An Interactive Annotated World Bibliography of Printed and Digital Works in the History of Medicine and the Life Sciences from Circa 2000 BCE to 2022 by Fielding H. Garrison (1870-1935), Leslie T. Morton (1907-2004), and Jeremy M. Norman (1945- ) Traditionally Known as “Garrison-Morton”

15649 entries, 13475 authors and 1912 subjects. Updated: May 20, 2022

FRACASTORO, Girolamo [FRACASTORIUS]

2 entries
  • 2364

Syphilis sive morbus gallicus.

Verona: [S. Nicolini da Sabbio], 1530.

The most famous of all medical poems. It epitomized contemporary knowledge of syphilis, gave to it its present name, and recognized a venereal cause. Fracastorius refers to mercury as a remedy. First complete English translation by Nahum Tate (Later Poet Laureate) was published in 1686; translation by W. van Wyck (1934). L. Baumgartner and J. F. Fulton published a handlist of editions of the poem in 1933 and a bibliography of the poem in 1935. Digital facsimile of the 1530 edition from the Hathi Trust at this link.



Subjects: INFECTIOUS DISEASE › SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES › Syphilis, LITERATURE / Philosophy & Medicine & Biology
  • 2528
  • 5371

De sympathia et antipathia rerum liber unus. De contagione et contagiosis morbis et curatione.

Venice: apud heredes L. Iuntae, 1546.

Though Fracastoro wrote this book more than a century before Leewenhoek invented the microscope, and could only express the theory of contagion in very general terms, this book represents a landmark in the development of ideas that centuries later led to the work of Bassi, Henle, Davaine, Koch, and others. For that reason we have classified Fracastoro as a precursor of foundational theories of infectious disease by microorganisms.

Fracastoro was the first to state the germ theory of infection. He suggested the contagiousness of tuberculosis. Haeser even describes him as the “founder of scientific epidemiology”. This book, which contains one of the first accounts of typhus (pp. 43-44), marks an epoch in the history of medicine, since Fracastorius enunciated in it, perhaps for the first time, the modern doctrine of the specific characters and infectious nature of fevers. He is remembered for his poem on syphilis, but he was also eminent as a physicist, geologist, astronomer, and pathologist. An English translation by W. C. Wright appeared in 1930. 



Subjects: EPIDEMIOLOGY, INFECTIOUS DISEASE, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › GENERAL PRINCIPLES of Infection by Microorganisms, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › Rickettsial Infections, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › Tuberculosis, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › VECTOR-BORNE DISEASES › Lice-Borne Diseases › Typhus