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The first book in a new series and a groundbreaking study of connections, parallels, and mutual interaction between two critical disciplines—medicine and history—in 15th- to 17th-century Europe

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Copyright © 2007, University of Michigan. All rights reserved. Posted October 2007 and February 2008.

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A path-breaking work at last available in paper, History, Medicine, and the Traditions of Renaissance Learning is Nancy G. Siraisi’s examination of the intersections of medically trained authors and history from 1450 to 1650. Rather than studying medicine and history as separate traditions, Siraisi calls attention to their mutual interaction in the rapidly changing world of Renaissance erudition. With remarkably detailed scholarship, Siraisi investigates doctors’ efforts to explore the legacies handed down to them from ancient medical and anatomical writings.

Nancy G. Siraisi is one of the preeminent scholars of medieval and Renaissance intellectual history. Now Distinguished Professor Emerita of History at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center, and a 2008 winner of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, her books include The Clock and the Mirror (1997), and the widely used textbook Medieval and Early Renaissance Medicine (1990), which won the Davis Prize from the History of Science Society. In 2004 she received the Renaissance Society of America’s Paul Oskar Kristellar Award, and in 2005 she received the American Historical Association Award for Scholarly Distinction.

 “A fascinating study of Renaissance physicians as avid readers and enthusiastic writers of all kinds of history: from case narratives and medical biographies to archaeological and environmental histories. In this wide-ranging book, Nancy Siraisi demonstrates the deep links between the medical and the humanistic disciplines in early modern Europe.”
— Katharine Park, Samuel Zemurray, Jr. and Doris Zemurray Stone Radcliffe Research Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University

“This is a salient but little explored aspect of Renaissance humanism, and there is no doubt that Siraisi has succeeded in throwing light onto a vast subject. This is a major book, well written, richly learned and with further implications for more than students of medical history.”
—Vivian Nutton, Professor, The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, University College London

“Historians of medicine and of historiography alike will read her book with pleasure and profit.”
—Brian W. Ogilve, Renaissance Quarterly