patient’s doctor), and a powerful dose of controversy.

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Though contagion was certainly an important and a recurrent theme, it was by no means the only topic of discussion in these exchanges.  The correspondence between Erastus and the professors at Padua was initiated from Padua. On September 20, 1574, Erastus received, via a letter from Theodore Simmelbecker (a former Heidelberg student now at Padua), a copy of Capodivacca’s objections to Erastus’s “theses on contagion,” together with Paterno’s “very learned cogitations” on the same. It is not clear what work containing Erastus’s views had come into the Paduans’ hands.

For Monau, too, letters sent abroad may have served as a way of keeping in touch with intellectual life elsewhere in Europe. But despite many expressions of courtesy on both sides, the correspondence between Mercuriale and Monau always centered on disputation. Authors, alas, do not always welcome prompt criticisms of their work from younger colleagues, and Mercuriale eventually had had enough.  Across the Religious Divide: The Galenist Response to Paracelsianism With the exception of Mermann at the ducal court of Bavaria, whose rulers were enthusiastic proponents of the Catholic cause, and the possible exception of Dodoens, the well-known physicians in the German lands and central Europe with whom the professors from Padua corresponded in the 1570s and ’80s were, to a greater or lesser extent, committed to—with varying degrees of openness— one version or another of reformed religious beliefs.

The last work that Zwinger received from Mercuriale was the recently published first volume of the latter’s collected Consultationes; Mercuriale’s accompanying letter described the book as a gift for Zwinger and did not explicitly propose a Basel edition.  Mercuriale’s warm reception of Zwinger’s recommendations of students who came from Basel to Padua ensured that some of those students, in turn, were the means of maintaining further contacts with Basel. And through Zwinger, Mercuriale sought information about other northern learned physicians and their projects.

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