Giovanni di Michele Savonarola (Italian Physician, Humanist, Scientist) 1385-1468

Giovanni di Michele Savonarola Demographics:
  • Name - Giovanni di Michele Savonarola
  • Born - 1385 (Padua)
  • Died - 1468 (Ferrara)
  • Occupation - Physician, humanist & scientist.
  • Nationality - Italian
Giovanni di Michele Savonarola General Facts:
  • Prolific author.
  • One of the most influential people in Northern Italy during the middle of the 15th century.
  • His many medical writings were based on those of Avicenna, Aristotle, Galen, Hippocrates, & contemporary knowledge.
  • He continually stressed the importance of experience & observation.
  • His grandson, Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498), was a famous Dominican priest & leader of Florence from 1494 - 1498 (until year of his execution).
  • Rosolio Liqueur - a traditional liqueur with the sweet savor of rose petals, was reputedly invented by Michele Savonarola.
Giovanni di Michele Savonarola Professional Life:
  • Studied Medicine at the University of Padua.
  • Professor at the University of Padua.
  • Subsequently moved to Ferrara (from 55th year of age) as court physician to the Ferrara Estense court in 1440.
  • Was first to write that bandages should be placed from distal to proximal for compression therapy treatment of leg chronic venous insufficiency.
Giovanni di Michele Savonarola & Bubonic Plague:
  • Gave elaborate instructions to priests and friars in plague times.
  • Firstly they should disinfect or fumigate the patients' room.
  • They should take confessions at a distance below the patient, with a sheet soaked in vinegar & water stretched between them.
  • During the exchange, the confessor should keep a disinfectant, called a "zedoaria" in his mouth & brush his teeth with tiriarca before entering.
  • Savonarola also advised against thinking dangerous sentiments i.e. 'heavy thoughts (gran pensieri) during plague epidemics.
  • Probably produced the second most famous plague tract of the 15th century.
Giovanni di Michele Savonarola Famous Publication:
  • Practica major - it contained all the knowledge inherent in the medicine of the time "from head to foot,".
S.K. Cohn Jr (2002)
The Black Death Transformed. Arnold, London.

Posted by ALCHEssMIST.
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