Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , pages. More Details At times, it was also harshly critical of the eulogized.
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The two necrologies are good illustrations of the transition from a generation of physicians still engaged in late Enlightenment cosmopolitanism to another one more interested in the Italian national revival. In a remarkable digression, he reported at length a conversation between Aglietti and himself.
Allegedly, he had told the older, respected practitioner, that, in writing, he should have used the style and language of the best scientific authors of the Italian tradition: Lionardo Di Capua, Magalotti, Redi, Cocchi, Galilei. These authors were all from the 17 th century, and Tuscan, or—in the case of Di Capua, who was Neapolitan—employing a heavily Tuscanised Italian. In fact, Levi insisted, Italian language had a long history, beginning in the Trecento, and ought to be treated as it deserved: as a noble and independent woman, whose honesty could not be doubted.
The Biographie universelle , Levi remarked, was in fact almost totally limited to eulogies of French authors.
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This went so far that the illustrious physician Giovanni Rasori — had been reported as recently dead in the text, while he was still living, as attested by his correspondence with Levi himself. It is remarkable, in this instance, that many practitioners remembered by Levi in his work belonged to the vast, and comparatively yet unexplored, world of practicing physicians, surgeons, apothecaries and pharmaceutical chemists. Venice at the time had no university—in fact, its medical practitioners had developed a complicated relationship with Padua and its fame, lengthy history, and intellectual prowess in the field of medical studies.
Aglietti and his fellow practitioners, as well as those of the younger generation, as Levi or Asson, were engaged in a battle for the introduction of pathological anatomy as a crucial discipline in medical theory and practice, as opposed to the ongoing systematic and theoretical temptation shown by late 18 th century medicine, and best represented by the case of Brownism. It is easy to underestimate the impact of this and other works by this publishing firm specialised in European science and medicine.
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He aptly mentioned Melchiorre Cesarotti , whose theories and practice of translations had been the staple for Italians wishing to transform a language best known for its musical and literary uses into a reliable scientific instrument. He also insisted on the double use he made of words and expressions coming from the learned academic world, alongside those used by practitioners, who were not considered of a lower standing anymore, but who would still not know about Latin or Greek derivations.
So, for instance, the French astriction was translated by astrizione , used in practice, and by stringimento , more educated. At the end of the seventeenth and last volume, one can read a note addressed to the reader by the translator. Others are to be used with due parsimony, and these include artificial neologisms or, again, words that have a different meaning in Italian from the one assigned them by some medical authors writing under the influence of foreign languages. This time, however, both the French and the Italian version avoided anonymity, with signed entries resembling short articles.
This time, indeed, Levi and Antonelli proceeded to a systematic integration of the French entries with contributions coming from a vast array of Italian medical works.
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Many of the Italian authors were already dead at the time. However, their number is impressive and it gives an idea of the thriving activity of clinics as well as experimenters. It is remarkable that the vast majority of the works were written by medical men living in Northern Italy, with some exceptions for Roman anatomists and Neapolitan naturalists.
Equally remarkable is the number of contributions that came from other scientific genres, especially journals.
This points to the porosity, indeed lack of a separation, between different kinds of periodical publications: journals on the one side, and dictionaries and other systematic works published at regular intervals, on the other. The Avvertimento echoed the long history of medical compendia, culminating in the early modern commonplace book , that is, a list or repertory of meaningful entries and quotations that learned medics used as a memory aid as well as a practical handbook.
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This was meant as a political action, as a contribution to the Italian Risorgimento and unification. It also was meant to be a vindication of the Italian medical tradition, formerly one of the strongest in Europe, and that could still have a claim to excellence, at least in some centres such as Padua or Pavia.
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They achieved this goal by developing an original translation method, that has elicited the attention of historians of the Italian language, but also, and perhaps mainly, by inserting Italian works and contributions in French dictionary entries. They were in no way isolated or alone, but theirs was one of the most systematic and successful efforts in this direction.
Accordingly, this dictionary did not receive good reviews.
An anonymous A. The congress, the ninth of the series, was held in Venice in September, only some months before the political upheaval of A work that might describe the national character, by means of the most exact and well ordained biographical and historical studies; by means of the methods and criteria adopted by our national philosophy in the institution of doctrines, that is, by observation, experience, and strict induction; by means of enquiries on the climate and endemics specific to each Italian province, and of their special production and therapeutic efficacy; and finally, by means of a common medical legislation, something impossible to attain at the time.
The admiration for German achievements, he said, had become exaggerated to the point of abuse. This had happened not only in Italy, but in France as well. This motif would have a long, and even sinister, history in Italy; constitutional medicine was to become one of the means by which Fascism legitimated medical racism. None of this: Meditation is the first branch of the Transcendental Asylum, which aims to bring a person to awareness and to find answers to the fundamental questions of life: who I am, where I come from, where I am directed.
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