The medical controversies and doctors of the Portuguese Nation of Hamburg in the seventeenth century

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Portuguese doctors in the Seventeenth Century followed the medical evolutions and disputes between the two great currents of medicine, namely the millenarian Galenic and Hippocratic medicine and the emerging medicine based on the principles of Paracelsus and Van Helmont. The Seventeenth Century marks precisely a turning point in medical thinking that some historians consider to have been a scientific revolution, but it is simultaneously a century of the diaspora of the new Christian-Portuguese doctors due to inquisitorial pressures.
The Portuguese Nation of Hamburg hosted some of these doctors who were forced into exile and there stood out for their practice of medicine and for their contribution to the advancement of medical knowledge. The Portuguese doctors gained prestige among their peers with whom they exchanged missives and advised themselves, serving
simultaneously the community as well as the principal princes and aristocrats. This success of Portuguese New-Christian doctors in the diaspora assured them a certain aversion on the part of the local doctors and gave rise to a series of controversies that spread by pamphlets. The Portuguese doctors were obliged to respond by letters and
even printed works to face the discredit that many wanted to impute to them. The present study deals with the physicians of the Portuguese Nation of Hamburg and
their contributions to the community and to the advancement of Medicine. At the same time, it seeks to verify the strategies of discrediting used and the capacity of response taken by individuals or by the community.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventAnnual Conference of the Society for Sephardic Studies: Sephardi Jews between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean - NOVA FCSH, FLUL, Lisboa, Portugal
Duration: 24 Jun 201926 Jun 2019
Conference number: 9th


ConferenceAnnual Conference of the Society for Sephardic Studies
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