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Humanist self-fashioning and ordinary medical practice

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19/11/2015

By | Early Medicine, Events and Visits

The next seminar in the 2015–16 History of Pre-Modern Medicine Seminar Series takes place on Tuesday 24th November.

Speaker: Professor Michael Stolberg

Humanist self-fashioning and ordinary medical practice. The Bohemian physician Georg Handsch (1529–c. 1578) and his notebooks

L0025259 A medical practitioner examining urine brought by his patien Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org A medical practitioner examining urine brought by his patients. Painted relief after Giotto. Oil Published: - Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

A medical practitioner examining urine brought by his patients. Oil on wood painted relief after Giotto. Wellcome Library reference: 47483i.

Abstract:

The professional identity of learned physicians underwent some major changes in the 16th century. The rise of humanism reshaped the world of the ‘res publica literaria’ in which learned physicians prominently participated. At the same time, growing numbers of physicians settled in large and small towns all over Central and Western Europe and sought to make a living as medical practitioners. Drawing on the voluminous notebooks of a little known and rather unsuccessful Bohemian physician by the name of Georg Handsch, and some other physicians’ letters and practice journals, this paper will take a look at the ways in which fairly ‘ordinary’ physicians coped with this tension: how they self-fashioned themselves as humanist intellectuals, but also engaged with the medical lay-world and interacted with (and learnt from) the townsfolk in an effort to secure a place in urban society and to hold their own in the medical marketplace.

Location:

Wellcome Library, 183 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE.

Doors open at 6pm, seminar will start at 6.15pm.

The seminar series is focused on pre-modern medicine, which we take to cover European and non-European history before the 20th century (antiquity, medieval and early modern history, some elements of 19th century medicine).

Further details on the seminar series are available in a previous post.

Ross Macfarlane

Ross Macfarlane is the Research Engagement Officer at the Wellcome Library.

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