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May 1987

Sixteenth Century Physician and His Methods: Mercurialis on Diseases of the Skin

Arch Dermatol. 1987;123(5):670. doi:10.1001/archderm.1987.01660290142033

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Hieronymus Mercurialis was a renowned medical teacher and practitioner in 16th-century Italy who occupied the chair of medicine at Padua. He was the author of numerous treatises on subjects that, in modern times, would include pediatrics, sports medicine, dermatology, gynecology, otology, ophthalmology, toxicology, epidemic diseases, pharmacology, and general medicine. Mercurialis was also a scholar of the writings and traditions of classical Greek, Latin, and Arabic medical authorities. One of his students, Paulus Aicardius, transcribed a series of Mercurialis' lectures. A copy of this work, De Morbis Cutaneis et Omnibus Corporis Humani Excrementis, published in 1572, inspired Dr Sutton to translate the portion on diseases of the skin, to research Mercurialis' life and work, and to elucidate his concepts of the art and science of dermatology. The result of this scholarly enterprise is a book that encompasses a translation of Mercurialis' lectures as transcribed by Aicardius, a biography of Mercurialis, and

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