The Eclecticism in Bernardino Ramazzini: the Analysis of Non-Medical Sources of De Morbis Artificum Diatriba

Michele Augusto Riva, Vittorio Alessandro Sironi, Giancarlo Cesana


Bernardino Ramazzini (1633-1714), the founder of the occupational medicine, can be considered an eclectic author since his works ranged from physics to geology, from epidemiology to poetry. An analysis of his most famous book De Morbis Artificum Diatriba shows that about half of the authors cited by ramazzini are not medical. In particular, non medical authors most cited are poets, comic playwrights, philosophers and satirists. it was not just a display of erudition. Probably Ramazzini cited them because of lack of information on workers and their diseases in medical literature. So, only non medical sources could provide enough information on living conditions of workers that allowed ramazzini to systematically analyze the relationship between work and disease. This use of non medical sources is still widespread in modern industrial medicine. 


Key words: Sources analysis - Bernardino Ramazzini - De Morbis Artificum Diatriba - History of Occupational Medicine 

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