Ergonomic Pathology of Pandolfo III Malatesta

Rosalba Ciranni, Valentina Giuffra, Gino Fornaciari


Pandolfo III Malatesta, Prince of Fano, was born in 1370 from Galeotto Malatesta and Gentile Varano. He was a leading figure of the Italian Renaissance and Captain General of the troops of the Republic of Venice in the war against the Visconti of Milan and the Hungarians. The Prince represents a typical example of a XVth century condottiere. He was a strong, active man, a valiant soldier and horseman at times impulsive and, as somebody noticed, a lover of "charming women". As a matter of fact during his life he married three noble women, but had only illegitimate descendants. Pandolfo died on October 3, 1427, at the age of 57, soon after his third marriage to a woman who was 40 years younger. His natural mummy, resumed in 1995, was submitted to conventional X-ray, to autopsy and to videographic examination of the mouth making possible the diagnosis of prostatic hyperplasia and a number of skeletal-muscle acquired lesions. The present paper analyses and correlates both the life style of Pandolfo and the muscles-skeleton lesions. The results showed a strict correlation allowing the elaboration of a typical ergonomic model: as a matter of fact the Prince was a soldier, constantly dressing a heavy suit of armour, using cold steel such as the sword and riding as horseman, fighting during the battles or jousting during the chivalrous tournaments.

Keywords: Posture - Acquired lesions - Armour - Soldier - Horseman

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