By John Slater
Early glossy Spain was once an international empire during which a startling number of scientific cultures got here into touch, and sometimes clash, with each other. Spanish infantrymen, ambassadors, missionaries, sailors, and emigrants of all types carried with them to the farthest reaches of the monarchy their very own principles approximately ailment and future health. those principles have been, in flip, stimulated by means of neighborhood cultures. This quantity tells the tale of encounters between clinical cultures within the early smooth Spanish empire. The twelve chapters draw upon a wide selection of resources, starting from drama, poetry, and sermons to broadsheets, trip debts, chronicles, and Inquisitorial records; and it surveys an immense neighborhood scope, from Mexico, to the Canary Islands, the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, and Germany. jointly, those essays suggest a brand new interpretation of the stream, reception, appropriation, and elaboration of rules and practices with regards to affliction and overall healthiness, intercourse, monstrosity, and dying, in a ancient second marked by means of non-stop cross-pollination between associations and populations with a determined stake within the functioning and keep an eye on of the human physique. finally, the quantity discloses how scientific cultures supplied demographic, analytical, or even geographic instruments that constituted a specific type of map of information and perform, upon that have been plotted: the neighborhood utilities of pharmacological discoveries; therapies for social unrest or decline; areas for political and institutional fight; and evolving understandings of monstrousness and normativity. clinical Cultures of the Early glossy Spanish Empire places the historical past of early smooth Spanish medication on a brand new footing within the English-speaking global.
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Extra resources for Medical Cultures of the Early Modern Spanish Empire (New Hispanisms: Cultural and Literary Studies)
335/exp. 96/f. 372–3. A number of scholars who have studied the barter of plants and animals in the 26 alimentary culture of early modernity agree that syncretism developed more rapidly around the use of medicinal plants than it did with foodstuffs (Domingo). 27 AGN/Inquisición/vol. 284/exp. 32/f. 550–55. 28 AGN/Inquisición/vol. 335/exp. 96/f. 2. In this case, Ana María de Soria asks an Indian to help her find a young mestizo woman (14 or 15 years old) who lives in Ana María’s home. The Indian ingests the peyote, but the herb does not “speak to his heart,” so he is unable to tell Ana María where the young woman might be.
12 Hernández also collected information on a type of peyote that he called the Xochimilcan variety. He described it as: […] excellent medicine, with a thick root, cylindrical and covered with down; other roots look like nuts in shape and size that branch off the principal root here and there; the single stalk is green, cylindrical and soft, with scant leaves similar to those of the pear tree, with purple peduncles, and at the end of the stalks yellow flowers contained in a scarious calyx. 13 In Hernández’s description a terminological problem appears that will continue to plague naturalists, physicians, and pharmacists until well into the nineteenth 11 “[…] una raíz de mediano tamaño que no echa ninguna ramas ni hojas fuera de la tierra, si no sólo una pelusa adherida a ella, por lo cual no puede dibujarla debidamente.
But there is a great deal that is not immediately apparent about women’s knowledge of herbs, including the women’s beliefs about the body and disease, their ideas about the particular ailments that afflicted them, and their awareness of any given therapeutic practice. Although it may be possible to learn, in greater or lesser measure, what women thought about disease by analyzing Inquisitorial documents, we cannot retrospectively diagnose diseases. Such an attempt would be a pointless exercise in anachronism.