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@"Epithomo historico-medico-politico em que se referem as honras, as estimações, e as liberalidades, que todos Principes do Mundo despenarão com os medicos dos seus respectivos tempos . . ." Manuscript on paper, in Portuguese.
, , @Ca. 1778.. 8°, contemporary crushed crimson morocco, heavily gilt with floral motif in center and at the corners of each cover and a roll-tooled border; spine gilt in compartments with a small floral tool; edges gilt and gauffered. Two very small scraped areas on upper cover and a few pinpoint wormholes at head and foot of spine, otherwise very fresh. Written in ink, in a number of different hands (elegant and legible) of the late eighteenth century. Very fine internally. In fine condition. Old (contemporary?) library stamp of the Dukes of Lafões on title-page. (9 ll., first 2 blank), 11-37, 37-479, 1-225 pp., (1 blank l.); i.e., 707 written pages in all. *** One of the most copiously informative histories of medicine ever written, this @unpublished eighteenth-century "epitome" is no mere summary. It gives a critical account of the whole development of medicine, and more particularly of the medical profession, concentrating on the three centuries between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. Given that medical history on such a grand scale as this had just begun around 1700 with Leclerc, it seems likely that Moraes Soares' manuscript is among the first Portuguese contributions to comprehensive medical historiography - perhaps the first such. Aside from this, the manuscript represents an unpublished eighteenth-century text by a physician of some standing, dedicated to and from the library of one of Portugal's great Enlightenment figures. Manoel de Moraes Soares was born in Coimbra in 1727 and died in 1800 or 1801 in Lisbon, where he was an established scientific rapporteur and litterateur. His Portuguese translation of the fables of Phaedrus (@Fabulas de Phedro) was published in 1785, and popular enough for a second edition to be published in 1805. In the medical sphere, Moraes Soares published only two works. One was a translation of La Condamine's work on smallpox vaccination, issued in 1762 as @Memoria sobre a inoculaçam das bexigas (OCLC 14314743, at Yale University-Medical Library and the National Library of Medicine). In 1760, Moraes Soares published @Memorial critico-medico, historico-physico-mechanico, whose title suggests that its contents are similar to the "Epithome historico-medico-politico." However, the @Memorial is only 84 pp. long (OCLC 7978639, at the National Library of Medicine and the Newberry Library). We estimate that this manuscript was written some two decades later than the @Memorial. The most recent date mentioned in the text is 1771, in connection with the intriguing career of the notorious but progressive J.F. Struensee as a royal minister in Denmark. Several other events from the 1750s and 1760s are recorded, and the maps cited are mid-century ones that were standard in the third quarter of the eighteenth century. The dedication supports a date in the late 1770s. The dedicatee, the second Duke of Lafões (see Provenance), was in self-imposed exile during the long dictatorship of the Marquês de Pombal (1750-1777); this manuscript's dedication surely dates from after his return. From the author's praise in the dedication of the Duke's "sabia errecção de huma Accademia nova," we judge that the work was written just before the Academia Real das Ciências was chartered by D. Maria I in 1779. This theory is supported by the author's omission from the title-page of any mention of the Academy, or of any rank attained by the Duke of Lafões after 1779. The near-encyclopedic "Epithomo" notes the contributions to healing of the monastic orders and credits the Moors with the benefits they brought to science during their Iberian hegemony, giving many particulars of the work of physicians of various faiths under the Caliphate. Though there is also much on individual cures, drugs and doctors, the words "historico-medico-politico" in the title accurately reflect the author's concern for the standing of medical science in different communities. Moraes Soares also treats public health measures and the state of health of the population in general, and tries to indicate the level of education in medical and other sciences. In his highly detailed "Lista Geographica" (the final section of 225 pages), Moraes Soares catalogues the world's educational and medical institutions. Compiled with great thoroughness, it covers all four major continents, specifying even the maps consulted (by Bellin, Deslisle, Buache and d'Anville). He includes hospitals and secondary schools as well as universities with medical or scientific faculties, for which he sets out to give the date of foundation, number of colleges and number of professors. Latin America is prominently represented, with institutions listed in Mexico, Central America, the Spanish Main and Peru. For Brazil, Moraes Soares cites schools in Maranhão, Olinda, Recife, Salvador, Espírito Santo, São Sebastião and São Paulo. In what is now the United States he mentions only the College of William and Mary, misplacing it to Jamestown, Virginia, but lists hospitals in New Orleans and Philadelphia. A hospital is also listed in Montreal. The present work stands out for its full and sympathetic assessment of the medical pioneers of the modern age, such as Fallopio and Malpighi in Italy, William Harvey in England, Reynier de Graaf and Frederik Ruysch in Holland, and royal physicians in France, Germany, Denmark and England. Moraes Soares always refers precisely to each practitioner's specialty or contribution, and marks his place in medical progress surefootedly. He gives a critical yet friendly view, not otherwise attainable, of the state of medicine at the height of the Enlightenment, and gives it largely without nationalist bias. @Provenance: The second Duke of Lafões, D. João Carlos de Bragança Sousa Ligne Tavares Mascarenhas da Silva (1719-1806), was of the closest possible affinity to the royal house: his father was the legitimized son of D. Pedro II. A nobleman of great talent and public spirit, he led the aristocratic opposition to Pombal, living outside Portugal during most of Pombal's reign. In the quarter-century after Pombal's fall he became one of the dominant public figures. He was appointed Counselor of War in 1780, Counselor of State in 1796, and Marshall-General of the Portuguese armies. A man of great culture and scientific appreciation and a witty and generous patron, the Duke assisted both Gluck and Mozart during his absence from Portugal. Immediately upon his return he formed the Academy of Sciences, in order to assure Portugal the benefits of the philosophic enlightenment (whose absence Moraes Soares several times bemoans). *** See Innocêncio VI, 67 and XVI, 273 on the author, and Silvestre Ribeiro, @História dos estabelecimentos científicos volumes II & V.
      [Bookseller: Richard C. Ramer Old & Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2016-05-26           Check availability:      Biblio    


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