El humanismo médico en España y América en el siglo XVI



  • Edited in 2022
  • 21 x 27cm.
  • 114 pages.
  • Binding: hard cover
  • Language: spanish
  • ISBN: 978-84-17264-32-1 


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At the dawn of the 16th century, the professionalization of health care began in Europe, and Spain took the lead in the reforms with the influence of figures such as Luis Vives or Cardinal Cisneros. Humanistic medicine, which drinks from the Jewish and Arab tradition, first trains the student through philosophy and then gives him a new degree. During the reigns of Carlos I and Felipe II, the foundations were laid for the development of an education and health system that promoted the dignity of the sick and their recovery for society in body and soul.

We are facing a unique volume in which the historian Gonzalo Gómez illuminates a barely explored part of our social and human history. Gonzalo Gómez reveals abundant unpublished documentation that demonstrates how the development of medicine in the American viceroyalties had the explicit support of the Crown, and allowed the Spanish Empire to have a university and hospital network in its domains that exceeded that of all the colonial powers together. Pioneer measures such as the appearance of comedy yards in hospitals for their financing, the first nurses, the development of anatomy, the cultivation of surgery or the revolution in Botica promoted by new medicines from overseas, were advances that gave birth to a revolution guided by a golden generation of forgotten Spanish doctors and humanists. Andrés Laguna, Fernando de Mena, Francisco Vallés or Rodrigo Reinoso, among many others, displayed their knowledge in the same way among the disadvantaged and the royal aristocracy as doctors of the Court.

Gonzalo Gómez García (Madrid, 1975) is a professor of Ancient and Medieval History at the Uiversidad Francisco de Vitoria and an honorary professor-researcher of Modern History at the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares.

Episode 1. Medical humanism and its origin

We delve into what medical humanism consists of and what its origin is, accompanied by Gonzalo Gómez, historian and author of this volume.

Episode 2. Health care in Spain. From chaos to universities

We talk about medicine in medieval Spain and Arab and Jewish knowledge; how the figure of cardinal Cisneros and the foundation of the universities in modern Spain arose as a consequence of the expulsion of these collectives in 1492

Episode 3. Study medicine to save lives

The aspiring doctors of the time studied an ethical philosophy that dignified the patient and the first scholarships were instituted. Spanish universities, such as Alcalá or Valencia, were pioneers in Europe and spread to the New World

Episode 4. A new challenge. Improve the conditions of hospitals and patients

Luis Vives was one of the greats of European humanism and gave keys to the development of medicine and the health system in Spain. This chapter deals with the foundation of royal and private hospitals and their management through assistance foundations, as well as the development of the health system in the Indies, and the equality of natives and Spaniards in health care

Episode 5. The big question, what was it like to get sick in the 16th century?

The chiclé of health in the 16th century recopied from unpublished documents from the private hospital of Antezana (the oldest in Europe in operation) in which the role of surgeons, apothecaries and women stands out. We delve into the role of nurses in the sixteenth century and the remedies for diseases of the time

Episode 6. The surnames of the great medical references I: Reynoso, Laguna, Mena and Díaz

The advance of humanist medicine in Spain gave birth to a splendid generation of doctor-philosophers who cured kings, nobles and poor of the time alike. Reynoso, Laguna, Mena and Díaz pedagogically revolutionized medicine, medical practice and urology of their time by publishing pioneering books and translations

Episode 7. The surnames of the great medical references II: Vallés and Covarrubias, de la Vega and Alonso Fontecha

We continue with the plethora of great humanist doctors who fulfilled the sixteenth century, with the great Vallés y Covarrubias, physician to Felipe II until his death, who was also a prolific writer and wise humanist. De la Vega described the illness of the ill-fated prince Carlos in a pioneering observational study, while Fontecha was the first to defend pregnant women and women in his work "Ten Privileges for Pregnant Women"


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