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February 13, 1937

Johannes de Mirfeld of St. Bartholomew's, Smithfield: His Life and Works

JAMA. 1937;108(7):583. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780070067029

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The constant interest in the history of medicine which prevails brings us more and more volumes related to the predictions of some of the famous writers of the past. Johannes de Mirfeld was a medieval English medical writer credited by Sir Norman Moore with being the first genuine writer in medicine being in any way connected with St. Bartholomew's Hospital. He represented the priest type of physician. His most notable work as a medical writer was his Breviarium Bartholomei, an encyclopedia of contemporary medical knowledge with much superstitious and magical lore, such as charms and incantations. One of the most interesting chapters is that devoted to the signs of death. Also interesting are the pages dealing with the customs and ethics of medical practice.

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