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CSMBR | Early 17th-Century Physicians and the “Peregrinatio Academica”

March 14 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

“Early 17th-Century Physicians and the ‘Peregrinatio Academica’: The case of J. Schreck Terentius”

Johann Schreck, born in Bingen (Baden-Württemberg) was educated as a physician in Freiburg i. Breisgau (magister 1596), in the context of Schenck von Grafenberg, Sr. Afterwards he studied in Basel (C. Bauhin; J. Zwinger, F. Platter), also tutoring students with chymiatric experiments (M. Geher; J. Fabri). Already in early 1604, after (during?) a 2-year visit to Paris he was – together with his colleague-chemiatrist J.F. Eggs (Rheinfelden / Basel) – considered by Quercetanus (Duchesne) as one of the best contemporary chymiatrists. Further studies in Padua (1604), probably with Acquapendente (and Galileo), continued by a ‘peregrinatio academica’ throughout Europe, searching for the (truth on) ‘lapis philosophicus’, collecting (medical etc.) books, distilling at German courts, producing chemical recipes (“mixturae”) and making personal contacts with, e.g. Alstein, Crollius, Duchesne, Mosanus.
In 1609–11 in Rome in the Accademia dei Lincei, he perfectionrf his medical practice with Johann Faber in Roman hospitals (postmortems), with farmacists and botanists (e.g. Enrico Corvino); from there he had contacts with Cinzio Clementi, Santorio Santorio, Petrus Poterius, Zefiriele Bovio, etc.
In this lecture, I shall explore Terentius’ medical profile, which was part of a more holistic education, in the ‘encyclopedic’ tradition (Lull, Ramus and Alsted), with a strong mathematical (algebraic; astronomical) component. I shall also consider his extensive journeys and medical baggage which comprised, apart from medicinal botany, also mineralogy and thermalism, the therapeutic application of opium and an active interest in quantitative medicine; he was the first to describe emphysema. Since 1618 he lived in China, where he translated some European medical (and mathematical) works in Chinese, before he died in 1630, during a farmaceutical experiment with a sudorificum.


Centre for the Study of Medicine and the Body in the Renaissance (CSMBR)
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