‘Quick to say Quack’. Medicinal Secrets from the Household to the Apothecary’s Shop in Eighteenth-century Venice

‘Quick to say Quack’. Medicinal Secrets from the Household to the Apothecary’s Shop in... Summary This essay will present a documented Italian history of secrets devised in the late seventeenth century in an ordinary household, then temporarily brought into the world of (supposed) charlatanry and eventually taken on, from the end of the eighteenth up to the early twentieth century, by apothecaries. Drawing on a range of primary sources and a few printed texts analysed for their content and material features, the study provides a multi-generational portrait of handlers of medicinal secrets involving both male and female members, whom we might more accurately define as artisans of medicinal secrets rather than quacks, empirics or anything else. It is certain that Venetian medical legislation defined them as ‘particular people’. The case study also offers a picture of the web of social relationships that enabled a harmonious circulation of knowledge between professional, household and commercial medicine, and eventually led to the enrichment of the official pharmacopoeia. medicinal secrets, household medicine, professional medicine, pharmacopoeia, knowledge circulation, Italy, Venice This article reconstructs the personal vicissitudes of Giuseppe Felice Maria Scutellio (1666–1730), together with the story of his medicinal secrets shortly before and for a long time after his death. He was charged by some contemporaries with quackery. However, an in-depth biographical study on Giuseppe and his family, through notarial and parish sources, combined with an examination of the tools of his medical practice—published recipes and books along with a domestic manuscript case-book (which has not survived but is synthetised and recalled in his published texts)—will recast him as a figure far from any form of charlatanism.1 Indeed a few decades after Scutellio’s death the Venetian system of granting licences for medicinal secrets confirmed that he and his secrets had nothing to do with the quacks’ world. Starting in 1763, secrets were required to be original with respect to the current pharmacopoeia and were divided for licensing purposes into two categories with distinct validation procedures.2 The first category was that of charlatans’ secrets, which had to be examined by the entire medical college, whereas the second category, into which Scutellio’s secrets fell, was examined only by two senior physicians thereby allowing the secrecy of ingredients and production techniques to be protected. The inventors of these latter secrets were physicians, apothecaries, barbers, grocers, clergymen and ‘particular people’, laypersons with no specific (or specified) profession, as classified by the Venetian legislation itself.3 From the mid-sixteenth century onwards, alongside the ‘professional’ quacks who mostly sold secrets in the streets and squares by resorting to theatrical gimmicks, there were others who applied for licences to produce and sell secrets that had been devised thanks to their daily ‘diligent study and investigation’.4 Giuseppe Scutellio was one of these many ‘particular people’, but unlike most of them, who now exist in name only, his life and work can be quite thoroughly pieced together thanks to the survival of a fair amount of archival and bibliographic documentation.5 The focus on other ‘particular people’ such as Scutellio might actually reveal new research areas. In the French context Brockliss and Jones overcame the old popular/elite dichotomy and distinguished a ‘core’ consisting of the privileged corporations of the medical profession and a ‘penumbra’ of the others (healers, charlatans and women), while David Gentilcore explored in more depth the zone of the ‘penumbra’ for the Italian context.6 These authors have all highlighted the permeability of the structure, but the present article aims to document how ambiguous the very distinction between the ‘core’ and the ‘penumbra’ may sometimes be, as is the case of the so called ‘particular people’ here represented by Scutellio. Unlike the quacks investigated by Gentilcore, charlatanism did not represent for Scutellio a professional opportunity but a slander from which he had to defend himself and his secrets. He was vulnerable to such a charge because he had built his fortune on his secrets’ effectiveness and on his own reputation: he learned and practised medicine but he was not a physician; he invented original medicinal secrets but he was not an apothecary, nor he could rely on any membership of medical corporations or artisanal guilds. By contextualising the vicissitudes of an Italian family of producers and sellers of medicinal secrets, this article offers new perspectives on the concept of the ‘medical marketplace’.7 Indeed, the long afterlife of Scutellio’s remedies demonstrates that well into the eighteenth century not everything was ruled by competition, but, conversely, that a variety of ties (friendship, neighbourhood and kinship) were keeping alive an informal collaboration between commercial and domestic medicine. The final addition of Scutellio’s remedies to the official pharmacopoeia bears witness to a harmonious circulation of knowledge that invites us to evaluate the contribution of common people—men and women, neither charlatans, physicians, nor apothecaries—to the ‘core’ of the medical world. A Reputation to Uphold: Biographic Evidences, Documents and Printed Texts The events surrounding our story unfolded in and around Trent and Venice, Austria and the Venetian mainland. On 16 May 1703, Giuseppe Felice Maria Scutellio was summoned by the tax collector serving the Venetian health authorities (Provveditori alla Sanità) because he had failed to pay new duties for the manufacture and retailing of his authorised medicinal secrets. It was a mere formality that Scutellio straightened out on 11 June.8 This is the first and last time that he appears categorised as a ‘charlatan’ (ciarlatano) in the series of Venetian health records, presumably because at the time he was perceived as a ‘foreigner’ (foresto) coming from Trent to sell medicinal secrets in Venice, not unlike many other quacks. But in subsequent health authority documents, as well as other sources, he would always be called ‘cavaliere’ (knight) or ‘signor’ (sir). If we examine his self-representation we can see that in both his printed recipes and his books Scutellio claims to be ‘cavaliere del S.R.I.’ (knight of the Holy Roman Empire), ‘empirical and rational physician of the Most August House of Austria’, ‘citizen and nobleman of Trent’, and since at least 1710 ‘inhabitant in Venice’; he describes himself working with various institutions and local authorities, among which were those of Vienna, Innsbruck, Verona, Vicenza, Treviso and Venice. His claims can all been verified as being accurate: he was adopting the titles of ‘knight’ and ‘empirical physician’ conferred upon him by the Imperial Court in recognition of his successful treatment of the court painter in 1701; he was often required by health officers to supply local communities with his remedies; and he was a nobleman.9 In his first published book, two wooden coats of arms embellish pages 8 and 48: one belonged to Emperor Leopold I, who had conferred the title of physician of the House of Austria upon him; the other, showing a shield, a palm and a rampant lion, was the coat of arms of the Scutellio family.10 But let us now explore some biographic documentary evidence in more detail. Giuseppe Felice Maria Scutellio was born in Pergine, a small town near Trent, on November 1666 to the noble notary Carlo Antonio Scutellio and his wife Caterina. His godfather and godmother were both nobles and members of leading Tyrolean families.11 A handwritten compilation on the most prominent Trent families recounts that his father Carlo Antonio Scutellio had studied in Padua, where he was awarded a degree in canon and civil law. He then became a notary and local commissioner of the jurisdiction of Pergine and married Caterina Melchiori.12 Caterina, Giuseppe’s mother, was the only daughter of Girolamo Melchiori, a highly regarded physician in Trent who also twice served in the highest local political-administrative office in the years 1611 and 1628 as console.13 An imperial decree, dating to the sixteenth century, granted the status of citizens and aristocrats to both the Melchiori and the Scutellio families, both of which would then gain distinction thanks to a line of renowned physicians and public notaries.14 Caterina and Carlo’s marriage produced two sons: the firstborn Marco Antonio who followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a notary, and Giuseppe Felice Maria, who, as far as is known, did not obtain a degree in either law or medicine.15 It is unclear whether Giuseppe had undertaken medical studies in Bologna or in Padua without finishing them—a possibility that seems well founded if we look at the content of his published works. The Scutellio family was both quite well off and socially prominent and an abundance of notarial records from Trento testify to their prosperity. In August 1679 Carlo Antonio signed a contract with two master carpenters to furnish his new mansion (‘new lordly home’) near the Pergine Castle, in keeping with the requirements of his profession as collegiate notary: this contract entailed the installation of doors, windows and balconies, the outfitting of the huge octagonal Stube (Tyrolean stove) with columns, wardrobes, an escritoire and even paintings with carved frames similar to those that furnished the Chancery in Trento.16 Carlo Antonio also entered into several contracts for the acquisition of land, barns and stables, for home renovations and the collection of liquid assets from insolvent debtors. The purchases would continue until Carlo Antonio’s death in March 1694. Things changed radically in the following years, when Caterina was evidently obliged to resort to a series of sales that greatly diminished the size of the estate.17 In the meantime, in February 1696 when he was nearly 30 years old Giuseppe Scutellio married Francesca Mascotela, a non-noble from Cavalese in the Fiemme Valley (Trentino province).18 On 30 April 1698, from their union was born Carlo Antonio Jr, who, due to the looming risk of death, was baptised by the midwife. Again, the godfather and godmother in the ceremony were prominent members of the local nobility.19 The young couple lived with Giuseppe’s mother Caterina Melchiori. This is indicated both by Giuseppe’s presence at some of her notarial deeds and above all by Caterina’s involvement in his Venetian practice, as we will see below. These are the main biographical coordinates of Giuseppe Felice Maria Scutellio and his family in Trent. In 1710 or shortly before he moved to Venice, where he would definitely have benefited from a more lively market for his medicinal secrets, and where we do come across the feature that made him most akin to a quack: the sale of his products in St Mark’s Square—a practice he carried on until 1720. On 17 April 1714, the Procurators of St Mark de supra, who were the magistrates that among other duties managed public spaces in the heart of the city, granted ‘cavalier Scutellio’ permission to set up a stall to sell his medicinal secrets in St Mark’s Square at certain times of the year.20 This is confirmed by his first book, specifically published to be handed out to the public on festive occasions: near the end of the slim volume indeed, Scutellio urges his readers to ‘come to St Mark’s Square to pass the time and enjoy puppeteers and other curiosities [and to] seize the chance to stock up on your weekly or annual supply of medicinal secrets for the home’.21 Similar licences for Carnival had been issued since the 1600s to a whole spectrum of vendors and practitioners—ranging from sellers of cheese, aromatic waters and vegetables, to astrologers, harp players, tooth-drawers, charlatans and mountebanks.22 But in St Mark’s Square Giuseppe was only allowed to sell his medicinal remedies, not to perform theatrical demonstrations. Moreover, above and beyond festivals, St Mark’s Square served as a landmark in order to locate his Venetian dwelling. Apparently, at that time (1710), he had not been settled in the city for long and was not well known.23 Thus, in another passage in his first book, he explains that potential customers should go to the St Mark’s bell ringer in order to get his exact address—consequently avoiding having to ‘seek him out all over Venice, as has happened many a time’.24 Indeed, the first documentary attestation to the presence of the Scutellio family in Venice is dated 1711, when the tax office registered them as living in contrà (parish) San Maurizio, in calle (street) del Dose. The parish was centrally located, in the St Mark sestiere (district), the home was medium-sized, adequate for a small family, and cost them 34 ducats in rent per year: an average amount in all respects, considering that rents in the area ran from 15 to 60 ducats.25 In subsequent documents St Mark’s Square was no longer mentioned, and the dwelling in calle del Dose became the sole reference point for those who wished to purchase his medicinal secrets. If the square contributed to associating his name to that of a charlatan (or at least to a site frequented by charlatans and mountebanks too), many other features distinguished him from quackery. Giuseppe Scutellio crafted around ten secrets whose names were anything but high-sounding—unlike the bombastic names devised by quacks. Some were for internal use (named after the disease or the organ that they cured, such as ‘Worms’ or ‘Pains’ or ‘Nephritic powder’, etc.) and others for external use (plainly called ‘Balsam’ for various types of colic, etc.). Since ‘forms effect meaning’, let us take a look at the material features of the recipes that accompanied the sale of his secrets (see Figures 1 and 2).26 The text was decidedly simple: it was made up of small, neat characters, printed on fine watermarked paper, divided into sections introduced by titles in capital letters, so as to be clear to the reader. The only concession to decoration was a plain border made up of metal tools surrounding the text.27 There is a visible contrast here with the communicative potential of recipes printed by contemporary charlatans: some of those recipes were wholly red printed, others had the blank spaces of the page filled up with gaudy and crude woodcuts so as to leave no stone unturned in striving to excite the buyer’s imagination.28 It is not just the use of imagery, however, that distinguishes quack from non-quack recipes but the quality of the engraving and the extent of its use. Even apothecaries made use of recipes embellished with woodcuts or engraved vignettes. However, taken as a whole, their appearance was neater, more serious and regular than the lively but vulgar ones put out by charlatans, thus more resembling the Scutellio’s recipes.29 Fig. 1 View largeDownload slide ASV, Sanità, Terminazioni, b. (busta) 90, no. 54 Fig. 1 View largeDownload slide ASV, Sanità, Terminazioni, b. (busta) 90, no. 54 Fig. 2 View largeDownload slide ASV, Sanità, Terminazioni, b. 90, no. 54 Fig. 2 View largeDownload slide ASV, Sanità, Terminazioni, b. 90, no. 54 Let us now take a closer look at the books he published. Giuseppe Scutellio wrote two small books, in the handy and cheap duodecimo format (approx 14×8 cm): Li spaventosi riflessi sopra li vermi connatural’ inimici del corpo humano (Dreadful Reflections on Worms, natural enemies of human body, Figure 3) in 1710 and Il morir alla moda (A Fashionable Death, Figure 4) in 1721. They were both printed on paper of good quality, with fine characters and inking; the wide blank margins and small woodcut adornments confer an appearance of discreet elegance upon them. Can they be considered the product of a quack’s quill? The fairly hefty number of pages (80 and 235, respectively) already set them apart from the numerous tiny booklets put out by charlatans.30 As to their content, they easily reveal the level of Giuseppe’s medicinal knowledge. Of the 80 pages of Li spaventosi riflessi sopra li vermi, the first 26 are dedicated to Scutellio’s main medicinal secret, a vermifuge simply named ‘Vermi’ (Worms). He starts off with a theoretical introduction in which he describes the form, characteristics and symptomatology of the four types of worms that can feed off the human body and the symptoms they trigger. He then carefully goes through the reasons behind their proliferation in human beings. He acknowledges the research carried out by the physician and naturalist Francesco Redi (1626–97) on this matter, only diverging on the issue of their causes, since Scutellio clung to the ancient belief in the spontaneous generation of worms.31 Subsequently (pp 29–66) he arranges in alphabetical order (Ristretto alfabetico) the ailments that could be treated with his vermifuge along with his other ‘specific secrets and empirical remedies’. In each entry, the author also reports on a series of cases in which one of his secrets had been utilized, in tandem with a concise explanation of the circumstances and evolution of the illness. Giuseppe also provides the name, surname and, often, the age of the person cured, as well as profession and city of origin—even including the calle if from Venice (Figure 5). Concerns for privacy led him only to withhold information on individuals struck by venereal disease or pathologies of an exclusively female nature. Among Scutellio’s patients the Venetians were the most numerous and the most verifiable ones for the reader of his time, and sometimes for us too. Among the names appearing are those of nobles, but also of artisans and commoners such as the nephew of ‘Giuseppe Roinetti’, a bookseller active in the Mercerie (a neighbourhood of Venice near St Mark’s Square) who is also mentioned by the contemporary cosmographer Vincenzo Coronelli in his renowned guide to Venice.32 Figs. 3–4 View largeDownload slide Title pages of Scutellio’s printed works, BCT, TS I k 324 and TS I k 96 Figs. 3–4 View largeDownload slide Title pages of Scutellio’s printed works, BCT, TS I k 324 and TS I k 96 Fig. 5 View largeDownload slide BCT, TS I k 324 Fig. 5 View largeDownload slide BCT, TS I k 324 Fig. 6 View largeDownload slide BCT, TS I k 324 Fig. 6 View largeDownload slide BCT, TS I k 324 Undoubtedly Li spaventosi riflessi was an advertising tool, but the initial theoretical introduction to the pathology of worms with its references to Hippocrates, Galen and modern authorities such as Francesco Redi, together with the brief but detailed review of cases successfully treated, have no equivalent in any printed text by charlatans. Li spaventosi riflessi can be placed in the category of a medical production of ancient Galenic pedigree, within which the curationes or case histories were set out with a purpose that was both scientific and self-promoting. From the late Renaissance, accounts of cures had also begun to pad out texts on medical theory in addition to standing as collections on their own. Recent studies have noted an affinity between this kind of professional output (Amato Lusitano’s in particular, as well as Cardano’s) and that of the empirical therapists who underlined the effectiveness of their medicinal secrets by citing the testimonies recorded by notaries before the Italian protomedicati.33 In the same vein, an affinity can be detected between these notarial attestations, which piled up in the Italian health authorities’ archives between the sixteenth and the eighteenth centuries, and Scutellio’s exposition of case histories. Nonetheless, there remains a substantial distinction to be drawn: in the cases of empirical therapists, notaries would sanction the reliability of witnesses whose names meant nothing to the larger community; whereas, in regard to Scutellio, who never submitted notarial attestations to the health authorities, his witnesses’ trustworthiness was verifiable by whomever wished to track down individuals whose exact Venetian address he provided. Furthermore, his descriptions of cases of recoveries, or ‘experiences’ (as he repeatedly termed them), have a meaning in and of themselves which reflects the highly positive and even epistemological value that experience had already acquired in the second half of the seventeenth century.34 And, as we will see, there was an expansion of case history descriptions in Il morir alla moda (1721). For a decade Giuseppe Scutellio’s business went well, but in 1721 he reported an ‘overwhelming torrent of slander that flooded the world’: attacks had caused a collapse in sales of his specifics in Venice and prompted him to take up his pen to defend himself with his second book, Il morir alla moda—over 200 pages of spirited defence against accusations of quackery which aimed to place his medical and scientific expertise on display.35 Claiming an expertise that divorced him from the image of a mountebank, he employed sophisticated Latin rhetorical devices, references to the theoretical, philosophical and historical foundations of medicine. He cited Galen and Hippocrates and various modern physicians such as Jacques Houllier (1500?–62); Hippocrates’ commentator and lecturer in Paris; Alessandro Massaria (1510–98), first ordinary professor of practical medicine in Padua; Guillaume Rondelet (1507–66), zoologist, anatomist and professor of medicine in Montpellier; the late sixteenth- to early seventeenth-century physician Walter Bruell, author of a highly popular text of practical medicine that was translated into various European languages; and, very frequently, he quoted the Irishman Neil O’Glacan (1563–1653), professor at the Studio of Bologna.36 Scutellio also protested that he had always shown respect, publicly as well as privately, for ‘esteemed physicians and chemists, professors and apothecaries of Venice’.37 This deference towards official medicine shows an attitude far removed from the irreverent approach of charlatans who, in their little pamphlets, mocked the medical profession and extolled the quack’s virtues.38 At the same time he provided important clues as to how he perceived his own practice in relation to that of medical professionals. He definitely considered, and conducted, himself as a physician: from some of his recorded cures we can infer that he made home visits, gave advice when solicited and even allowed patients to wake him up at night in urgent cases.39 Scutellio considered envy to be the true cause behind accusations of quackery. The word ‘envy’ appears only once in Il morir alla moda, but it is in a key position, within a sonnet placed at the opening of the book: ‘Envy turned against you her deadly tooth’.40 And one document in particular supports his conviction that envy was triggered precisely by his behaving like a physician. On 6 May 1720, more or less at the time when rumours about his charlatanism had spread out in Venice, he was brought before the provveditori alla Sanità for having given a 9-year-old girl pills and other medications without acquiring the necessary authorisation.41 This was the only charge. In other words Scutellio was not put on trial because of a negative outcome of his cure or for therapeutic errors, but because the girl’s parents had reported that his medications were not authorised. It is likely that the child’s parents had been induced to undertake this action by one or more physicians—the only people who could have been bothered by such an irregularity. Indeed home physicians might have resented him for his professional behaviour, not only concocting (successful) secrets without taking the trouble to obtain the necessary authorisation, but visiting patients in their homes round the clock. Scutellio was harshly punished for his offence: he was sentenced to pay a 50-ducat fine, and the licences for his authorised secrets were suspended for two months. As a result of this incident he also decided to seek the due approvals for the still unauthorised secrets. On 1 October 1720 he applied to the provveditori alla Sanità for permission to turn the internal remedies (syrups) for which he had been prosecuted into ‘pills which will be less disgusting for the sick’ and would prevent his patients from developing nausea. Again, this concern for the well being of his patients clearly set him apart from charlatans, who did not care in the slightest about the disagreeable or violent effects their secrets could have on their customers’ bodies.42 Rather, it reveals his closeness to the concerns of more professional practitioners—such as apothecaries and physicians—who cared for the wellness of patients during therapy.43 Scutellio’s petition also offers evidence of his education, another element that distances him from quacks, who would usually rely on the services of scribes to conceal their poor education. His cursive penmanship is regular and adorned with elegant flourishes, the page layout is airy and his Italian is soberly correct.44 There is nothing extravagant or flamboyant in either his textual formulae or in the appearance of his handwriting, which is the product of an expert and firm hand (Figure 6). Fig. 7 View largeDownload slide ASV, Sanità, Terminazioni, b. 90, no. 54 Fig. 7 View largeDownload slide ASV, Sanità, Terminazioni, b. 90, no. 54 A Family Business: Giuseppe, Caterina, Francesca and Carlo Antonio jr As we have previously seen, the Scutellio and Melchiori families could boast a long lineage of lawyers and physicians, whose cultural influence is visible in the pages of Giuseppe’s printed books, too. We can gather additional information about Giuseppe’s medical practice from some personal observations at the end of the main section of Li spaventosi riflessi (1710), where he emphatically acknowledges of the skills of the women of his small family. Although his medicinal secrets were authorised solely in his name and he alone seems to have attended to their production, his notes suggest that it was a family business.45 Giuseppe compares his wife, Francesca, to himself not only as far as her practical ability in concocting medicinal secrets was concerned, but also in regard to her knowledge of pathologies and their treatment: [It is a fact that] my wife possesses a full and perfect knowledge of all my aforementioned Arcana, as well as others yet to be noted, as she does all manners of concocting them and producing them, but, what is more, she is also knowledgeable as to illnesses and how to treat them as I do. And to bear this out, let it be known that the very same compounds that have been dispensed by me in Venice, with their subsequent effects, were made by the above-mentioned lady, my wife; this will serve to allay any qualms.46 Giuseppe continues by evoking the memory of his deceased mother, to whom he attributes absolute competence in the field of medicinal secrets used by women, especially those regarding reproduction: The same [my wife], in regard to pregnant women and those giving birth, possesses great Rarities, passed on to her by my late mother, who was an Empiric and without peer in such areas: so that, as a virtue more proper to being practiced by women rather than by men in such illnesses, she is able to serve in helping whomever is in need when beckoned to do so.47 (Figure 7) While his appreciation of his mother’s competence seems to be limited to the gynaecological field, in the case of his wife Francesca this legitimisation encompasses all the secrets and therapeutic knowledge of which he himself possessed.48 What is most interesting is that in both cases female involvement was boasted by Scutellio as a guarantee of quality and as a source of trust for potential customers, but that he did not care at all to mention that his mother was the daughter of a well-known physician in Trento (Girolamo Melchiori) and belonged to the local nobility. The figure of Caterina Melchiori, noblewoman and ‘empiric’, immediately evokes comparisons with certain German and English women who, in the late sixteenth century, distinguished themselves for their charitable and occasionally commercial commitment to the treatment of the sick. The talents of such accomplished ladies often transcended household boundaries, extending to the local or wider community. In spite of her roots in the minor provincial nobility, Caterina resembled those female figures of a much higher social background—aristocratic or court ladies—who have often been the focus of studies on domestic medicine.49 Caterina’s connection to the medical professions is implicit in her being the (maybe the only) daughter and heir of a distinguished physician. Thus we can infer that her medical knowledge originated in her family ties and in access to her father’s medical library.50 Certainly, the fact that her son Giuseppe might have used both his maternal grandfather’s medical library and his father’s legal library is suggested by his familiarity not just with learned medical texts but with the rhetorical devices typically used by the legal profession in the tightly woven arguments of his indignant self-defence of 1721. We may suppose that, like many European noblewomen, Caterina Melchiori tried out her therapeutic practices in her neighbourhood or, at least within circles quite wider than her family unit so as to acquire considerable skills and experience—her ‘great Rarities— as her son recounts, and become a source of knowledge for him and her daughter-in-law. It is significant that in the texts written to certify the quality of his secrets—and, above all, in the one penned in order to counter the rumours of quackery—Giuseppe did not claim to derive his authority from his esteemed and learned maternal grandfather, nor did he boast of the several physicians and jurists amongst his ancestors on both sides in both his and his wife’s families. Rather, he focused on his mother as an ‘empiric’. By using the definition of ‘empiric’, there was no perception of anything inferior, neither on the author’s part nor on the part of the reader—quite the contrary. This offers us a completely different perspective on the figure of the vetula (old, female healer), so frequently derided in early modern literature, suggesting that, especially for the common people, this was perhaps more of a cliché than reality.51 It was a cliché in that it was emphasised by physicians wishing to stigmatise women who, thanks to their acquired experience and knowledge, could prove to be awkward business rivals.52 Presumably in everyday life things went quite differently, a great variety of female figures, in terms of class, age, education and practice, enjoyed high and widespread regard as medical agents. An Inherited Hybrid Book: Recipes for the Family and for Sale Doubt has recently been cast on one of the key theories of the evolution of the medical marketplace: that home produced remedies were progressively supplanted by commercial medicines between the seventeenth and the early eighteenth century. To counter this view one needs only consider the inventories of medicinal substances discovered among the Freke family papers (1710, 1712), where remedies produced in the home are listed next to those purchased on the market as half-finished products or as ready for use; or the case of the German and English noblewomen who produced their own secret remedies to be distributed freely to the destitute and to be offered up for sale.53 Although the matter has not yet been investigated for Italy, here too, as the Scutellio’s case suggests, the distinction between production for private (charitable and free of charge) and for public (commercial) use of medicinal remedies appears to be artificial.54 Evidence of the contiguity and osmosis between these practices is provided by the repeated references in Scutellio’s printed works and in archival documents to the existence of a case-book that, as far as we know, has not survived. These sources, however, do allow us to get a sense of what the structure and contents of this manuscript might have been. Scutellio opened his alphabetical listing of pathologies in Li spaventosi riflessi with the statement that he had chosen to publish only some of his cases and in succinct form, but that these could all be consulted, in full, in the ‘Book and Register … that is in my possession and kept up with all diligence’ (Figure 8).55 This is the first allusion to an ‘Original book’, a manuscript, that Giuseppe Scutellio regularly updated with great care at home. It was organised in the same way as the printed book, by the name of the illness, but included a much wider collection of cases or ‘experiences’/‘experiments’, as Scutellio called them, than the ones printed in Li spaventosi riflessi. The manuscript must have been voluminous in view of the cross-references to its pages in Li spaventosi riflessi (e.g. ‘to page 189 in the Original book and the pages that follow’ and Figure 5). Practically all the cures set out and printed in Li spaventosi riflessi had previously received a much longer and more articulate treatment in the manuscript case-book jealously preserved at home. Fig. 8a–e View largeDownload slide BCT, TS I k 324 Fig. 8a–e View largeDownload slide BCT, TS I k 324 In Scutellio’s printed book, Il morir alla moda (1721), we find a sample of the details which could have been recorded in his domestic manuscript. This book no longer cross-references the manuscript pages, but the ‘experiences’ are described in far greater detail than in Li spaventosi riflessi. The usual patient coordinates—name and surname, occupation, age, parish of residence and year of recovery—are enriched in Il morir alla moda by the day and month of recovery, as well as by any changes of the patient’s address after the time of treatment, in order to allow the reader to verify Scutellio’s account. Furthermore, Il morir alla moda includes a much more thorough narrative of each case or ‘experience’, starting from any fruitless prior treatments by physicians, surgeons, apothecaries or non-professionals.56 Sometimes Scutellio also takes pains to describe arduous journeys by gondola to bring the patient to his house in Calle del Dose. His diagnosis, formulated with medical terminology, is followed by notes on the progress of the illness and on the varied application and dosage of his medicinal secrets, as harmonised with different constitutions and conditions.57 If Li spaventosi riflessi were only a short selection of Scutellio’s ‘experiences’, the cases described in Il morir alla moda perhaps more closely resemble those in the original manuscript book. The ‘originals’ noted down in the home manuscript were even lengthier and richer in detail: Scutellio’s manuscript, produced in the field of the medical literature of treatments and case histories, was not so different from the casebook of an early eighteenth-century physician. Still more than his printed works, it was his original manuscript that reflected the Baconian climate of the time.58 Shying away from any sort of speculation and steering clear of any theoretical debates, it testified to the probative and cognitive value of the repeated experimentation and observation of the effects of his secrets. Indeed, as Scutellio also argued in his published works, echoing the Baconian language, it was not the accidental experience but replicated experiments guided by reason that constituted his proving ground and his cultural environment.59 Further information about the contents of the manuscript comes down to us from the final annotations of Li spaventosi riflessi, where, after having acknowledged the role played by his wife Francesca and recalled the abilities of his mother, he explains to the reader: Beyond the knowledge, which my wife retains as to all of my aforementioned Arcana held in my heart, [I tell you] of having set them forth in writing in this Book with diligence and distinction so that all may concoct them, & use them as I know how to; the manner of their composition, their use, and distinction of illnesses is revealed in the Book, Treasure and great Wealth that I leave to my son Carlo who is 11 years of age. … As I am unable to teach my son everything perfectly, I have not failed to employ the above-mentioned diligence.60 (Figures 7b, e ) The manuscript ‘Book’, containing recipes for the correct production of the secrets offered for sale, was a hybrid: halfway between a family recipe collection explaining ‘the manner of the composition [and] the use’ of secret remedies, and a collection of case histories that served as a guide to their application and at the same time advertised them commercially. It was the concrete result of meticulous observation, a useful tool in the advertising of his secrets and, as the language suggests, it was also a priceless asset, destined to be inherited by his son, and thus to perpetuate the family medical knowledge.61 Indeed the multiple references to its pages in Li spaventosi riflessi, like the lines of the Annotationi that introduce it to the reader, are implicit invitations to come to Scutellio’s house in San Maurizio to leaf through its pages. This invitation is made explicit in one of his recipes and in the closing of Il morir alla moda: Anyone wishing to consult on matters of theory is invited [by the author] to his home in Calle del Dose in San Maurizio, in which, and not elsewhere, they can find the licensed secrets and the aforementioned Book.62 Through his manuscript, Giuseppe Scutellio not only offered his customers secrets they could purchase but also notions of medical theory, and explanations of how these products came into being—to the extent that, if they so wished, they would be able to reproduce them in their own home. By promoting his house as a retail outlet, Scutellio underscores the contemporary importance of the household as a site of scientific research, and one that opens its doors to practice, fostering the popularisation of medical knowledge and guiding common people towards becoming ‘smart’ consumers.63 From a 1721 recipe we also learn that the title of Scutellio’s ponderous handwritten book, which has not survived, was called Empirica (Figure 2, see zoomed line).64 Once again, the title gives the measure of the evidentiary value that Scutellio attributed to experience—provided that this was repeated and meticulously recorded, and that it was replicable and comparable.65 Scutellio had prepared his hybrid book, first and foremost, for his wife and son, and then for whoever might end up inheriting the production of his secret remedies, so as to be able to concoct them effectively and ‘without having any concerns as to their perfection, which is undoubted’.66 Clearly, the future he envisaged for the manufacture of his secrets was still that of a small business on a family scale and, indeed, this is how it carried on for many years, passing from his son’s hands to those of friends and, eventually, becoming the property of apothecaries. Friendship and Neighbourly Ties: The Scutellio and Cimolin Households Giuseppe Scutellio died on 18 January 1730 at 64 years of age. The funeral was solemnly conducted in contrà San Maurizio with all the parish clergymen in attendance, and the annotation in the death register is concluded with an observation that was wholly uncommon for that source, a nearly affectionate aside: ‘he has lived in our quarter for around 20 years’.67 Sources subsequent to Scutellio’s death make amends for the slander of quackery that had circulated against him and for the trials and travails he had undergone in life, restoring his medicinal secrets’ lofty reputation and, indirectly, his own. On 14 March 1730, his widow, Francesca Mascotela and his son, Carlo Antonio Jr, then 32 years old, asked the Venetian health authorities for permission to carry on the family business of producing and dispensing authorised medicinal secrets.68 Mother and son worked together for 15 years, until 1745, when Carlo Antonio Scutellio entered into a business partnership with a certain Antonio Cimolin, succeeding the by now aged Francesca.69 We know neither the exact date or the circumstances of the death of Scutellio’s widow, but it seems to have been around 1745.70 Francesca Mascotela thus remains one of the many industrious female practitioners who lived in the shadows of the sources, even though she was as active as her husband in producing secret remedies and treating the sick. In January 1755, Carlo Antonio Scutellio cut off the last tie to his Tridentine origins by giving up the Scutellio family’s pew in Trent cathedral to prominent acquaintances from that city, with all of the connected ‘privileges, pre-eminence and prerogatives … because he believes he will no longer travel to that area’.71 Bearing witness to the document drawn up in Venice was again the abovementioned Antonio Cimolin, who was destined to play a fundamental role in subsequent events. Up to 1755, both Cimolin and Scutellio lived in contrà San Vidal, adjoining that of San Maurizio where the Scutellio family had once resided: they were friends and business partners as well as being neighbours. Indeed, Carlo Antonio Scutellio Jr died aged 62 in 1759, leaving Antonio Cimolin as the sole remaining professional producer of Scutellio’s secret remedies.72 By this point, the secrets had attained such a reputation that Antonio was often mentioned in documents with the double surname ‘Cimolin Scutellio’, or ‘Cimolin called Scutellio’, which he would pass down to his descendants. In 1760s, the laws regulating the granting of medication licences became more restrictive— so much so that they gave rise to a new and bountiful archival series of documents made up of petitions, recipes with their ingredients and production methods, as well as the authorities’ responses to said petitions.73 All of the licences that had been issued up to that time were revoked. Consequently, Antonio Cimolin submitted an application to the provveditori alla Sanità to request that his licence be renewed under the new regulations. In his petition, he pointed out that he had dedicated himself since 1745 to the production of Scutellio’s secret remedies and emphasised how ‘readily apparent is the fame, by way of divine providence, of the salutary effects derived from them to the benefit of the people who by virtue of their particular need have tested them’.74 The authorities, exceptionally, renewed the licence in short order without subjecting the medications to any testing, on the grounds of the ‘reputation that with experience the secrets had acquired’.75 And over the years further confirmation emerged of the very high regard in which Scutellio’s secrets were held by the competent authorities, who clearly distinguished them from those concocted by charlatans.76 The production and retailing of Scutellio’s secrets went on throughout the eighteenth century as a family business that gradually and almost imperceptibly was absorbed into the circuits of official pharmacopoeia thanks to friendship and family connections. A curious document from 1777 provides a glimpse into the rhythms of Antonio Cimolin-Scutellio’s life. In March of that year, he asked to be allowed to withdraw from his duties with the charity caring for the poor in his parish.77 As Cimolin explained, ‘I am occupied in the countryside from the beginning of April to the end of August, where I select and gather herbs and other items necessary for the production of the said [Scutellio’s] balms. Who shall replace me and who shall work by my side during the time of my absence I know not, having neither workshop nor store of any sort, and having my only son engaged in the surgical profession’.78 So, the head of a small family unit and a highly regarded resident in his neighbourhood, he spent five months every year gathering herbs on the mainland. And as with the Scutellios, Cimolin’s secrets continued to be managed in the domestic environment by a small family nucleus, consisting of Antonio, his wife and only son, living at a short distance from where they were originally produced and commercialised, in the adjacent parish. Notwithstanding the silence of sources on the matter, we can presume that during Antonio’s absences from home, his wife Anna Maria Paruzio ran the retail business of selling secret remedies from home, helped by her stepson, Girolamo.79 This is corroborated by the wording of a printed recipe from the 1770s, which mentions that ‘… said balms and said secrets are dispensed solely by Mr. Antonio Cimolin and his son, Girolamo, in Venice in San Vidal’.80 Ironically, this flyleaf also confirms that with his death Scutellio shook off the accusations of quackery which had dogged him, and that he was even described as a ‘physician’, a title which he had been denied during his life-time: ‘the Marvellous homogeneous balms of the Most Illustrious Mister Giuseppe Maria Felice Scutellio knight of the Holy Roman Empire, physician of the august House of Austria’.81 It is worth noting that Girolamo Cimolin’s career choice—surgery—was, in many regards, a result of the medical knowledge he had acquired in a household which specialised in the production of medicinal secrets: he could use them in his cures and his practice attested to their effectiveness. Such complementarity therefore benefited the medical activities of all family members.82 Doctor Scutellio’s Secrets and the Hybrid Book Enter Pharmacies Thanks to an Invisible Woman Giuseppe Scutellio was still defined as a ‘doctor’, without any hint of irregularity, in a printed recipe from the early nineteenth century. It advertised the Singular virtues of the balm entitled Donum Dei of the excellent doctor Giuseppe Maria Felice Scutellio of Trent, which is exclusively produced and sold at the Ombrella apothecary shop in campo Santo Stefano (Figure 9).83 This recipe—printed with the usual sobriety of layout: a well-spaced text in two columns bordered by a wooden frame—testifies to the entry of the most renowned and versatile of Scutellio’s medicinal secrets into an apothecary’s shop: a febrifuge that in the meantime had taken on the more attractive name Donum Dei (God’s Gift). But other secrets of Scutellio’s had entered the official pharmacopoeia since the end of the eighteenth century onwards. Fig. 9 View largeDownload slide Scutellio, Li spaventosi riflessi, 29 Fig. 9 View largeDownload slide Scutellio, Li spaventosi riflessi, 29 Let us now clarify how this happened and the role played in this process by a strong-willed and independent female apothecary unknown to the sources of the apothecaries’ guild, Anna Maria Ferramonti. Once again events unfolded in the context of neighbourhood and friendship between Anna Maria and the surgeon Girolamo Cimolin. From the late seventeenth century the Ferramonti family had run the Ombrella (Umbrella) apothecary shop in campo Santo Stefano, at the very heart of the San Vidal parish.84 In 1769, upon the death of her widowed father, Anna Maria Ferramonti was nearly 50 years old, unmarried, and lived together with a widower cousin of the same age, Domenico Sr, and a 10-year-old nephew, Domenico Jr, entrusted to her care in order to learn the apothecary’s trade.85 Leafing through the records of the apothecaries’ guild relative to those years, it can be seen how from February 1769 the cousin, Domenico Sr, also a master apothecary, replaced Anna Maria’s father until his own death in 1775. From 1776 to 1791 there is no further record of a master apothecary’s presence at the Ombrella.86 However, this gap does not at all signify that the apothecary shop had gone out of business, it simply implies that it was being wholly run by a woman who was not allowed to formally act as an apothecary.87 Indeed, in contrast to the Venetian silk guild which had been opened to women in the mid-eighteenth century, and differing from trades such as knitting or glass-bead making where female work was clearly envisaged in the guild’s by-laws, many occupations, such as apothecary or printer, statutorily barred women from holding any guild-related titles, even if women’s participation was accepted in the everyday practice of an apothecary’s or printer’s shop—above all in the frequent cases of widowhood.88 The actual role of women can often be sketched out only by piecing together evidence scattered in different types of sources, rather than by way of the guilds’ reticent documentation, as has been demonstrated for a female presence in the running of barber-surgeon shops in early modern Turin.89 Notarial sources, indeed, can tell us much more about Anna Maria Ferramonti’s professional life. As stated in various notarial documents, from the very time of her father’s death Anna Maria—and not Domenico Sr—was the sole and legitimate owner of the shop’s sign (inviamento) and its capital as made up of medicines and equipment.90 It was always Anna Maria who went to the notary to collect on old medicinal credits that her father had not managed to recover or else to demand the payment of more recent ones.91 It was she who set prices and sought payments. Moreover, she managed not only the business of the shop but also financial investments stemming from the profits this made. And after Domenico Sr’s death, it was Anna Maria alone who dealt with the entire managerial and professional side of the apothecary shop, employing apprentices who were accommodated in a wing of her home and worked under her close supervision. It is readily apparent that Anna Maria’s role in the apothecary was not merely administrative but also entailed a real pharmaceutical expertise, even though she was officially uncertified and invisible to the guild’s documentary sources. She had presumably acquired the skills of a master apothecary by working beside her father first and then her cousin over the course of a long informal training, while Domenico Sr had placed not just his professionalism but, most importantly, his representative role in the apothecaries’ guild at his cousin’s service.92 As to the nature of the relationship that connected Anna Maria Ferramonti with the surgeon Girolamo Cimolin, we must turn to her last will which sheds light on the longstanding collaboration between the two professionals. On the occasion of a minor illness in 1779, the 58-year-old Anna decided to set down a will in which the then 29-year-old Girolamo Cimolin had a primary role.93 As far as the apothecary shop was concerned, she left half to her nephew Domenico Jr, then nearly 20 years old, ‘who lives with me, and who is employed in the service of my above-mentioned shop’ and the other half I leave to the aforementioned Mr Girolamo Cimolin called Scutellio, so that they will enjoy it together, and I command that the sole director, administrator and handler of shop funds be the said Mr Girolamo without crippling dependency, nor interference by the aforementioned Domenico as if he were his son, already knowing how much I can rely on his upright conscience.94 Interestingly, the relationship between Domenico Jr and Cimolin was conceived of by Anna Maria like the bond between father and son, even though the age difference between the two young men was far from significant (less than 10 years). Her real purpose was to transfer to Girolamo the authority she had over Domenico Jr, making their professional relationship quasi-parental.95 Girolamo was to take over the financial management of the apothecary shop, and if Domenico contested his running of the shop, he would be disinherited, ‘having entirely the duty to recognize him as father’ and of ‘obeying and respecting [Girolamo] as if he were father and myself in the same person’. More equal than the parental bond, that remained of mere subordination, the tie between Anna Maria and Girolamo was grounded in esteem and human and professional trust, consolidated over years of living in close proximity to one another and evidently of working together: As administrator, and sole executor of this my last will and testament, I appoint, name and request that the aforementioned Girolamo Cimolin called Scutellio, to whom I confer all rights, freedom and authority as if I were acting myself, requesting that he assumes such burden and responsibility to complete the assistance he has given to my own affairs during my life, and signifying him all my due gratitude, which is less than what I would like to be able to prove to him.96 Indeed until August 1787, Anna Maria Ferramonti would leave behind notarial traces of herself, often having Girolamo Cimolin act in her stead, going so far as to eventually name him her proxy for financial and legal deeds.97 It is plausible that the close collaboration with the surgeon Girolamo Cimolin also led to the commercialisation of Scutellio’s secrets at the Ombrella apothecary during Anna Maria Ferramonti’s lifetime. And if not in her lifetime, immediately after she died, aged 66 in 1788, when Girolamo became the sole manager of the shop.98 A few years later, a further twist brought back to the Ferramontis the management and the full ownership of the Ombrella pharmacy. On 4 August 1794, Girolamo Cimolin died at 44 years of age.99 His father Antonio Cimolin, who had been Carlo Antonio Scutellio’s business partner since 1745, was now very old and embittered, as is evident from the will that he set down in the same year, 1794 (Figure 10). He immediately sold off all of his son’s assets, including half of the shop, which was purchased by Domenico Ferramonti Jr for the market price of 3,500 ducats.100 In his last will, remembering among the beneficiaries the young Domenico Jr ‘my friend grocer of drugs at the Ombrella’, the old Antonio Cimolin ordered the drawing up of an inventory of his properties and, finally, gave precise instructions regarding the famous Scutellio’s handwritten book, with which we have come to be familiar: Beyond which, finding myself alone in possession of the Book of All the Secrets of Knight Scutellio, I do so order and wish that of the proceeds from the sale of said book, which I shall later arrange, and of the capital interests as well, will be enjoyed only by her [i.e. my wife Anna Maria Paruzio] in her lifetime.101 Fig. 10 View largeDownload slide Printed recipe, BCT, TFV I c 1411 Fig. 10 View largeDownload slide Printed recipe, BCT, TFV I c 1411 After having named his executors, he urged them to sell Giuseppe Scutellio’s book to the highest bidder, ‘with possible greater advantage for my estate’.102 Upon Antonio Cimolin’s death, the Ferramontis of the Ombrella apothecary shop in campo Santo Stefano also purchased the manuscript containing Scutellio’s curationes and secret recipes, which would go on being produced and sold—almost until the twentieth century—by the same pharmacy. More precisely, it was the widow Anna Maria Paruzio Cimolin ‘called Scutellio’—the last inheritor of the inventor’s surname—who sold the book and formulas by private deed to Domenico Ferramonti Jr in exchange for a lifetime annuity (1806).103 Later the apothecary shop, together with the manuscript and secret remedies, passed to the Galvanis, also pharmacists and chemists for generations; and finally to Antonio Galvani’s son-in-law, Girolamo Dian, who was a gifted chemist and the foremost modern historian of Venetian pharmacopoeia (Figure 11).104 Indeed, in 1900, it was Dian in his Cenni storici sulla farmacia veneta (Historical Account of Pharmacies in the Veneto) who revealed some ingredients of Giuseppe Scutellio’s recipes, drawing on the hybrid family manuscript whose traces have now vanished. Dian recounted that there were still customers who would ask for Scutellio’s febrifuge Donum Dei and that gondoliers recalled another of Scutellio’s salves among those generously donated by patrician families to the poorest to treat rheumatism and to heal wounds and bruises.105 In the early twentieth century the fame of Scutellio’s secrets was still alive. Fig. 11 View largeDownload slide ASV, Notarile atti, II serie, Angelo Maria Casser, b. 493, no. 74 Fig. 11 View largeDownload slide ASV, Notarile atti, II serie, Angelo Maria Casser, b. 493, no. 74 Fig. 12 View largeDownload slide Printed recipe, Private collection Fig. 12 View largeDownload slide Printed recipe, Private collection The Circle Closes: From Modern Empiricism to the Apothecary Shop Thus, in an apothecary, we come to the end the story of secrets devised by a ‘particular person’—according to the definition of Venetian legislation—who, through biographical research, has acquired a remarkably complex profile. As during the previous centuries, in eighteenth-century Venice, alongside the quasi-professional charlatans and the ‘nefarious sect of quacks, empirics, occultists, impostors and the like who have not been approved’, plenty of ordinary people were inventing medicinal secrets. But unlike in previous centuries, charlatanism could be used as a slander against a regular (authorised) figure such as Giuseppe Scutellio. What had changed in the meantime? It looks as if charlatanry, from a professional (and accepted when not sought as a career) category, had turned into a moral (and blameworthy) category. Giuseppe Scutellio’s life is a perfect testament to such a transition period. A possible reason for this shift in meaning, which should be supported by investigation of other ‘particular persons’ like Scutellio, is linked to the peculiar cultural climate of the long eighteenth century. The secrets’ selection criteria by the Venetian Health authorities and the licence granting process were increasingly standardised and recorded in writing and the testing procedure for the most original secrets was becoming more methodical and articulated; even if formalised by law only in 1763.106 The distinction of secrets into two categories had deep roots, and was gradually adopted so as better to marginalise and eliminate non-original and quackery secrets.107 Recording, categories and distinction/separation provide the foundation for stigmatisation, and probably they contributed to creating the climate in which charlatanry could be used as an accusation against a figure like Scutellio, who was a particularly fragile subject since he did not enjoy the protection afforded by membership of any medical guild or college. Giuseppe Scutellio was the offspring of the same cultural climate which rendered more efficient the selection criteria for the best secrets. He showed in his secrets and works the very delicate period of transition from ancient to modern medical empiricism. His lack of a traditional medical training led him to evaluate to the highest degree the positive role of experience. However, it was a methodical and reasoned experience that was distinct from ancient empiricism; it never aimed to discover hidden causes but only trusted things as they appeared to senses.108 As we have seen in his printed book Il morir alla moda, the modern authorities to whom he often referred were mainly lecturers/professors in whose career and works (mainly of medical practice) observation plays a key role. Among them he cites with greatest frequency Neil O’Glacan, whose descriptions of symptoms and disease are remarkable for the time, and whose pioneering research in pathological anatomy caused his contemporaries to consider him a forerunner of Malpighi.109 In his Il morir alla moda Scutellio celebrates the pivotal concepts of modern medical empiricism, Reason and Experience, which are the refrain of so many of his pages and protagonists of his metaphorical discourse—they are two unsurpassed columns, the legs of the perfect physician, etc. He also insists on the necessity of testing everything repeatedly, primarily all of his own secrets, for observing their effects on different human constitutions.110 Scutellio’s rational empiricism gives experience—and recorded experience in particular—a very positive evaluation, in the same way medical authorities had started to do. His hybrid manuscript—like his printed books which provide a synthesis of his curationes—offer a perfect idea of the greater weight given during the long eighteenth century to methodical observation, description and repetition of experiences. The work is comprised of first-hand reports with scrupulous attention towards the particular and the individual (name, age, place, progression of disease, recovery, etc.), which concluded with an invitation to readers to try the recipes of his secrets. Scutellio transmitted all his enthusiasm for experience in devising new remedies, but had to make up for the fact that he acted outside the protective sphere of a guild or professional college. For this reason he had to fight against the slander of charlatanism to defend his reputation, a reputation meticulously built up during his whole life by fashioning himself as a reliable practitioner—in an era when such categories were still being defined—and a trusted healer who sold his secrets from his home and visited patients in their own houses. He won this struggle through his inventions, as evidenced in the posthumous aknowledgement by the authorities of the originality and effectivness of his secrets. Scutellio’s example and what happened to his secrets are both ordinary and exceptional. His story was ordinary in that he was only one of the many ‘particular persons’/not-charlatans who devised, within a household, some medical remedies and decided to start up a small family business of secrets. Equally ordinary is how Scutellio’s secrets ended up in the apothecary shop, since from the end of the eighteenth century the policy of the Venetian Health authorities was to urge private people who manufactured effective secrets to sell them through apothecaries.111 If the provveditori alla Sanità had tolerated private houses to be lively production and selling points from the sixteenth century, during the late eighteenth century and onwards apothecaries were urged to take over existing small family businesses. What is beyond doubt exceptional about Scutellio is the amount of documentation that exists. Nevertheless, there is reason to investigate other less well documented ‘particular people’ whose existence deserves our consideration: such study would allow us to compare Scutellio’s case with the vicissitudes of other ‘particular people’, that might reveal unsuspected panoramas. The story of Scutellio’s secrets reveals a harmonious mingling of domestic and commercial medicine in a century which is better known for the pervasive role of the medical market. As for his domestic medicine, Scutellio not only opened his home to patients, but described his medical practice as a family business in which his mother and his wife played a key role. This means that both Scutellio and his patients ascribed a strong positive value to the family medical tradition and the cumulative experience which women also helped to build and maintain. These many factors show a long-lasting evaluation of domestic medicine as well as a positive consideration of women which can be hard to trace in the sources, as early modern history is often overwhelmed by the massive amount of negative print literature circulating on the commonplace of the vetula. This case study has also brought to light a harmonious web of relationships woven among families, neighbourhoods and friends who participated in the transmission of Scutellio’s remedies. These relationships between inventors of secrets, surgeons and apothecaries can hardly be categorised as competitive. Rather, they appear as strong as kinship ties, which entailed a high degree of integration between different forms of medicine, such as those practised at home and from the licensed shop, by officially qualified practitioners and empirics alike. Undoubtedly, once they obtained their place among the remedies sold in a pharmacy, Giuseppe Scutellio’s secrets, a blend of academic and empirical knowledge synthesised within the household, represented an enrichment for the official pharmacopoeia. Acknowledgements I am deeply grateful to my anonymous readers, who helped me to enhance this article through their sharp and precise comments as well as through their insightful vision into issues regarding the social history of medicine. A special thanks to the editors of this journal and to Patricia Skinner particularly for her assistance in the final revision of the text. Footnotes 1 David Gentilcore, Medical Charlatanism in Early Modern Italy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006). 2 The evolution of the Venetian legislation is outlined in Sabrina Minuzzi, Sul filo dei segreti. Farmacopea, libri e pratiche terapeutiche a Venezia in età moderna (Milan: Unicopli, 2016), ‘La legge dei segreti: autori-inventori, costi, autorizzazioni orali e scritte’, 21–30 and ‘Legislazione del 1763’, 187–190. The 1763 legislation was only the formalisation of rules applied—but not methodically—since the seventeenth century. 3 These categories had existed alongside quacks since the law of 25 June 1540, and in 1677 they became the subject of separate legislation. 4 A quantitative elaboration of the numbers of licence requests to the Venetian Health Office for medicinal secrets and the criteria of the data detection are in Minuzzi, Sul filo dei segreti, 31–5 and Graphs 2, 4–6. Quacks’ petitions represents only 6.9% (sixteenth century), 17.8% (seventeenth century) and 13.3% (eighteenth century) of the totality—compared to those submitted by apothecaries, religious figures, physicians, surgeons, distillers/chemists, barbers, grocers, merchants and ‘particular people’ who had no profession or whose profession was not declared in the sources. 5 The category of ‘particular people’ is the biggest one in the Venetian Health Office records and maybe the most worthy of investigation, as it represents 41.1% (sixteenth century), 61.7% (seventeenth century) and 41% (eighteenth century) of the totality. The only limit to the research is represented by the current availability of documentation, usually very scarce on people who are not identified by any profession, high social status, etc. This is also the main reason why their presence has been overlooked or ignored by scholars, who sometimes dismissed them quickly as charlatans. Several other ‘particulars’ have been studied through archival sources in Minuzzi, Sul filo dei segreti, see ‘I casi studio’, 107–84 and see the index. 6 Laurence Brockliss and Colin Jones, The Medical World of Early Modern France (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997); David Gentilcore, Healers and Healing in Early Modern Italy (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998) and his Medical Charlatanism. 7 Mark S. Jenner and Patrick Wallis, ‘The Medical Marketplace’, in Jenner and Wallis, eds, Medicine and the Market in England and its Colonies, c. 1450−c. 1850 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), 1 − 23. 8 Archivio di Stato di Venezia (henceforth ASV), Provveditori alla Sanità (henceforth Sanità), Terminazioni, busta (henceforth b.) 87, no. 898. 9 As an example of his work in local communities, in spring 1706, Venice ordered massive quantities of his vermifuge to treat an epidemic form which had broken out in the Treviso area, and the event is confirmed by archival documents preserved at the Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, A Catalogue of the Manuscripts and Archives of the Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1983), 215, no. 1057. 10 Giuseppe Scutellio, Li spaventosi riflessi (Venice, 1710), 8, 48. Shield in latin is scutum and the Scutellio surname is a linguistic variance/alteration from it. See also the verbal description of the coat of arms in Giuseppe Scutellio, Il morir alla moda (In Venezia: per Giacomo Tomasini, 1721), 145, and 141 for the imperial decrees of nobility. 11 Archivio Diocesano di Trento (henceforth ADT), Pergine, Nati, reg. 1665–72. His godfather was Alvise Lener, on behalf of Antonio Sizzo court councillor of Trent and the Bishop-Prince of Trent’s representative, while his godmother was Corona Ghebel, wife of the noble Giuseppe Ghebel from Pergine. Marco Bellabarba, Marcello Bonazza and Katia Occhi, eds, Ceti tirolesi e territorio trentino: materiali dagli archivi di Innsbruck e di Trento, 1413–1790 (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2006), see the index; see also Giuseppe Sizzo, Memorie intorno alla famiglia Tridentina dei conti Sizzo de Nori (Milan: Luigi Pirola, 1843). 12 Giangrisostomo Tovazzi, Familiarium Tridentinum, Biblioteca comunale Trento (henceforth BCT), Ms. 172, 85 and Arnaldo Segarizzi, ‘Professori e scolari trentini nello Studio di Padova’, Archivio trentino, 29 (1914), 5–51, 158–200, no. 768. Caterina was already Giovanni Pompeati’s widow; they had wed in 1648 and he died in 1654, cf. ADT, S. Vigilio, Matrimoni, 1631–82, f. 130 (16 August 1648). 13 An initial perusal of Trent’s baptism records, suggests that the marriage of Melchiori, who soon became a widower, produced no other children, making Caterina the only daughter of Girolamo Melchiori. On her career, see Giangrisostomo Tovazzi, Biblioteca Tirolese eds R. Stenico, I. Franceschini (Trento: Biblioteca S. Bernardino, 2006), see the index. 14 Ibid. 15 For the degree in utroque jure that Marco Antonio was awarded on 26 January 1680, see Maria Teresa Guerrini, ‘Qui voluerit in iure promoveri … ’: doctors of law at the University of Bologna, 1501–1796 (Bologna: Cooperativa Libraria Universitaria, 2005), 619, no. 7913. 16 Archivio di Stato di Trento (henceforth AST), Notarile, Giudizio di Pergine, notaio Giacinto Rusca, year 1678, f. 72; 1679, ff. 27, 29, 32; 1680, f. 42; 1682, ff. 47, 51, 84; 1685, f. 143; 1695, f. 94; 1696, ff. 73, 118, 123; 1697, f. 81; 1698, f. 28. 17 After getting back her sizeable dowry (amounting to around 6,000 ragnesi, Rhine florins), she proceeded to the sale of meadows, fields and capitals for more than 1,600 ragnesi. See AST, Notarile, Giudizio di Pergine, notaio Giacinto Rusca, yr 1697, f. 27. 18 ADT, Pergine, Matrimoni, 1673–1706, f. 177v: ‘the most illustious sir Joseph Felix Scutellio born in Pergine, there brought up and at present resident’ (my translation). 19 They were the Governor of Trent, Count Caspar von Wolkenstein, and Angela Rusca married to the family notary Giacinto Rusca, cf. ADT, Pergine, Nati, 1692–1708, f. 310r. 20 ASV, Procuratori di S. Marco de Supra, Scritture diverse, reg. 213, f. 1r. 21 Scutellio, Li spaventosi riflessi, 72–3. 22 The practice would continue for the whole of the eighteenth century, cf. ASV, Procuratori di S. Marco de Supra, Scritture diverse, regg. 210–14. 23 The title page of Li spaventosi riflessi describes him as ‘inhabitant in Venice’. 24 Scutellio, Li spaventosi riflessi, 29. 25 ASV, Dieci savi alle decime, Catastico di S. Marco 1711, reg. 427. The Savi were the magistrates responsible for overseeing the Venetian Republic’s finances. 26 Following the fundamental studies by Donald F. McKenzie, Roger Chartier and G. Thomas Tanselle, the importance of integrating historical research with a material perspective of analysis of printed and manuscript texts is now widely recognised: James Daybell and Peter Hinds, eds, Material Readings of Early Modern Culture. Texts and Social Practices, 1580–1730 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). 27 Five of Scutellio’s recipes are kept in the ASV, Sanità, Terminazioni, b. 90, no. 54. 28 See the reproductions in Gentilcore’s Medical Charlatanism, 343, 346, 349–50; for the relationship between charlatans and printing in general, see ch. 10, Print. For the Venetian recipe printed in red, cf. ASV, Sanità, Rapporti medici, b. 588, by Antonio Maffazzoli. 29 Reproductions of apothecaries’ print recipes are in Elsa M. Cappelletti et al., La spezieria. Medicamenti e arte farmaceutica nel Veneto dal Cinquecento ad oggi (Padova: Antilia, 2002) and in Attilio Zanca, ed., Il farmaco nei tempi. Antichi farmaci (Milan: Farmitalia-Carlo Erba, 1990), 116. 30 A revealing comparison can be made with the about 40 leaflets numbering a few pages written by charlatans who advertised their remedies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, cf. Bologna University Library, Collection of the Pharmacist Ubaldo Zanetti, A.V. Tab. I, no. III., vol. 256. For charlatans’ printed production see Gentilcore, Medical Charlatanism, 358–65. 31 Paolo Rossi, La nascita della scienza moderna in Europa (Roma-Bari: Laterza, 2009), 249–51. 32 Scutellio, Li spaventosi riflessi, 30 and Vincenzo Coronelli, Guida de’ forestieri, in Venetia 1697, ff. 7v-8r. See about 80 titles published by Giuseppe Maria Ruinetti in <http://www.sbn.it/opacsbn/opac/iccu/antico.jsp> (last accessed November 2016). 33 From the late Middle Ages onwards, an ever-increasingly positive value was placed on the observation and study of individual health experiences at the expense of general medical rules and classifications; for antecedents, see Chiara Crisciani, ‘Histories, Stories, Exempla, and Anecdotes: Michele Savonarola from Latin to Vernacular’ and for the Renaissance evolution, Gianna Pomata, ‘Praxis historialis: the Uses of Historia in Early Modern Medicine’, both in Gianna Pomata and Nancy G. Siraisi, eds, Historia: Empiricism and Erudition in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005), 105–46, 297–324. 34 Gianna Pomata, ‘A Word of the Empirics: the Ancient Concept of Observation and its Recovery in Early Modern Medicine’, Annals of Science, 68/1 (January 2011), 1–25; Ead., ‘Sharing Cases: the Observationes in Early Modern Medicine’, Early Science and Medicine 15 (2010), 193–236. 35 Scutellio, Il morir alla moda, f. A5r for the quotation. 36 Ibid. He accurately cites passages, chapters and pages of authors whose works were published from the late sixteenth century or in the seventeenth century: Massaria, Practica medica seu Praelectiones academicae; Rondelet, Methodus curandorum omnium morborum corporis humani and Rondelet, Dispensatorium seu Pharmacopolarum officina; Houllier, De morborum internorum curatione; Bruele, Praxis medicinae theorica et empirica … In qua eruditiss. dilucidissimaq. ratione morborum internorum cognitio, eorundemque curatio traditur; O’Glacan, Prima [- tertia] pars cursus medici, published for the first time in 1646–53. 37 Ibid., 148. 38 The most noted example among debunking pamphlets is that of Buonafede Vitali with his Diffesa del salimbanco, see Gentilcore, Medical Charlatanism, see the index and Eamon, Science and the Secrets of Nature, 247. 39 Scutellio, Il morir alla moda, 203 and passim. 40 Ibid., unnumbered preliminary pages. 41 ASV, Sanità, Notatori, reg. 748, f. 258v–259r. 42 Gentilcore, Medical Charlatanism, 243–4. 43 On the quest for therapeutic gentleness typical of professionals and especially in the late eighteenth-century evolution of authorised secrets, see ‘Paradigmi preventivi e di dolcezza terapeutica’, in Minuzzi, Sul filo dei segreti, 215–22. 44 ASV, Sanità, Terminazioni, b. 90, no. 54. Petitions were usually written by professional scribes; whereas attached materials (sometimes the recipe ingredients) were set down in much more uncertain and unsteady handwriting by the creator of the medicinal secret. In Scutellio’s case, the petition and attached sheets are set down in the same hand. 45 The association between medical secrets and the family unit in Venice, with reference to an earlier period, is developed by Jane Stevens Crawshaw in ‘Families, Medical Secrets and Public Health in Early Modern Venice’, Renaissance Studies, 2014, 28, 597–618; see also Minuzzi, Sul filo dei segreti, 119–32, ‘Le famiglie Colochi-Olivieri e le ricette per automedicazione’. 46 Scutellio, Li spaventosi riflessi, 67. 47 Ibid. 48 A special skill for curing female diseases is generally ascribed to women, cf. Katharine Park, Secrets of Women: Gender, Generation, and the Origins of Human Dissection (New York: Zone Books, 2006). 49 Linda Pollock, With Faith and Physick: the Life of a Tudor Gentlewoman, Lady Grace Mildmay, 1552–1620 (London: Collins & Brown, 1993); Lynette Hunter, ‘Women and Domestic Medicine: Lady Experimenters, 1570–1620’, in Lynette Hunter and Sarah Hutton, eds, Women, Science and Medicine, 1500–1700 (Thrupp: Sutton Publishing, 1997), 89–107; Alisha Rankin, Panaceia’s Daughters. Noblewomen as Healers in Early Modern Germany (Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 2013). For further bibliography, see Elaine Leong, ‘Making Medicines in the Early Modern Household’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 2008, 82, 145–68. 50 Medical secrets were a steady interest within the Melchiori family: I recently came across a mid-eighteenth-century manuscript of medicinal secrets kept by the Melchiori family and donated in 1876 to the Trent local library (BCT, Ms no. 2408) which I intend to investigate. 51 On old female healers, see also Jole Agrimi and Chiara Crisciani, ‘Medici e ‘vetulae’ dal Duecento al Quattrocento: problemi di una ricerca’, in Cultura popolare e cultura dotta nel Seicento (Milan: Franco Angeli, 1983), 144–59. 52 See Pelling’s subtle analysis in ‘Thoroughly Resented? Older Women and the Medical Role in Early Modern London’, 63–88. 53 Leong, ‘Making Medicines’; Pollock, With Faith and Physick; Rankin, Panaceia’s Daughters. 54 Such is the case in Sara Pennell and Elaine Leong, ‘Recipe Collections and the Currency of Medical Knowledge in the Early Modern Marketplace’, in Jenner and Willis, Medicine and the Market, 133–52, 136. 55 Scutellio, Li spaventosi riflessi, 29. 56 A very similar list of 32 patients treated from 1557 to 1584, with their names, occupations and domicile was complied by a certain Dr Goebels, who closed his manuscript with five pages of remedies, see Rankin, Panaceia’s Daughters, 56. 57 Scutellio, Il morir alla moda, see, for example, the case of the 35-year-old mirror-maker Domenico Apolloni, which takes up three pages, 319–50. 58 The Baconian method is deftly outlined by Eamon in Science and the Secrets of Nature, ch. X. On the growing importance of observation and thorough description of individual cases, see Brian W. Ogilvie, The Science of Describing. Natural History in Renaissance Europe (Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 2006); a discussion of the new significance attributed to experience/experimentation, the necessity of its repetition and the noting down of what is observed is to be found in Lorraine Daston, ‘The Empire of Observation, 1600–1800’, in Lorraine Daston and Elizabeth Lunbeck, Histories of Scientific Observation (Chicago and London: Chicago University Press, 2011), 81–113. 59 Scutellio, Li spaventosi riflessi, 74–9; Id., Il morir alla moda, 19, 84, 88–9, 113–14, 132, 153, 228. 60 Scutellio, Li spaventosi riflessi, 67–8. 61 An intriguing admixture of medicinal recipes and patients’ cases is described in Lisa Wynne Smith in ‘Secrets of Place: the Medical Casebooks of Vivant-Augustin Ganiare’ (between 1736 and 1777), in Elaine Leong and Alisha Rankin, eds, Secrets and Knowledge in Medicine and Science, 1500–1800 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2011), 213–31. The presence in private English recipe collections of the early eighteenth century of claims about remedies’ virtues and stories of their success, has been highlighted by Seth Stein LeJacq, ‘The Bounds of Domestic Healing: Medical Recipes, Storytelling and Surgery in Early Modern England’, Social History of Medicine, 2013, 26, 451–68. 62 Scutellio, Il morir alla moda [236]. 63 On smart consumers, see Pennell and Leong, ‘Recipe Collections’, 143–8. 64 ASV, Sanità, Terminazioni, b. 90, no. 54. Other recipes, too, contain references to the ‘experiments’ and ‘experiences’ described in the home manuscript. 65 Eamon, Science and the Secrets of Nature, 93; on the variety of meanings applied to the same terms relating to experience from the Middle Ages onwards, see ch. I in Ogilvie, The Science of Describing. 66 Scutellio, Li spaventosi riflessi, 68. 67 Archivio Storico della Curia Patriarcale, Venezia (henceforth ASCPV), S. Maurizio, Morti, 1586–1756, 525: ‘18 January 1729/1730 the Honourable Giuseppe Maria Felice Scutelli quondam Carlo aged about 65 years ill for ten days prior with aching chest, treated by the excellent physicians Giovanni Dal Rio and Gobbetti. Laying him to rest signora Francesca Mescolella [sic], his wife with all parish clergymen; and he has lived in our sestiere for around 20 years.’ 68 ASV, Sanità, Terminazioni, b. 92, no. 254. 69 ASV, Sanità, Rapporti, b. 588, 3 September 1760. 70 In the tax records of 1745 (the only ones available after those from 1711), Francesca and her son no longer appear as residing in San Maurizio Parish, cf. ASV, Dieci savi alle decime, Catastico di San Marco 1740, reg. 434. 71 ASV, Notarile atti, Ferdinando Uccelli, reg. 12442, ff. 289v–290r. 72 ASCPV, S. Vidal, Morti, 1727–79, 162. 73 Minuzzi, Sul filo dei segreti. 74 ASV, Sanità, Rapporti, b. 588, 3 September 1760. 75 Ibid. 76 See the Introduction to this article. 77 The task of looking after the poor was entrusted only ‘to the best and best known’ among the residents of a parish—as explained by the brotherhood’s leaders in their petition to the health authorities to induce Cimolin to accept. ASV, Sanità, Suppliche, b. 172, petition by the leaders of the San Vidal Brotherhood of Charity for the Poor, 17 March 1777. 78 Ibid., 10 March 1777. 79 Antonio Cimolin Scutellio married twice, first to Elena Zanetti, who died in 1750 giving birth to their son, Girolamo. See ASCPV, S. Vidal, Battesimi, 1718–80, 125 and ASCPV, S. Vidal, Morti, 1727–79, 26 December 1750. A few years later Antonio Cimolin married Anna Maria Paruzio. In 1754, their only daughter died a few days after being born, cf. ASCPV, S. Vidal, Morti, 1727–79, 26 November 1754. 80 ASV, Sanità, Rapporti, b. 586. 81 Ibid. As we know, Giuseppe Scutellio, had always honestly signed himself ‘empiric and rational physician’, while his successors usually defined him in the recipes as being a ‘physician’ or ‘doctor’. 82 Girolamo Cimolin had been approved as a surgeon on 20 May 1772 and, until January 1775, had practised at the side of the surgeon Francesco Trezzi, whose workshop was always in San Vidal. See Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Ms. It. VII 2367 (=9742), f. 21, January 1774/1775. 83 BCT, TFV I c 1411. 84 In 1711, the progenitor, Antonio Ferramonti, paid a good 80 ducats in rent for his home and attached shop, overseeing a prosperous business that remained steady over the years, see ASV, Dieci savi alle decime, Catastico 1711, reg. 427 (San Vidal parish). 85 Girolamo Ferramonti’s death, cf. ASCPV, S. Vidal, Morti, 1727–79, 214, 21 July 1769. 86 Biblioteca del Museo Correr, Venice (henceforth, BMC), Mariegola dell’arte degli speziali, 209/C. 87 The same void in representation occurs in the case of Marietta Colochi, a very active ‘medichessa’ (woman-physician) in the context of public health in sixteenth-century Venice, cf. Stevens Crawshaw, ‘Families, Medical Secrets and Public Health in Early Modern Venice’, 599. 88 On the role of Venetian women in guilds, see Anna Bellavitis, Le travail des femmes dans les contrats d’apprentissage de la Giustizia Vecchia (Venise au xve siècle), in Isabelle Chabot-Jérôme and Hayez-Didier Lett, eds, Le travail des femmes et le quotidien (xive–xviiie siècles). Textes offerts à Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, 181–95 and, with a focus on gender issues, Francesca Trivellato, ‘Guilds, Technology, and Economic Change in Early Modern Venice’, in S. R. Epstein and Maarten Prak, eds, Guilds, Innovation, and the European Economy, 1400–1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 199–231; for more on the silk industry, see Luca Molà, The Silk Industry of Renaissance Venice (Baltimore; London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000) and Marcello Della Valentina, ‘Il setificio salvato dalle donne: le tessitrici veneziane nel Settecento’ in Anna Bellavitis, Nadia Maria Filippini and Tiziana Plebani, eds, Spazi, poteri, diritti delle donne a Venezia in età moderna (Verona: QuiEdit, 2012), 321–35. Things went differently in France where, starting in the late seventeenth century, some guilds were opened to women and others were created that were set aside exclusively for females; for the medical trade in particular, see Susan Broomhall, Women’s Medical Work in Early Modern France (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004), ch. 1, ‘Women and Medical Guilds’. A similar involvement in craft settings is documented for German masters’ wives and daughters, see Merry E. Wiesner, Working Women in Renaissance Germany (New Bruswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1986), 152–7. 89 Sandra Cavallo, Artisans of the body in Early Modern Italy: Identities, Families and Masculinities (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007), ch. 7, ‘Women in the Body Crafts’. In Italy the absence from the sources—though not in actual facts—of women’s economic activities outside the home is more accentuated than in other European countries, making research more tortuous; for Venice, see Monica Chojnacka, Working Women of Early Modern Venice (Baltimore; London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001) and Anna Bellevitis and Linda Guzzetti, ‘Donne, lavoro, economia a Venezia e in Terraferma tra Medioevo ed età moderna’, introduction to the monographic issue of Archivio Veneto, 2012, VI ser., no. 3. In general, for the Italian situation, see Angela Groppi, ed., Il lavoro delle donne (Roma: Laterza, 1996). 90 In Domenico’s last will he defined her as ‘my most beloved cousin Anna Maria Ferramonti with whom I have always lived and whom I recognize in my affection and my duty as a sister’: a ‘duty’ that altogether conveys a sense of subordination, see ASV, Notarile testamenti, Giovanni Antonio Dall’Acqua, b. 351, no. 53. 91 The documents drawn up by the notary Giovanni Antonio Dall’Acqua on Anna Maria Ferramonti’s behalf are numerous and would deserve a study of their own. They concentrate especially in the years 1771, 1772, 1775, 1779 and 1787, cf. ASV, Notarile atti, Giovanni Antonio Dall’Acqua, reg. 5322bis–5326 (Indexes). 92 For a similar informal apprenticeship of barber-surgeons’ daughters, see Cavallo, Artisans of the Body, 160–4. 93 ASV, Notarile testamenti, Giovanni Antonio Dall’Acqua, b. 351, no. 144. Anna Maria provided for the dowries of numerous nieces and made many small cash bequests, among which there was one amounting to 500 ducats to an aunt. If the aunt were to predecease her, the capital would go ‘to Mr. Girolamo Cimolin detto Scutellio’. 94 Ibid. 95 On these hierarchical relationships characterised by a small age gap (‘diagonal relationships between men’) see Cavallo, Artisans of the Body, 193–8. 96 ASV, Notarile testamenti, Giovanni Antonio Dall’Acqua, b. 351, no. 144. 97 See the aforementioned deeds in ASV, Notarile atti, Giovanni Antonio Dall’Acqua, reg. 5322bis–5326. 98 This was the consequence of Anna Maria’s last will. ASCPV, S. Vidal, Morti, 1779–1810, 27 January 1788: ‘Signora Anna Maria quondam Giovanni Maria Ferramonti circa 66 years of age beset by pain, then by volvulus, then by slow fever with consumption, after forty days of continuous illness her life ended in the evening.’ 99 ASCPV, S. Vidal, Morti, 1779–1810, 117. 100 ASV, Notarile atti, II serie, Angelo Maria Casser, reg. 504, ff. 1953r–1956r, 26 August 1794. It turns out that Girolamo was also the owner of another apothecary shop in contrà San Michele Arcangelo, which his aged father set about selling off. 101 ASV, Notarile atti, II serie, Angelo Maria Casser, b. 493, no. 74. Attached is the death certificate of Antonio Cimolin, who died on the mainland in the town of Mira on 6 October 1799. 102 Ibid. 103 All the above is to be found in Anna Maria’s will, set down in 1806 and executed on 20 April 1808, cf. ASV, Notarile atti, Carlo Gabrieli, b. 7810bis. 104 On Galvani, see Giovanni Battista Ronconi, ‘Della vita e degli scritti di Antonio Galvani’, Ateneo Veneto, 1868–1869, s. II, vol. VI, 181–97 and Angelo Bassani, La ricerca chimica nell’università e nell’Istituto Veneto, in La chimica e le tecnologie chimiche nel Veneto dell’800: atti del settimo Seminario di storia delle scienze e delle tecniche nell’Ottocento veneto (Venice: Istituto veneto di scienze lettere ed arti, 2001), 87–130. On Girolamo Dian, In memoria del cav. Girolamo Dian, 1831–1914 (Milan: Marchiondi, 1915) and U. Tergolina, ‘Girolamo Dian’, Il farmacista italiano, 1938, 6, 108–12. 105 Girolamo Dian, Cenni storici sulla farmacia veneta, I–VII (Venice, 1900–08), I, 10–11. 106 Minuzzi, Sul filo dei segreti, 29–30 and ‘Testare i segreti. Sperimentazioni pubbliche’, 194–205. 107 In eighteenth-century Venice the secrets’ selection criteria were applied more methodically; petitions and authorities’ answers were recorded and records kept and consulted, while during the previous centuries the negative answers were not always recorded and never kept—but existed. To be precise the health autorities did not become stricter, the system simply became more efficient and regular, see Minuzzi, Sul filo dei segreti, 29–30, ‘Autorizzazioni orali e scritte, autorizzazioni concesse e negate’. 108 Features of modern as opposed to ancient empiricism are outlined in C. Crignon, C. Zelle and N. Allocca, eds, Medical Empiricism and Philosophy of Human Nature in the 17th and 18th Century (Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2014), see the Introduction and the contribution of Carsten Zelle in particular. 109 Dictionary of Irish Bigraphy (Cambrige: Cambridge University Press 2009), O’Glacan received his early medical education from a famous Irish family of phisicians (at the time Ireland had no Studios of Medicine) and held a university chair reserved to eminent foreigners doctors at the Faculty of Medicine in Bologna. 110 Scutellio, Il morir alla moda, 19, 21, 84, 89–91, 113–14, 153, etc. 111 Minuzzi, Sul filo dei segreti, 237–47, ‘Punti vendita: dalla casa alla spezieria senza passare per la libreria’. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for the Social History of Medicine. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social History of Medicine Oxford University Press

‘Quick to say Quack’. Medicinal Secrets from the Household to the Apothecary’s Shop in Eighteenth-century Venice

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Abstract

Summary This essay will present a documented Italian history of secrets devised in the late seventeenth century in an ordinary household, then temporarily brought into the world of (supposed) charlatanry and eventually taken on, from the end of the eighteenth up to the early twentieth century, by apothecaries. Drawing on a range of primary sources and a few printed texts analysed for their content and material features, the study provides a multi-generational portrait of handlers of medicinal secrets involving both male and female members, whom we might more accurately define as artisans of medicinal secrets rather than quacks, empirics or anything else. It is certain that Venetian medical legislation defined them as ‘particular people’. The case study also offers a picture of the web of social relationships that enabled a harmonious circulation of knowledge between professional, household and commercial medicine, and eventually led to the enrichment of the official pharmacopoeia. medicinal secrets, household medicine, professional medicine, pharmacopoeia, knowledge circulation, Italy, Venice This article reconstructs the personal vicissitudes of Giuseppe Felice Maria Scutellio (1666–1730), together with the story of his medicinal secrets shortly before and for a long time after his death. He was charged by some contemporaries with quackery. However, an in-depth biographical study on Giuseppe and his family, through notarial and parish sources, combined with an examination of the tools of his medical practice—published recipes and books along with a domestic manuscript case-book (which has not survived but is synthetised and recalled in his published texts)—will recast him as a figure far from any form of charlatanism.1 Indeed a few decades after Scutellio’s death the Venetian system of granting licences for medicinal secrets confirmed that he and his secrets had nothing to do with the quacks’ world. Starting in 1763, secrets were required to be original with respect to the current pharmacopoeia and were divided for licensing purposes into two categories with distinct validation procedures.2 The first category was that of charlatans’ secrets, which had to be examined by the entire medical college, whereas the second category, into which Scutellio’s secrets fell, was examined only by two senior physicians thereby allowing the secrecy of ingredients and production techniques to be protected. The inventors of these latter secrets were physicians, apothecaries, barbers, grocers, clergymen and ‘particular people’, laypersons with no specific (or specified) profession, as classified by the Venetian legislation itself.3 From the mid-sixteenth century onwards, alongside the ‘professional’ quacks who mostly sold secrets in the streets and squares by resorting to theatrical gimmicks, there were others who applied for licences to produce and sell secrets that had been devised thanks to their daily ‘diligent study and investigation’.4 Giuseppe Scutellio was one of these many ‘particular people’, but unlike most of them, who now exist in name only, his life and work can be quite thoroughly pieced together thanks to the survival of a fair amount of archival and bibliographic documentation.5 The focus on other ‘particular people’ such as Scutellio might actually reveal new research areas. In the French context Brockliss and Jones overcame the old popular/elite dichotomy and distinguished a ‘core’ consisting of the privileged corporations of the medical profession and a ‘penumbra’ of the others (healers, charlatans and women), while David Gentilcore explored in more depth the zone of the ‘penumbra’ for the Italian context.6 These authors have all highlighted the permeability of the structure, but the present article aims to document how ambiguous the very distinction between the ‘core’ and the ‘penumbra’ may sometimes be, as is the case of the so called ‘particular people’ here represented by Scutellio. Unlike the quacks investigated by Gentilcore, charlatanism did not represent for Scutellio a professional opportunity but a slander from which he had to defend himself and his secrets. He was vulnerable to such a charge because he had built his fortune on his secrets’ effectiveness and on his own reputation: he learned and practised medicine but he was not a physician; he invented original medicinal secrets but he was not an apothecary, nor he could rely on any membership of medical corporations or artisanal guilds. By contextualising the vicissitudes of an Italian family of producers and sellers of medicinal secrets, this article offers new perspectives on the concept of the ‘medical marketplace’.7 Indeed, the long afterlife of Scutellio’s remedies demonstrates that well into the eighteenth century not everything was ruled by competition, but, conversely, that a variety of ties (friendship, neighbourhood and kinship) were keeping alive an informal collaboration between commercial and domestic medicine. The final addition of Scutellio’s remedies to the official pharmacopoeia bears witness to a harmonious circulation of knowledge that invites us to evaluate the contribution of common people—men and women, neither charlatans, physicians, nor apothecaries—to the ‘core’ of the medical world. A Reputation to Uphold: Biographic Evidences, Documents and Printed Texts The events surrounding our story unfolded in and around Trent and Venice, Austria and the Venetian mainland. On 16 May 1703, Giuseppe Felice Maria Scutellio was summoned by the tax collector serving the Venetian health authorities (Provveditori alla Sanità) because he had failed to pay new duties for the manufacture and retailing of his authorised medicinal secrets. It was a mere formality that Scutellio straightened out on 11 June.8 This is the first and last time that he appears categorised as a ‘charlatan’ (ciarlatano) in the series of Venetian health records, presumably because at the time he was perceived as a ‘foreigner’ (foresto) coming from Trent to sell medicinal secrets in Venice, not unlike many other quacks. But in subsequent health authority documents, as well as other sources, he would always be called ‘cavaliere’ (knight) or ‘signor’ (sir). If we examine his self-representation we can see that in both his printed recipes and his books Scutellio claims to be ‘cavaliere del S.R.I.’ (knight of the Holy Roman Empire), ‘empirical and rational physician of the Most August House of Austria’, ‘citizen and nobleman of Trent’, and since at least 1710 ‘inhabitant in Venice’; he describes himself working with various institutions and local authorities, among which were those of Vienna, Innsbruck, Verona, Vicenza, Treviso and Venice. His claims can all been verified as being accurate: he was adopting the titles of ‘knight’ and ‘empirical physician’ conferred upon him by the Imperial Court in recognition of his successful treatment of the court painter in 1701; he was often required by health officers to supply local communities with his remedies; and he was a nobleman.9 In his first published book, two wooden coats of arms embellish pages 8 and 48: one belonged to Emperor Leopold I, who had conferred the title of physician of the House of Austria upon him; the other, showing a shield, a palm and a rampant lion, was the coat of arms of the Scutellio family.10 But let us now explore some biographic documentary evidence in more detail. Giuseppe Felice Maria Scutellio was born in Pergine, a small town near Trent, on November 1666 to the noble notary Carlo Antonio Scutellio and his wife Caterina. His godfather and godmother were both nobles and members of leading Tyrolean families.11 A handwritten compilation on the most prominent Trent families recounts that his father Carlo Antonio Scutellio had studied in Padua, where he was awarded a degree in canon and civil law. He then became a notary and local commissioner of the jurisdiction of Pergine and married Caterina Melchiori.12 Caterina, Giuseppe’s mother, was the only daughter of Girolamo Melchiori, a highly regarded physician in Trent who also twice served in the highest local political-administrative office in the years 1611 and 1628 as console.13 An imperial decree, dating to the sixteenth century, granted the status of citizens and aristocrats to both the Melchiori and the Scutellio families, both of which would then gain distinction thanks to a line of renowned physicians and public notaries.14 Caterina and Carlo’s marriage produced two sons: the firstborn Marco Antonio who followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a notary, and Giuseppe Felice Maria, who, as far as is known, did not obtain a degree in either law or medicine.15 It is unclear whether Giuseppe had undertaken medical studies in Bologna or in Padua without finishing them—a possibility that seems well founded if we look at the content of his published works. The Scutellio family was both quite well off and socially prominent and an abundance of notarial records from Trento testify to their prosperity. In August 1679 Carlo Antonio signed a contract with two master carpenters to furnish his new mansion (‘new lordly home’) near the Pergine Castle, in keeping with the requirements of his profession as collegiate notary: this contract entailed the installation of doors, windows and balconies, the outfitting of the huge octagonal Stube (Tyrolean stove) with columns, wardrobes, an escritoire and even paintings with carved frames similar to those that furnished the Chancery in Trento.16 Carlo Antonio also entered into several contracts for the acquisition of land, barns and stables, for home renovations and the collection of liquid assets from insolvent debtors. The purchases would continue until Carlo Antonio’s death in March 1694. Things changed radically in the following years, when Caterina was evidently obliged to resort to a series of sales that greatly diminished the size of the estate.17 In the meantime, in February 1696 when he was nearly 30 years old Giuseppe Scutellio married Francesca Mascotela, a non-noble from Cavalese in the Fiemme Valley (Trentino province).18 On 30 April 1698, from their union was born Carlo Antonio Jr, who, due to the looming risk of death, was baptised by the midwife. Again, the godfather and godmother in the ceremony were prominent members of the local nobility.19 The young couple lived with Giuseppe’s mother Caterina Melchiori. This is indicated both by Giuseppe’s presence at some of her notarial deeds and above all by Caterina’s involvement in his Venetian practice, as we will see below. These are the main biographical coordinates of Giuseppe Felice Maria Scutellio and his family in Trent. In 1710 or shortly before he moved to Venice, where he would definitely have benefited from a more lively market for his medicinal secrets, and where we do come across the feature that made him most akin to a quack: the sale of his products in St Mark’s Square—a practice he carried on until 1720. On 17 April 1714, the Procurators of St Mark de supra, who were the magistrates that among other duties managed public spaces in the heart of the city, granted ‘cavalier Scutellio’ permission to set up a stall to sell his medicinal secrets in St Mark’s Square at certain times of the year.20 This is confirmed by his first book, specifically published to be handed out to the public on festive occasions: near the end of the slim volume indeed, Scutellio urges his readers to ‘come to St Mark’s Square to pass the time and enjoy puppeteers and other curiosities [and to] seize the chance to stock up on your weekly or annual supply of medicinal secrets for the home’.21 Similar licences for Carnival had been issued since the 1600s to a whole spectrum of vendors and practitioners—ranging from sellers of cheese, aromatic waters and vegetables, to astrologers, harp players, tooth-drawers, charlatans and mountebanks.22 But in St Mark’s Square Giuseppe was only allowed to sell his medicinal remedies, not to perform theatrical demonstrations. Moreover, above and beyond festivals, St Mark’s Square served as a landmark in order to locate his Venetian dwelling. Apparently, at that time (1710), he had not been settled in the city for long and was not well known.23 Thus, in another passage in his first book, he explains that potential customers should go to the St Mark’s bell ringer in order to get his exact address—consequently avoiding having to ‘seek him out all over Venice, as has happened many a time’.24 Indeed, the first documentary attestation to the presence of the Scutellio family in Venice is dated 1711, when the tax office registered them as living in contrà (parish) San Maurizio, in calle (street) del Dose. The parish was centrally located, in the St Mark sestiere (district), the home was medium-sized, adequate for a small family, and cost them 34 ducats in rent per year: an average amount in all respects, considering that rents in the area ran from 15 to 60 ducats.25 In subsequent documents St Mark’s Square was no longer mentioned, and the dwelling in calle del Dose became the sole reference point for those who wished to purchase his medicinal secrets. If the square contributed to associating his name to that of a charlatan (or at least to a site frequented by charlatans and mountebanks too), many other features distinguished him from quackery. Giuseppe Scutellio crafted around ten secrets whose names were anything but high-sounding—unlike the bombastic names devised by quacks. Some were for internal use (named after the disease or the organ that they cured, such as ‘Worms’ or ‘Pains’ or ‘Nephritic powder’, etc.) and others for external use (plainly called ‘Balsam’ for various types of colic, etc.). Since ‘forms effect meaning’, let us take a look at the material features of the recipes that accompanied the sale of his secrets (see Figures 1 and 2).26 The text was decidedly simple: it was made up of small, neat characters, printed on fine watermarked paper, divided into sections introduced by titles in capital letters, so as to be clear to the reader. The only concession to decoration was a plain border made up of metal tools surrounding the text.27 There is a visible contrast here with the communicative potential of recipes printed by contemporary charlatans: some of those recipes were wholly red printed, others had the blank spaces of the page filled up with gaudy and crude woodcuts so as to leave no stone unturned in striving to excite the buyer’s imagination.28 It is not just the use of imagery, however, that distinguishes quack from non-quack recipes but the quality of the engraving and the extent of its use. Even apothecaries made use of recipes embellished with woodcuts or engraved vignettes. However, taken as a whole, their appearance was neater, more serious and regular than the lively but vulgar ones put out by charlatans, thus more resembling the Scutellio’s recipes.29 Fig. 1 View largeDownload slide ASV, Sanità, Terminazioni, b. (busta) 90, no. 54 Fig. 1 View largeDownload slide ASV, Sanità, Terminazioni, b. (busta) 90, no. 54 Fig. 2 View largeDownload slide ASV, Sanità, Terminazioni, b. 90, no. 54 Fig. 2 View largeDownload slide ASV, Sanità, Terminazioni, b. 90, no. 54 Let us now take a closer look at the books he published. Giuseppe Scutellio wrote two small books, in the handy and cheap duodecimo format (approx 14×8 cm): Li spaventosi riflessi sopra li vermi connatural’ inimici del corpo humano (Dreadful Reflections on Worms, natural enemies of human body, Figure 3) in 1710 and Il morir alla moda (A Fashionable Death, Figure 4) in 1721. They were both printed on paper of good quality, with fine characters and inking; the wide blank margins and small woodcut adornments confer an appearance of discreet elegance upon them. Can they be considered the product of a quack’s quill? The fairly hefty number of pages (80 and 235, respectively) already set them apart from the numerous tiny booklets put out by charlatans.30 As to their content, they easily reveal the level of Giuseppe’s medicinal knowledge. Of the 80 pages of Li spaventosi riflessi sopra li vermi, the first 26 are dedicated to Scutellio’s main medicinal secret, a vermifuge simply named ‘Vermi’ (Worms). He starts off with a theoretical introduction in which he describes the form, characteristics and symptomatology of the four types of worms that can feed off the human body and the symptoms they trigger. He then carefully goes through the reasons behind their proliferation in human beings. He acknowledges the research carried out by the physician and naturalist Francesco Redi (1626–97) on this matter, only diverging on the issue of their causes, since Scutellio clung to the ancient belief in the spontaneous generation of worms.31 Subsequently (pp 29–66) he arranges in alphabetical order (Ristretto alfabetico) the ailments that could be treated with his vermifuge along with his other ‘specific secrets and empirical remedies’. In each entry, the author also reports on a series of cases in which one of his secrets had been utilized, in tandem with a concise explanation of the circumstances and evolution of the illness. Giuseppe also provides the name, surname and, often, the age of the person cured, as well as profession and city of origin—even including the calle if from Venice (Figure 5). Concerns for privacy led him only to withhold information on individuals struck by venereal disease or pathologies of an exclusively female nature. Among Scutellio’s patients the Venetians were the most numerous and the most verifiable ones for the reader of his time, and sometimes for us too. Among the names appearing are those of nobles, but also of artisans and commoners such as the nephew of ‘Giuseppe Roinetti’, a bookseller active in the Mercerie (a neighbourhood of Venice near St Mark’s Square) who is also mentioned by the contemporary cosmographer Vincenzo Coronelli in his renowned guide to Venice.32 Figs. 3–4 View largeDownload slide Title pages of Scutellio’s printed works, BCT, TS I k 324 and TS I k 96 Figs. 3–4 View largeDownload slide Title pages of Scutellio’s printed works, BCT, TS I k 324 and TS I k 96 Fig. 5 View largeDownload slide BCT, TS I k 324 Fig. 5 View largeDownload slide BCT, TS I k 324 Fig. 6 View largeDownload slide BCT, TS I k 324 Fig. 6 View largeDownload slide BCT, TS I k 324 Undoubtedly Li spaventosi riflessi was an advertising tool, but the initial theoretical introduction to the pathology of worms with its references to Hippocrates, Galen and modern authorities such as Francesco Redi, together with the brief but detailed review of cases successfully treated, have no equivalent in any printed text by charlatans. Li spaventosi riflessi can be placed in the category of a medical production of ancient Galenic pedigree, within which the curationes or case histories were set out with a purpose that was both scientific and self-promoting. From the late Renaissance, accounts of cures had also begun to pad out texts on medical theory in addition to standing as collections on their own. Recent studies have noted an affinity between this kind of professional output (Amato Lusitano’s in particular, as well as Cardano’s) and that of the empirical therapists who underlined the effectiveness of their medicinal secrets by citing the testimonies recorded by notaries before the Italian protomedicati.33 In the same vein, an affinity can be detected between these notarial attestations, which piled up in the Italian health authorities’ archives between the sixteenth and the eighteenth centuries, and Scutellio’s exposition of case histories. Nonetheless, there remains a substantial distinction to be drawn: in the cases of empirical therapists, notaries would sanction the reliability of witnesses whose names meant nothing to the larger community; whereas, in regard to Scutellio, who never submitted notarial attestations to the health authorities, his witnesses’ trustworthiness was verifiable by whomever wished to track down individuals whose exact Venetian address he provided. Furthermore, his descriptions of cases of recoveries, or ‘experiences’ (as he repeatedly termed them), have a meaning in and of themselves which reflects the highly positive and even epistemological value that experience had already acquired in the second half of the seventeenth century.34 And, as we will see, there was an expansion of case history descriptions in Il morir alla moda (1721). For a decade Giuseppe Scutellio’s business went well, but in 1721 he reported an ‘overwhelming torrent of slander that flooded the world’: attacks had caused a collapse in sales of his specifics in Venice and prompted him to take up his pen to defend himself with his second book, Il morir alla moda—over 200 pages of spirited defence against accusations of quackery which aimed to place his medical and scientific expertise on display.35 Claiming an expertise that divorced him from the image of a mountebank, he employed sophisticated Latin rhetorical devices, references to the theoretical, philosophical and historical foundations of medicine. He cited Galen and Hippocrates and various modern physicians such as Jacques Houllier (1500?–62); Hippocrates’ commentator and lecturer in Paris; Alessandro Massaria (1510–98), first ordinary professor of practical medicine in Padua; Guillaume Rondelet (1507–66), zoologist, anatomist and professor of medicine in Montpellier; the late sixteenth- to early seventeenth-century physician Walter Bruell, author of a highly popular text of practical medicine that was translated into various European languages; and, very frequently, he quoted the Irishman Neil O’Glacan (1563–1653), professor at the Studio of Bologna.36 Scutellio also protested that he had always shown respect, publicly as well as privately, for ‘esteemed physicians and chemists, professors and apothecaries of Venice’.37 This deference towards official medicine shows an attitude far removed from the irreverent approach of charlatans who, in their little pamphlets, mocked the medical profession and extolled the quack’s virtues.38 At the same time he provided important clues as to how he perceived his own practice in relation to that of medical professionals. He definitely considered, and conducted, himself as a physician: from some of his recorded cures we can infer that he made home visits, gave advice when solicited and even allowed patients to wake him up at night in urgent cases.39 Scutellio considered envy to be the true cause behind accusations of quackery. The word ‘envy’ appears only once in Il morir alla moda, but it is in a key position, within a sonnet placed at the opening of the book: ‘Envy turned against you her deadly tooth’.40 And one document in particular supports his conviction that envy was triggered precisely by his behaving like a physician. On 6 May 1720, more or less at the time when rumours about his charlatanism had spread out in Venice, he was brought before the provveditori alla Sanità for having given a 9-year-old girl pills and other medications without acquiring the necessary authorisation.41 This was the only charge. In other words Scutellio was not put on trial because of a negative outcome of his cure or for therapeutic errors, but because the girl’s parents had reported that his medications were not authorised. It is likely that the child’s parents had been induced to undertake this action by one or more physicians—the only people who could have been bothered by such an irregularity. Indeed home physicians might have resented him for his professional behaviour, not only concocting (successful) secrets without taking the trouble to obtain the necessary authorisation, but visiting patients in their homes round the clock. Scutellio was harshly punished for his offence: he was sentenced to pay a 50-ducat fine, and the licences for his authorised secrets were suspended for two months. As a result of this incident he also decided to seek the due approvals for the still unauthorised secrets. On 1 October 1720 he applied to the provveditori alla Sanità for permission to turn the internal remedies (syrups) for which he had been prosecuted into ‘pills which will be less disgusting for the sick’ and would prevent his patients from developing nausea. Again, this concern for the well being of his patients clearly set him apart from charlatans, who did not care in the slightest about the disagreeable or violent effects their secrets could have on their customers’ bodies.42 Rather, it reveals his closeness to the concerns of more professional practitioners—such as apothecaries and physicians—who cared for the wellness of patients during therapy.43 Scutellio’s petition also offers evidence of his education, another element that distances him from quacks, who would usually rely on the services of scribes to conceal their poor education. His cursive penmanship is regular and adorned with elegant flourishes, the page layout is airy and his Italian is soberly correct.44 There is nothing extravagant or flamboyant in either his textual formulae or in the appearance of his handwriting, which is the product of an expert and firm hand (Figure 6). Fig. 7 View largeDownload slide ASV, Sanità, Terminazioni, b. 90, no. 54 Fig. 7 View largeDownload slide ASV, Sanità, Terminazioni, b. 90, no. 54 A Family Business: Giuseppe, Caterina, Francesca and Carlo Antonio jr As we have previously seen, the Scutellio and Melchiori families could boast a long lineage of lawyers and physicians, whose cultural influence is visible in the pages of Giuseppe’s printed books, too. We can gather additional information about Giuseppe’s medical practice from some personal observations at the end of the main section of Li spaventosi riflessi (1710), where he emphatically acknowledges of the skills of the women of his small family. Although his medicinal secrets were authorised solely in his name and he alone seems to have attended to their production, his notes suggest that it was a family business.45 Giuseppe compares his wife, Francesca, to himself not only as far as her practical ability in concocting medicinal secrets was concerned, but also in regard to her knowledge of pathologies and their treatment: [It is a fact that] my wife possesses a full and perfect knowledge of all my aforementioned Arcana, as well as others yet to be noted, as she does all manners of concocting them and producing them, but, what is more, she is also knowledgeable as to illnesses and how to treat them as I do. And to bear this out, let it be known that the very same compounds that have been dispensed by me in Venice, with their subsequent effects, were made by the above-mentioned lady, my wife; this will serve to allay any qualms.46 Giuseppe continues by evoking the memory of his deceased mother, to whom he attributes absolute competence in the field of medicinal secrets used by women, especially those regarding reproduction: The same [my wife], in regard to pregnant women and those giving birth, possesses great Rarities, passed on to her by my late mother, who was an Empiric and without peer in such areas: so that, as a virtue more proper to being practiced by women rather than by men in such illnesses, she is able to serve in helping whomever is in need when beckoned to do so.47 (Figure 7) While his appreciation of his mother’s competence seems to be limited to the gynaecological field, in the case of his wife Francesca this legitimisation encompasses all the secrets and therapeutic knowledge of which he himself possessed.48 What is most interesting is that in both cases female involvement was boasted by Scutellio as a guarantee of quality and as a source of trust for potential customers, but that he did not care at all to mention that his mother was the daughter of a well-known physician in Trento (Girolamo Melchiori) and belonged to the local nobility. The figure of Caterina Melchiori, noblewoman and ‘empiric’, immediately evokes comparisons with certain German and English women who, in the late sixteenth century, distinguished themselves for their charitable and occasionally commercial commitment to the treatment of the sick. The talents of such accomplished ladies often transcended household boundaries, extending to the local or wider community. In spite of her roots in the minor provincial nobility, Caterina resembled those female figures of a much higher social background—aristocratic or court ladies—who have often been the focus of studies on domestic medicine.49 Caterina’s connection to the medical professions is implicit in her being the (maybe the only) daughter and heir of a distinguished physician. Thus we can infer that her medical knowledge originated in her family ties and in access to her father’s medical library.50 Certainly, the fact that her son Giuseppe might have used both his maternal grandfather’s medical library and his father’s legal library is suggested by his familiarity not just with learned medical texts but with the rhetorical devices typically used by the legal profession in the tightly woven arguments of his indignant self-defence of 1721. We may suppose that, like many European noblewomen, Caterina Melchiori tried out her therapeutic practices in her neighbourhood or, at least within circles quite wider than her family unit so as to acquire considerable skills and experience—her ‘great Rarities— as her son recounts, and become a source of knowledge for him and her daughter-in-law. It is significant that in the texts written to certify the quality of his secrets—and, above all, in the one penned in order to counter the rumours of quackery—Giuseppe did not claim to derive his authority from his esteemed and learned maternal grandfather, nor did he boast of the several physicians and jurists amongst his ancestors on both sides in both his and his wife’s families. Rather, he focused on his mother as an ‘empiric’. By using the definition of ‘empiric’, there was no perception of anything inferior, neither on the author’s part nor on the part of the reader—quite the contrary. This offers us a completely different perspective on the figure of the vetula (old, female healer), so frequently derided in early modern literature, suggesting that, especially for the common people, this was perhaps more of a cliché than reality.51 It was a cliché in that it was emphasised by physicians wishing to stigmatise women who, thanks to their acquired experience and knowledge, could prove to be awkward business rivals.52 Presumably in everyday life things went quite differently, a great variety of female figures, in terms of class, age, education and practice, enjoyed high and widespread regard as medical agents. An Inherited Hybrid Book: Recipes for the Family and for Sale Doubt has recently been cast on one of the key theories of the evolution of the medical marketplace: that home produced remedies were progressively supplanted by commercial medicines between the seventeenth and the early eighteenth century. To counter this view one needs only consider the inventories of medicinal substances discovered among the Freke family papers (1710, 1712), where remedies produced in the home are listed next to those purchased on the market as half-finished products or as ready for use; or the case of the German and English noblewomen who produced their own secret remedies to be distributed freely to the destitute and to be offered up for sale.53 Although the matter has not yet been investigated for Italy, here too, as the Scutellio’s case suggests, the distinction between production for private (charitable and free of charge) and for public (commercial) use of medicinal remedies appears to be artificial.54 Evidence of the contiguity and osmosis between these practices is provided by the repeated references in Scutellio’s printed works and in archival documents to the existence of a case-book that, as far as we know, has not survived. These sources, however, do allow us to get a sense of what the structure and contents of this manuscript might have been. Scutellio opened his alphabetical listing of pathologies in Li spaventosi riflessi with the statement that he had chosen to publish only some of his cases and in succinct form, but that these could all be consulted, in full, in the ‘Book and Register … that is in my possession and kept up with all diligence’ (Figure 8).55 This is the first allusion to an ‘Original book’, a manuscript, that Giuseppe Scutellio regularly updated with great care at home. It was organised in the same way as the printed book, by the name of the illness, but included a much wider collection of cases or ‘experiences’/‘experiments’, as Scutellio called them, than the ones printed in Li spaventosi riflessi. The manuscript must have been voluminous in view of the cross-references to its pages in Li spaventosi riflessi (e.g. ‘to page 189 in the Original book and the pages that follow’ and Figure 5). Practically all the cures set out and printed in Li spaventosi riflessi had previously received a much longer and more articulate treatment in the manuscript case-book jealously preserved at home. Fig. 8a–e View largeDownload slide BCT, TS I k 324 Fig. 8a–e View largeDownload slide BCT, TS I k 324 In Scutellio’s printed book, Il morir alla moda (1721), we find a sample of the details which could have been recorded in his domestic manuscript. This book no longer cross-references the manuscript pages, but the ‘experiences’ are described in far greater detail than in Li spaventosi riflessi. The usual patient coordinates—name and surname, occupation, age, parish of residence and year of recovery—are enriched in Il morir alla moda by the day and month of recovery, as well as by any changes of the patient’s address after the time of treatment, in order to allow the reader to verify Scutellio’s account. Furthermore, Il morir alla moda includes a much more thorough narrative of each case or ‘experience’, starting from any fruitless prior treatments by physicians, surgeons, apothecaries or non-professionals.56 Sometimes Scutellio also takes pains to describe arduous journeys by gondola to bring the patient to his house in Calle del Dose. His diagnosis, formulated with medical terminology, is followed by notes on the progress of the illness and on the varied application and dosage of his medicinal secrets, as harmonised with different constitutions and conditions.57 If Li spaventosi riflessi were only a short selection of Scutellio’s ‘experiences’, the cases described in Il morir alla moda perhaps more closely resemble those in the original manuscript book. The ‘originals’ noted down in the home manuscript were even lengthier and richer in detail: Scutellio’s manuscript, produced in the field of the medical literature of treatments and case histories, was not so different from the casebook of an early eighteenth-century physician. Still more than his printed works, it was his original manuscript that reflected the Baconian climate of the time.58 Shying away from any sort of speculation and steering clear of any theoretical debates, it testified to the probative and cognitive value of the repeated experimentation and observation of the effects of his secrets. Indeed, as Scutellio also argued in his published works, echoing the Baconian language, it was not the accidental experience but replicated experiments guided by reason that constituted his proving ground and his cultural environment.59 Further information about the contents of the manuscript comes down to us from the final annotations of Li spaventosi riflessi, where, after having acknowledged the role played by his wife Francesca and recalled the abilities of his mother, he explains to the reader: Beyond the knowledge, which my wife retains as to all of my aforementioned Arcana held in my heart, [I tell you] of having set them forth in writing in this Book with diligence and distinction so that all may concoct them, & use them as I know how to; the manner of their composition, their use, and distinction of illnesses is revealed in the Book, Treasure and great Wealth that I leave to my son Carlo who is 11 years of age. … As I am unable to teach my son everything perfectly, I have not failed to employ the above-mentioned diligence.60 (Figures 7b, e ) The manuscript ‘Book’, containing recipes for the correct production of the secrets offered for sale, was a hybrid: halfway between a family recipe collection explaining ‘the manner of the composition [and] the use’ of secret remedies, and a collection of case histories that served as a guide to their application and at the same time advertised them commercially. It was the concrete result of meticulous observation, a useful tool in the advertising of his secrets and, as the language suggests, it was also a priceless asset, destined to be inherited by his son, and thus to perpetuate the family medical knowledge.61 Indeed the multiple references to its pages in Li spaventosi riflessi, like the lines of the Annotationi that introduce it to the reader, are implicit invitations to come to Scutellio’s house in San Maurizio to leaf through its pages. This invitation is made explicit in one of his recipes and in the closing of Il morir alla moda: Anyone wishing to consult on matters of theory is invited [by the author] to his home in Calle del Dose in San Maurizio, in which, and not elsewhere, they can find the licensed secrets and the aforementioned Book.62 Through his manuscript, Giuseppe Scutellio not only offered his customers secrets they could purchase but also notions of medical theory, and explanations of how these products came into being—to the extent that, if they so wished, they would be able to reproduce them in their own home. By promoting his house as a retail outlet, Scutellio underscores the contemporary importance of the household as a site of scientific research, and one that opens its doors to practice, fostering the popularisation of medical knowledge and guiding common people towards becoming ‘smart’ consumers.63 From a 1721 recipe we also learn that the title of Scutellio’s ponderous handwritten book, which has not survived, was called Empirica (Figure 2, see zoomed line).64 Once again, the title gives the measure of the evidentiary value that Scutellio attributed to experience—provided that this was repeated and meticulously recorded, and that it was replicable and comparable.65 Scutellio had prepared his hybrid book, first and foremost, for his wife and son, and then for whoever might end up inheriting the production of his secret remedies, so as to be able to concoct them effectively and ‘without having any concerns as to their perfection, which is undoubted’.66 Clearly, the future he envisaged for the manufacture of his secrets was still that of a small business on a family scale and, indeed, this is how it carried on for many years, passing from his son’s hands to those of friends and, eventually, becoming the property of apothecaries. Friendship and Neighbourly Ties: The Scutellio and Cimolin Households Giuseppe Scutellio died on 18 January 1730 at 64 years of age. The funeral was solemnly conducted in contrà San Maurizio with all the parish clergymen in attendance, and the annotation in the death register is concluded with an observation that was wholly uncommon for that source, a nearly affectionate aside: ‘he has lived in our quarter for around 20 years’.67 Sources subsequent to Scutellio’s death make amends for the slander of quackery that had circulated against him and for the trials and travails he had undergone in life, restoring his medicinal secrets’ lofty reputation and, indirectly, his own. On 14 March 1730, his widow, Francesca Mascotela and his son, Carlo Antonio Jr, then 32 years old, asked the Venetian health authorities for permission to carry on the family business of producing and dispensing authorised medicinal secrets.68 Mother and son worked together for 15 years, until 1745, when Carlo Antonio Scutellio entered into a business partnership with a certain Antonio Cimolin, succeeding the by now aged Francesca.69 We know neither the exact date or the circumstances of the death of Scutellio’s widow, but it seems to have been around 1745.70 Francesca Mascotela thus remains one of the many industrious female practitioners who lived in the shadows of the sources, even though she was as active as her husband in producing secret remedies and treating the sick. In January 1755, Carlo Antonio Scutellio cut off the last tie to his Tridentine origins by giving up the Scutellio family’s pew in Trent cathedral to prominent acquaintances from that city, with all of the connected ‘privileges, pre-eminence and prerogatives … because he believes he will no longer travel to that area’.71 Bearing witness to the document drawn up in Venice was again the abovementioned Antonio Cimolin, who was destined to play a fundamental role in subsequent events. Up to 1755, both Cimolin and Scutellio lived in contrà San Vidal, adjoining that of San Maurizio where the Scutellio family had once resided: they were friends and business partners as well as being neighbours. Indeed, Carlo Antonio Scutellio Jr died aged 62 in 1759, leaving Antonio Cimolin as the sole remaining professional producer of Scutellio’s secret remedies.72 By this point, the secrets had attained such a reputation that Antonio was often mentioned in documents with the double surname ‘Cimolin Scutellio’, or ‘Cimolin called Scutellio’, which he would pass down to his descendants. In 1760s, the laws regulating the granting of medication licences became more restrictive— so much so that they gave rise to a new and bountiful archival series of documents made up of petitions, recipes with their ingredients and production methods, as well as the authorities’ responses to said petitions.73 All of the licences that had been issued up to that time were revoked. Consequently, Antonio Cimolin submitted an application to the provveditori alla Sanità to request that his licence be renewed under the new regulations. In his petition, he pointed out that he had dedicated himself since 1745 to the production of Scutellio’s secret remedies and emphasised how ‘readily apparent is the fame, by way of divine providence, of the salutary effects derived from them to the benefit of the people who by virtue of their particular need have tested them’.74 The authorities, exceptionally, renewed the licence in short order without subjecting the medications to any testing, on the grounds of the ‘reputation that with experience the secrets had acquired’.75 And over the years further confirmation emerged of the very high regard in which Scutellio’s secrets were held by the competent authorities, who clearly distinguished them from those concocted by charlatans.76 The production and retailing of Scutellio’s secrets went on throughout the eighteenth century as a family business that gradually and almost imperceptibly was absorbed into the circuits of official pharmacopoeia thanks to friendship and family connections. A curious document from 1777 provides a glimpse into the rhythms of Antonio Cimolin-Scutellio’s life. In March of that year, he asked to be allowed to withdraw from his duties with the charity caring for the poor in his parish.77 As Cimolin explained, ‘I am occupied in the countryside from the beginning of April to the end of August, where I select and gather herbs and other items necessary for the production of the said [Scutellio’s] balms. Who shall replace me and who shall work by my side during the time of my absence I know not, having neither workshop nor store of any sort, and having my only son engaged in the surgical profession’.78 So, the head of a small family unit and a highly regarded resident in his neighbourhood, he spent five months every year gathering herbs on the mainland. And as with the Scutellios, Cimolin’s secrets continued to be managed in the domestic environment by a small family nucleus, consisting of Antonio, his wife and only son, living at a short distance from where they were originally produced and commercialised, in the adjacent parish. Notwithstanding the silence of sources on the matter, we can presume that during Antonio’s absences from home, his wife Anna Maria Paruzio ran the retail business of selling secret remedies from home, helped by her stepson, Girolamo.79 This is corroborated by the wording of a printed recipe from the 1770s, which mentions that ‘… said balms and said secrets are dispensed solely by Mr. Antonio Cimolin and his son, Girolamo, in Venice in San Vidal’.80 Ironically, this flyleaf also confirms that with his death Scutellio shook off the accusations of quackery which had dogged him, and that he was even described as a ‘physician’, a title which he had been denied during his life-time: ‘the Marvellous homogeneous balms of the Most Illustrious Mister Giuseppe Maria Felice Scutellio knight of the Holy Roman Empire, physician of the august House of Austria’.81 It is worth noting that Girolamo Cimolin’s career choice—surgery—was, in many regards, a result of the medical knowledge he had acquired in a household which specialised in the production of medicinal secrets: he could use them in his cures and his practice attested to their effectiveness. Such complementarity therefore benefited the medical activities of all family members.82 Doctor Scutellio’s Secrets and the Hybrid Book Enter Pharmacies Thanks to an Invisible Woman Giuseppe Scutellio was still defined as a ‘doctor’, without any hint of irregularity, in a printed recipe from the early nineteenth century. It advertised the Singular virtues of the balm entitled Donum Dei of the excellent doctor Giuseppe Maria Felice Scutellio of Trent, which is exclusively produced and sold at the Ombrella apothecary shop in campo Santo Stefano (Figure 9).83 This recipe—printed with the usual sobriety of layout: a well-spaced text in two columns bordered by a wooden frame—testifies to the entry of the most renowned and versatile of Scutellio’s medicinal secrets into an apothecary’s shop: a febrifuge that in the meantime had taken on the more attractive name Donum Dei (God’s Gift). But other secrets of Scutellio’s had entered the official pharmacopoeia since the end of the eighteenth century onwards. Fig. 9 View largeDownload slide Scutellio, Li spaventosi riflessi, 29 Fig. 9 View largeDownload slide Scutellio, Li spaventosi riflessi, 29 Let us now clarify how this happened and the role played in this process by a strong-willed and independent female apothecary unknown to the sources of the apothecaries’ guild, Anna Maria Ferramonti. Once again events unfolded in the context of neighbourhood and friendship between Anna Maria and the surgeon Girolamo Cimolin. From the late seventeenth century the Ferramonti family had run the Ombrella (Umbrella) apothecary shop in campo Santo Stefano, at the very heart of the San Vidal parish.84 In 1769, upon the death of her widowed father, Anna Maria Ferramonti was nearly 50 years old, unmarried, and lived together with a widower cousin of the same age, Domenico Sr, and a 10-year-old nephew, Domenico Jr, entrusted to her care in order to learn the apothecary’s trade.85 Leafing through the records of the apothecaries’ guild relative to those years, it can be seen how from February 1769 the cousin, Domenico Sr, also a master apothecary, replaced Anna Maria’s father until his own death in 1775. From 1776 to 1791 there is no further record of a master apothecary’s presence at the Ombrella.86 However, this gap does not at all signify that the apothecary shop had gone out of business, it simply implies that it was being wholly run by a woman who was not allowed to formally act as an apothecary.87 Indeed, in contrast to the Venetian silk guild which had been opened to women in the mid-eighteenth century, and differing from trades such as knitting or glass-bead making where female work was clearly envisaged in the guild’s by-laws, many occupations, such as apothecary or printer, statutorily barred women from holding any guild-related titles, even if women’s participation was accepted in the everyday practice of an apothecary’s or printer’s shop—above all in the frequent cases of widowhood.88 The actual role of women can often be sketched out only by piecing together evidence scattered in different types of sources, rather than by way of the guilds’ reticent documentation, as has been demonstrated for a female presence in the running of barber-surgeon shops in early modern Turin.89 Notarial sources, indeed, can tell us much more about Anna Maria Ferramonti’s professional life. As stated in various notarial documents, from the very time of her father’s death Anna Maria—and not Domenico Sr—was the sole and legitimate owner of the shop’s sign (inviamento) and its capital as made up of medicines and equipment.90 It was always Anna Maria who went to the notary to collect on old medicinal credits that her father had not managed to recover or else to demand the payment of more recent ones.91 It was she who set prices and sought payments. Moreover, she managed not only the business of the shop but also financial investments stemming from the profits this made. And after Domenico Sr’s death, it was Anna Maria alone who dealt with the entire managerial and professional side of the apothecary shop, employing apprentices who were accommodated in a wing of her home and worked under her close supervision. It is readily apparent that Anna Maria’s role in the apothecary was not merely administrative but also entailed a real pharmaceutical expertise, even though she was officially uncertified and invisible to the guild’s documentary sources. She had presumably acquired the skills of a master apothecary by working beside her father first and then her cousin over the course of a long informal training, while Domenico Sr had placed not just his professionalism but, most importantly, his representative role in the apothecaries’ guild at his cousin’s service.92 As to the nature of the relationship that connected Anna Maria Ferramonti with the surgeon Girolamo Cimolin, we must turn to her last will which sheds light on the longstanding collaboration between the two professionals. On the occasion of a minor illness in 1779, the 58-year-old Anna decided to set down a will in which the then 29-year-old Girolamo Cimolin had a primary role.93 As far as the apothecary shop was concerned, she left half to her nephew Domenico Jr, then nearly 20 years old, ‘who lives with me, and who is employed in the service of my above-mentioned shop’ and the other half I leave to the aforementioned Mr Girolamo Cimolin called Scutellio, so that they will enjoy it together, and I command that the sole director, administrator and handler of shop funds be the said Mr Girolamo without crippling dependency, nor interference by the aforementioned Domenico as if he were his son, already knowing how much I can rely on his upright conscience.94 Interestingly, the relationship between Domenico Jr and Cimolin was conceived of by Anna Maria like the bond between father and son, even though the age difference between the two young men was far from significant (less than 10 years). Her real purpose was to transfer to Girolamo the authority she had over Domenico Jr, making their professional relationship quasi-parental.95 Girolamo was to take over the financial management of the apothecary shop, and if Domenico contested his running of the shop, he would be disinherited, ‘having entirely the duty to recognize him as father’ and of ‘obeying and respecting [Girolamo] as if he were father and myself in the same person’. More equal than the parental bond, that remained of mere subordination, the tie between Anna Maria and Girolamo was grounded in esteem and human and professional trust, consolidated over years of living in close proximity to one another and evidently of working together: As administrator, and sole executor of this my last will and testament, I appoint, name and request that the aforementioned Girolamo Cimolin called Scutellio, to whom I confer all rights, freedom and authority as if I were acting myself, requesting that he assumes such burden and responsibility to complete the assistance he has given to my own affairs during my life, and signifying him all my due gratitude, which is less than what I would like to be able to prove to him.96 Indeed until August 1787, Anna Maria Ferramonti would leave behind notarial traces of herself, often having Girolamo Cimolin act in her stead, going so far as to eventually name him her proxy for financial and legal deeds.97 It is plausible that the close collaboration with the surgeon Girolamo Cimolin also led to the commercialisation of Scutellio’s secrets at the Ombrella apothecary during Anna Maria Ferramonti’s lifetime. And if not in her lifetime, immediately after she died, aged 66 in 1788, when Girolamo became the sole manager of the shop.98 A few years later, a further twist brought back to the Ferramontis the management and the full ownership of the Ombrella pharmacy. On 4 August 1794, Girolamo Cimolin died at 44 years of age.99 His father Antonio Cimolin, who had been Carlo Antonio Scutellio’s business partner since 1745, was now very old and embittered, as is evident from the will that he set down in the same year, 1794 (Figure 10). He immediately sold off all of his son’s assets, including half of the shop, which was purchased by Domenico Ferramonti Jr for the market price of 3,500 ducats.100 In his last will, remembering among the beneficiaries the young Domenico Jr ‘my friend grocer of drugs at the Ombrella’, the old Antonio Cimolin ordered the drawing up of an inventory of his properties and, finally, gave precise instructions regarding the famous Scutellio’s handwritten book, with which we have come to be familiar: Beyond which, finding myself alone in possession of the Book of All the Secrets of Knight Scutellio, I do so order and wish that of the proceeds from the sale of said book, which I shall later arrange, and of the capital interests as well, will be enjoyed only by her [i.e. my wife Anna Maria Paruzio] in her lifetime.101 Fig. 10 View largeDownload slide Printed recipe, BCT, TFV I c 1411 Fig. 10 View largeDownload slide Printed recipe, BCT, TFV I c 1411 After having named his executors, he urged them to sell Giuseppe Scutellio’s book to the highest bidder, ‘with possible greater advantage for my estate’.102 Upon Antonio Cimolin’s death, the Ferramontis of the Ombrella apothecary shop in campo Santo Stefano also purchased the manuscript containing Scutellio’s curationes and secret recipes, which would go on being produced and sold—almost until the twentieth century—by the same pharmacy. More precisely, it was the widow Anna Maria Paruzio Cimolin ‘called Scutellio’—the last inheritor of the inventor’s surname—who sold the book and formulas by private deed to Domenico Ferramonti Jr in exchange for a lifetime annuity (1806).103 Later the apothecary shop, together with the manuscript and secret remedies, passed to the Galvanis, also pharmacists and chemists for generations; and finally to Antonio Galvani’s son-in-law, Girolamo Dian, who was a gifted chemist and the foremost modern historian of Venetian pharmacopoeia (Figure 11).104 Indeed, in 1900, it was Dian in his Cenni storici sulla farmacia veneta (Historical Account of Pharmacies in the Veneto) who revealed some ingredients of Giuseppe Scutellio’s recipes, drawing on the hybrid family manuscript whose traces have now vanished. Dian recounted that there were still customers who would ask for Scutellio’s febrifuge Donum Dei and that gondoliers recalled another of Scutellio’s salves among those generously donated by patrician families to the poorest to treat rheumatism and to heal wounds and bruises.105 In the early twentieth century the fame of Scutellio’s secrets was still alive. Fig. 11 View largeDownload slide ASV, Notarile atti, II serie, Angelo Maria Casser, b. 493, no. 74 Fig. 11 View largeDownload slide ASV, Notarile atti, II serie, Angelo Maria Casser, b. 493, no. 74 Fig. 12 View largeDownload slide Printed recipe, Private collection Fig. 12 View largeDownload slide Printed recipe, Private collection The Circle Closes: From Modern Empiricism to the Apothecary Shop Thus, in an apothecary, we come to the end the story of secrets devised by a ‘particular person’—according to the definition of Venetian legislation—who, through biographical research, has acquired a remarkably complex profile. As during the previous centuries, in eighteenth-century Venice, alongside the quasi-professional charlatans and the ‘nefarious sect of quacks, empirics, occultists, impostors and the like who have not been approved’, plenty of ordinary people were inventing medicinal secrets. But unlike in previous centuries, charlatanism could be used as a slander against a regular (authorised) figure such as Giuseppe Scutellio. What had changed in the meantime? It looks as if charlatanry, from a professional (and accepted when not sought as a career) category, had turned into a moral (and blameworthy) category. Giuseppe Scutellio’s life is a perfect testament to such a transition period. A possible reason for this shift in meaning, which should be supported by investigation of other ‘particular persons’ like Scutellio, is linked to the peculiar cultural climate of the long eighteenth century. The secrets’ selection criteria by the Venetian Health authorities and the licence granting process were increasingly standardised and recorded in writing and the testing procedure for the most original secrets was becoming more methodical and articulated; even if formalised by law only in 1763.106 The distinction of secrets into two categories had deep roots, and was gradually adopted so as better to marginalise and eliminate non-original and quackery secrets.107 Recording, categories and distinction/separation provide the foundation for stigmatisation, and probably they contributed to creating the climate in which charlatanry could be used as an accusation against a figure like Scutellio, who was a particularly fragile subject since he did not enjoy the protection afforded by membership of any medical guild or college. Giuseppe Scutellio was the offspring of the same cultural climate which rendered more efficient the selection criteria for the best secrets. He showed in his secrets and works the very delicate period of transition from ancient to modern medical empiricism. His lack of a traditional medical training led him to evaluate to the highest degree the positive role of experience. However, it was a methodical and reasoned experience that was distinct from ancient empiricism; it never aimed to discover hidden causes but only trusted things as they appeared to senses.108 As we have seen in his printed book Il morir alla moda, the modern authorities to whom he often referred were mainly lecturers/professors in whose career and works (mainly of medical practice) observation plays a key role. Among them he cites with greatest frequency Neil O’Glacan, whose descriptions of symptoms and disease are remarkable for the time, and whose pioneering research in pathological anatomy caused his contemporaries to consider him a forerunner of Malpighi.109 In his Il morir alla moda Scutellio celebrates the pivotal concepts of modern medical empiricism, Reason and Experience, which are the refrain of so many of his pages and protagonists of his metaphorical discourse—they are two unsurpassed columns, the legs of the perfect physician, etc. He also insists on the necessity of testing everything repeatedly, primarily all of his own secrets, for observing their effects on different human constitutions.110 Scutellio’s rational empiricism gives experience—and recorded experience in particular—a very positive evaluation, in the same way medical authorities had started to do. His hybrid manuscript—like his printed books which provide a synthesis of his curationes—offer a perfect idea of the greater weight given during the long eighteenth century to methodical observation, description and repetition of experiences. The work is comprised of first-hand reports with scrupulous attention towards the particular and the individual (name, age, place, progression of disease, recovery, etc.), which concluded with an invitation to readers to try the recipes of his secrets. Scutellio transmitted all his enthusiasm for experience in devising new remedies, but had to make up for the fact that he acted outside the protective sphere of a guild or professional college. For this reason he had to fight against the slander of charlatanism to defend his reputation, a reputation meticulously built up during his whole life by fashioning himself as a reliable practitioner—in an era when such categories were still being defined—and a trusted healer who sold his secrets from his home and visited patients in their own houses. He won this struggle through his inventions, as evidenced in the posthumous aknowledgement by the authorities of the originality and effectivness of his secrets. Scutellio’s example and what happened to his secrets are both ordinary and exceptional. His story was ordinary in that he was only one of the many ‘particular persons’/not-charlatans who devised, within a household, some medical remedies and decided to start up a small family business of secrets. Equally ordinary is how Scutellio’s secrets ended up in the apothecary shop, since from the end of the eighteenth century the policy of the Venetian Health authorities was to urge private people who manufactured effective secrets to sell them through apothecaries.111 If the provveditori alla Sanità had tolerated private houses to be lively production and selling points from the sixteenth century, during the late eighteenth century and onwards apothecaries were urged to take over existing small family businesses. What is beyond doubt exceptional about Scutellio is the amount of documentation that exists. Nevertheless, there is reason to investigate other less well documented ‘particular people’ whose existence deserves our consideration: such study would allow us to compare Scutellio’s case with the vicissitudes of other ‘particular people’, that might reveal unsuspected panoramas. The story of Scutellio’s secrets reveals a harmonious mingling of domestic and commercial medicine in a century which is better known for the pervasive role of the medical market. As for his domestic medicine, Scutellio not only opened his home to patients, but described his medical practice as a family business in which his mother and his wife played a key role. This means that both Scutellio and his patients ascribed a strong positive value to the family medical tradition and the cumulative experience which women also helped to build and maintain. These many factors show a long-lasting evaluation of domestic medicine as well as a positive consideration of women which can be hard to trace in the sources, as early modern history is often overwhelmed by the massive amount of negative print literature circulating on the commonplace of the vetula. This case study has also brought to light a harmonious web of relationships woven among families, neighbourhoods and friends who participated in the transmission of Scutellio’s remedies. These relationships between inventors of secrets, surgeons and apothecaries can hardly be categorised as competitive. Rather, they appear as strong as kinship ties, which entailed a high degree of integration between different forms of medicine, such as those practised at home and from the licensed shop, by officially qualified practitioners and empirics alike. Undoubtedly, once they obtained their place among the remedies sold in a pharmacy, Giuseppe Scutellio’s secrets, a blend of academic and empirical knowledge synthesised within the household, represented an enrichment for the official pharmacopoeia. Acknowledgements I am deeply grateful to my anonymous readers, who helped me to enhance this article through their sharp and precise comments as well as through their insightful vision into issues regarding the social history of medicine. A special thanks to the editors of this journal and to Patricia Skinner particularly for her assistance in the final revision of the text. Footnotes 1 David Gentilcore, Medical Charlatanism in Early Modern Italy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006). 2 The evolution of the Venetian legislation is outlined in Sabrina Minuzzi, Sul filo dei segreti. Farmacopea, libri e pratiche terapeutiche a Venezia in età moderna (Milan: Unicopli, 2016), ‘La legge dei segreti: autori-inventori, costi, autorizzazioni orali e scritte’, 21–30 and ‘Legislazione del 1763’, 187–190. The 1763 legislation was only the formalisation of rules applied—but not methodically—since the seventeenth century. 3 These categories had existed alongside quacks since the law of 25 June 1540, and in 1677 they became the subject of separate legislation. 4 A quantitative elaboration of the numbers of licence requests to the Venetian Health Office for medicinal secrets and the criteria of the data detection are in Minuzzi, Sul filo dei segreti, 31–5 and Graphs 2, 4–6. Quacks’ petitions represents only 6.9% (sixteenth century), 17.8% (seventeenth century) and 13.3% (eighteenth century) of the totality—compared to those submitted by apothecaries, religious figures, physicians, surgeons, distillers/chemists, barbers, grocers, merchants and ‘particular people’ who had no profession or whose profession was not declared in the sources. 5 The category of ‘particular people’ is the biggest one in the Venetian Health Office records and maybe the most worthy of investigation, as it represents 41.1% (sixteenth century), 61.7% (seventeenth century) and 41% (eighteenth century) of the totality. The only limit to the research is represented by the current availability of documentation, usually very scarce on people who are not identified by any profession, high social status, etc. This is also the main reason why their presence has been overlooked or ignored by scholars, who sometimes dismissed them quickly as charlatans. Several other ‘particulars’ have been studied through archival sources in Minuzzi, Sul filo dei segreti, see ‘I casi studio’, 107–84 and see the index. 6 Laurence Brockliss and Colin Jones, The Medical World of Early Modern France (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997); David Gentilcore, Healers and Healing in Early Modern Italy (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998) and his Medical Charlatanism. 7 Mark S. Jenner and Patrick Wallis, ‘The Medical Marketplace’, in Jenner and Wallis, eds, Medicine and the Market in England and its Colonies, c. 1450−c. 1850 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), 1 − 23. 8 Archivio di Stato di Venezia (henceforth ASV), Provveditori alla Sanità (henceforth Sanità), Terminazioni, busta (henceforth b.) 87, no. 898. 9 As an example of his work in local communities, in spring 1706, Venice ordered massive quantities of his vermifuge to treat an epidemic form which had broken out in the Treviso area, and the event is confirmed by archival documents preserved at the Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, A Catalogue of the Manuscripts and Archives of the Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1983), 215, no. 1057. 10 Giuseppe Scutellio, Li spaventosi riflessi (Venice, 1710), 8, 48. Shield in latin is scutum and the Scutellio surname is a linguistic variance/alteration from it. See also the verbal description of the coat of arms in Giuseppe Scutellio, Il morir alla moda (In Venezia: per Giacomo Tomasini, 1721), 145, and 141 for the imperial decrees of nobility. 11 Archivio Diocesano di Trento (henceforth ADT), Pergine, Nati, reg. 1665–72. His godfather was Alvise Lener, on behalf of Antonio Sizzo court councillor of Trent and the Bishop-Prince of Trent’s representative, while his godmother was Corona Ghebel, wife of the noble Giuseppe Ghebel from Pergine. Marco Bellabarba, Marcello Bonazza and Katia Occhi, eds, Ceti tirolesi e territorio trentino: materiali dagli archivi di Innsbruck e di Trento, 1413–1790 (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2006), see the index; see also Giuseppe Sizzo, Memorie intorno alla famiglia Tridentina dei conti Sizzo de Nori (Milan: Luigi Pirola, 1843). 12 Giangrisostomo Tovazzi, Familiarium Tridentinum, Biblioteca comunale Trento (henceforth BCT), Ms. 172, 85 and Arnaldo Segarizzi, ‘Professori e scolari trentini nello Studio di Padova’, Archivio trentino, 29 (1914), 5–51, 158–200, no. 768. Caterina was already Giovanni Pompeati’s widow; they had wed in 1648 and he died in 1654, cf. ADT, S. Vigilio, Matrimoni, 1631–82, f. 130 (16 August 1648). 13 An initial perusal of Trent’s baptism records, suggests that the marriage of Melchiori, who soon became a widower, produced no other children, making Caterina the only daughter of Girolamo Melchiori. On her career, see Giangrisostomo Tovazzi, Biblioteca Tirolese eds R. Stenico, I. Franceschini (Trento: Biblioteca S. Bernardino, 2006), see the index. 14 Ibid. 15 For the degree in utroque jure that Marco Antonio was awarded on 26 January 1680, see Maria Teresa Guerrini, ‘Qui voluerit in iure promoveri … ’: doctors of law at the University of Bologna, 1501–1796 (Bologna: Cooperativa Libraria Universitaria, 2005), 619, no. 7913. 16 Archivio di Stato di Trento (henceforth AST), Notarile, Giudizio di Pergine, notaio Giacinto Rusca, year 1678, f. 72; 1679, ff. 27, 29, 32; 1680, f. 42; 1682, ff. 47, 51, 84; 1685, f. 143; 1695, f. 94; 1696, ff. 73, 118, 123; 1697, f. 81; 1698, f. 28. 17 After getting back her sizeable dowry (amounting to around 6,000 ragnesi, Rhine florins), she proceeded to the sale of meadows, fields and capitals for more than 1,600 ragnesi. See AST, Notarile, Giudizio di Pergine, notaio Giacinto Rusca, yr 1697, f. 27. 18 ADT, Pergine, Matrimoni, 1673–1706, f. 177v: ‘the most illustious sir Joseph Felix Scutellio born in Pergine, there brought up and at present resident’ (my translation). 19 They were the Governor of Trent, Count Caspar von Wolkenstein, and Angela Rusca married to the family notary Giacinto Rusca, cf. ADT, Pergine, Nati, 1692–1708, f. 310r. 20 ASV, Procuratori di S. Marco de Supra, Scritture diverse, reg. 213, f. 1r. 21 Scutellio, Li spaventosi riflessi, 72–3. 22 The practice would continue for the whole of the eighteenth century, cf. ASV, Procuratori di S. Marco de Supra, Scritture diverse, regg. 210–14. 23 The title page of Li spaventosi riflessi describes him as ‘inhabitant in Venice’. 24 Scutellio, Li spaventosi riflessi, 29. 25 ASV, Dieci savi alle decime, Catastico di S. Marco 1711, reg. 427. The Savi were the magistrates responsible for overseeing the Venetian Republic’s finances. 26 Following the fundamental studies by Donald F. McKenzie, Roger Chartier and G. Thomas Tanselle, the importance of integrating historical research with a material perspective of analysis of printed and manuscript texts is now widely recognised: James Daybell and Peter Hinds, eds, Material Readings of Early Modern Culture. Texts and Social Practices, 1580–1730 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). 27 Five of Scutellio’s recipes are kept in the ASV, Sanità, Terminazioni, b. 90, no. 54. 28 See the reproductions in Gentilcore’s Medical Charlatanism, 343, 346, 349–50; for the relationship between charlatans and printing in general, see ch. 10, Print. For the Venetian recipe printed in red, cf. ASV, Sanità, Rapporti medici, b. 588, by Antonio Maffazzoli. 29 Reproductions of apothecaries’ print recipes are in Elsa M. Cappelletti et al., La spezieria. Medicamenti e arte farmaceutica nel Veneto dal Cinquecento ad oggi (Padova: Antilia, 2002) and in Attilio Zanca, ed., Il farmaco nei tempi. Antichi farmaci (Milan: Farmitalia-Carlo Erba, 1990), 116. 30 A revealing comparison can be made with the about 40 leaflets numbering a few pages written by charlatans who advertised their remedies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, cf. Bologna University Library, Collection of the Pharmacist Ubaldo Zanetti, A.V. Tab. I, no. III., vol. 256. For charlatans’ printed production see Gentilcore, Medical Charlatanism, 358–65. 31 Paolo Rossi, La nascita della scienza moderna in Europa (Roma-Bari: Laterza, 2009), 249–51. 32 Scutellio, Li spaventosi riflessi, 30 and Vincenzo Coronelli, Guida de’ forestieri, in Venetia 1697, ff. 7v-8r. See about 80 titles published by Giuseppe Maria Ruinetti in <http://www.sbn.it/opacsbn/opac/iccu/antico.jsp> (last accessed November 2016). 33 From the late Middle Ages onwards, an ever-increasingly positive value was placed on the observation and study of individual health experiences at the expense of general medical rules and classifications; for antecedents, see Chiara Crisciani, ‘Histories, Stories, Exempla, and Anecdotes: Michele Savonarola from Latin to Vernacular’ and for the Renaissance evolution, Gianna Pomata, ‘Praxis historialis: the Uses of Historia in Early Modern Medicine’, both in Gianna Pomata and Nancy G. Siraisi, eds, Historia: Empiricism and Erudition in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005), 105–46, 297–324. 34 Gianna Pomata, ‘A Word of the Empirics: the Ancient Concept of Observation and its Recovery in Early Modern Medicine’, Annals of Science, 68/1 (January 2011), 1–25; Ead., ‘Sharing Cases: the Observationes in Early Modern Medicine’, Early Science and Medicine 15 (2010), 193–236. 35 Scutellio, Il morir alla moda, f. A5r for the quotation. 36 Ibid. He accurately cites passages, chapters and pages of authors whose works were published from the late sixteenth century or in the seventeenth century: Massaria, Practica medica seu Praelectiones academicae; Rondelet, Methodus curandorum omnium morborum corporis humani and Rondelet, Dispensatorium seu Pharmacopolarum officina; Houllier, De morborum internorum curatione; Bruele, Praxis medicinae theorica et empirica … In qua eruditiss. dilucidissimaq. ratione morborum internorum cognitio, eorundemque curatio traditur; O’Glacan, Prima [- tertia] pars cursus medici, published for the first time in 1646–53. 37 Ibid., 148. 38 The most noted example among debunking pamphlets is that of Buonafede Vitali with his Diffesa del salimbanco, see Gentilcore, Medical Charlatanism, see the index and Eamon, Science and the Secrets of Nature, 247. 39 Scutellio, Il morir alla moda, 203 and passim. 40 Ibid., unnumbered preliminary pages. 41 ASV, Sanità, Notatori, reg. 748, f. 258v–259r. 42 Gentilcore, Medical Charlatanism, 243–4. 43 On the quest for therapeutic gentleness typical of professionals and especially in the late eighteenth-century evolution of authorised secrets, see ‘Paradigmi preventivi e di dolcezza terapeutica’, in Minuzzi, Sul filo dei segreti, 215–22. 44 ASV, Sanità, Terminazioni, b. 90, no. 54. Petitions were usually written by professional scribes; whereas attached materials (sometimes the recipe ingredients) were set down in much more uncertain and unsteady handwriting by the creator of the medicinal secret. In Scutellio’s case, the petition and attached sheets are set down in the same hand. 45 The association between medical secrets and the family unit in Venice, with reference to an earlier period, is developed by Jane Stevens Crawshaw in ‘Families, Medical Secrets and Public Health in Early Modern Venice’, Renaissance Studies, 2014, 28, 597–618; see also Minuzzi, Sul filo dei segreti, 119–32, ‘Le famiglie Colochi-Olivieri e le ricette per automedicazione’. 46 Scutellio, Li spaventosi riflessi, 67. 47 Ibid. 48 A special skill for curing female diseases is generally ascribed to women, cf. Katharine Park, Secrets of Women: Gender, Generation, and the Origins of Human Dissection (New York: Zone Books, 2006). 49 Linda Pollock, With Faith and Physick: the Life of a Tudor Gentlewoman, Lady Grace Mildmay, 1552–1620 (London: Collins & Brown, 1993); Lynette Hunter, ‘Women and Domestic Medicine: Lady Experimenters, 1570–1620’, in Lynette Hunter and Sarah Hutton, eds, Women, Science and Medicine, 1500–1700 (Thrupp: Sutton Publishing, 1997), 89–107; Alisha Rankin, Panaceia’s Daughters. Noblewomen as Healers in Early Modern Germany (Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 2013). For further bibliography, see Elaine Leong, ‘Making Medicines in the Early Modern Household’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 2008, 82, 145–68. 50 Medical secrets were a steady interest within the Melchiori family: I recently came across a mid-eighteenth-century manuscript of medicinal secrets kept by the Melchiori family and donated in 1876 to the Trent local library (BCT, Ms no. 2408) which I intend to investigate. 51 On old female healers, see also Jole Agrimi and Chiara Crisciani, ‘Medici e ‘vetulae’ dal Duecento al Quattrocento: problemi di una ricerca’, in Cultura popolare e cultura dotta nel Seicento (Milan: Franco Angeli, 1983), 144–59. 52 See Pelling’s subtle analysis in ‘Thoroughly Resented? Older Women and the Medical Role in Early Modern London’, 63–88. 53 Leong, ‘Making Medicines’; Pollock, With Faith and Physick; Rankin, Panaceia’s Daughters. 54 Such is the case in Sara Pennell and Elaine Leong, ‘Recipe Collections and the Currency of Medical Knowledge in the Early Modern Marketplace’, in Jenner and Willis, Medicine and the Market, 133–52, 136. 55 Scutellio, Li spaventosi riflessi, 29. 56 A very similar list of 32 patients treated from 1557 to 1584, with their names, occupations and domicile was complied by a certain Dr Goebels, who closed his manuscript with five pages of remedies, see Rankin, Panaceia’s Daughters, 56. 57 Scutellio, Il morir alla moda, see, for example, the case of the 35-year-old mirror-maker Domenico Apolloni, which takes up three pages, 319–50. 58 The Baconian method is deftly outlined by Eamon in Science and the Secrets of Nature, ch. X. On the growing importance of observation and thorough description of individual cases, see Brian W. Ogilvie, The Science of Describing. Natural History in Renaissance Europe (Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 2006); a discussion of the new significance attributed to experience/experimentation, the necessity of its repetition and the noting down of what is observed is to be found in Lorraine Daston, ‘The Empire of Observation, 1600–1800’, in Lorraine Daston and Elizabeth Lunbeck, Histories of Scientific Observation (Chicago and London: Chicago University Press, 2011), 81–113. 59 Scutellio, Li spaventosi riflessi, 74–9; Id., Il morir alla moda, 19, 84, 88–9, 113–14, 132, 153, 228. 60 Scutellio, Li spaventosi riflessi, 67–8. 61 An intriguing admixture of medicinal recipes and patients’ cases is described in Lisa Wynne Smith in ‘Secrets of Place: the Medical Casebooks of Vivant-Augustin Ganiare’ (between 1736 and 1777), in Elaine Leong and Alisha Rankin, eds, Secrets and Knowledge in Medicine and Science, 1500–1800 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2011), 213–31. The presence in private English recipe collections of the early eighteenth century of claims about remedies’ virtues and stories of their success, has been highlighted by Seth Stein LeJacq, ‘The Bounds of Domestic Healing: Medical Recipes, Storytelling and Surgery in Early Modern England’, Social History of Medicine, 2013, 26, 451–68. 62 Scutellio, Il morir alla moda [236]. 63 On smart consumers, see Pennell and Leong, ‘Recipe Collections’, 143–8. 64 ASV, Sanità, Terminazioni, b. 90, no. 54. Other recipes, too, contain references to the ‘experiments’ and ‘experiences’ described in the home manuscript. 65 Eamon, Science and the Secrets of Nature, 93; on the variety of meanings applied to the same terms relating to experience from the Middle Ages onwards, see ch. I in Ogilvie, The Science of Describing. 66 Scutellio, Li spaventosi riflessi, 68. 67 Archivio Storico della Curia Patriarcale, Venezia (henceforth ASCPV), S. Maurizio, Morti, 1586–1756, 525: ‘18 January 1729/1730 the Honourable Giuseppe Maria Felice Scutelli quondam Carlo aged about 65 years ill for ten days prior with aching chest, treated by the excellent physicians Giovanni Dal Rio and Gobbetti. Laying him to rest signora Francesca Mescolella [sic], his wife with all parish clergymen; and he has lived in our sestiere for around 20 years.’ 68 ASV, Sanità, Terminazioni, b. 92, no. 254. 69 ASV, Sanità, Rapporti, b. 588, 3 September 1760. 70 In the tax records of 1745 (the only ones available after those from 1711), Francesca and her son no longer appear as residing in San Maurizio Parish, cf. ASV, Dieci savi alle decime, Catastico di San Marco 1740, reg. 434. 71 ASV, Notarile atti, Ferdinando Uccelli, reg. 12442, ff. 289v–290r. 72 ASCPV, S. Vidal, Morti, 1727–79, 162. 73 Minuzzi, Sul filo dei segreti. 74 ASV, Sanità, Rapporti, b. 588, 3 September 1760. 75 Ibid. 76 See the Introduction to this article. 77 The task of looking after the poor was entrusted only ‘to the best and best known’ among the residents of a parish—as explained by the brotherhood’s leaders in their petition to the health authorities to induce Cimolin to accept. ASV, Sanità, Suppliche, b. 172, petition by the leaders of the San Vidal Brotherhood of Charity for the Poor, 17 March 1777. 78 Ibid., 10 March 1777. 79 Antonio Cimolin Scutellio married twice, first to Elena Zanetti, who died in 1750 giving birth to their son, Girolamo. See ASCPV, S. Vidal, Battesimi, 1718–80, 125 and ASCPV, S. Vidal, Morti, 1727–79, 26 December 1750. A few years later Antonio Cimolin married Anna Maria Paruzio. In 1754, their only daughter died a few days after being born, cf. ASCPV, S. Vidal, Morti, 1727–79, 26 November 1754. 80 ASV, Sanità, Rapporti, b. 586. 81 Ibid. As we know, Giuseppe Scutellio, had always honestly signed himself ‘empiric and rational physician’, while his successors usually defined him in the recipes as being a ‘physician’ or ‘doctor’. 82 Girolamo Cimolin had been approved as a surgeon on 20 May 1772 and, until January 1775, had practised at the side of the surgeon Francesco Trezzi, whose workshop was always in San Vidal. See Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Ms. It. VII 2367 (=9742), f. 21, January 1774/1775. 83 BCT, TFV I c 1411. 84 In 1711, the progenitor, Antonio Ferramonti, paid a good 80 ducats in rent for his home and attached shop, overseeing a prosperous business that remained steady over the years, see ASV, Dieci savi alle decime, Catastico 1711, reg. 427 (San Vidal parish). 85 Girolamo Ferramonti’s death, cf. ASCPV, S. Vidal, Morti, 1727–79, 214, 21 July 1769. 86 Biblioteca del Museo Correr, Venice (henceforth, BMC), Mariegola dell’arte degli speziali, 209/C. 87 The same void in representation occurs in the case of Marietta Colochi, a very active ‘medichessa’ (woman-physician) in the context of public health in sixteenth-century Venice, cf. Stevens Crawshaw, ‘Families, Medical Secrets and Public Health in Early Modern Venice’, 599. 88 On the role of Venetian women in guilds, see Anna Bellavitis, Le travail des femmes dans les contrats d’apprentissage de la Giustizia Vecchia (Venise au xve siècle), in Isabelle Chabot-Jérôme and Hayez-Didier Lett, eds, Le travail des femmes et le quotidien (xive–xviiie siècles). Textes offerts à Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, 181–95 and, with a focus on gender issues, Francesca Trivellato, ‘Guilds, Technology, and Economic Change in Early Modern Venice’, in S. R. Epstein and Maarten Prak, eds, Guilds, Innovation, and the European Economy, 1400–1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 199–231; for more on the silk industry, see Luca Molà, The Silk Industry of Renaissance Venice (Baltimore; London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000) and Marcello Della Valentina, ‘Il setificio salvato dalle donne: le tessitrici veneziane nel Settecento’ in Anna Bellavitis, Nadia Maria Filippini and Tiziana Plebani, eds, Spazi, poteri, diritti delle donne a Venezia in età moderna (Verona: QuiEdit, 2012), 321–35. Things went differently in France where, starting in the late seventeenth century, some guilds were opened to women and others were created that were set aside exclusively for females; for the medical trade in particular, see Susan Broomhall, Women’s Medical Work in Early Modern France (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004), ch. 1, ‘Women and Medical Guilds’. A similar involvement in craft settings is documented for German masters’ wives and daughters, see Merry E. Wiesner, Working Women in Renaissance Germany (New Bruswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1986), 152–7. 89 Sandra Cavallo, Artisans of the body in Early Modern Italy: Identities, Families and Masculinities (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007), ch. 7, ‘Women in the Body Crafts’. In Italy the absence from the sources—though not in actual facts—of women’s economic activities outside the home is more accentuated than in other European countries, making research more tortuous; for Venice, see Monica Chojnacka, Working Women of Early Modern Venice (Baltimore; London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001) and Anna Bellevitis and Linda Guzzetti, ‘Donne, lavoro, economia a Venezia e in Terraferma tra Medioevo ed età moderna’, introduction to the monographic issue of Archivio Veneto, 2012, VI ser., no. 3. In general, for the Italian situation, see Angela Groppi, ed., Il lavoro delle donne (Roma: Laterza, 1996). 90 In Domenico’s last will he defined her as ‘my most beloved cousin Anna Maria Ferramonti with whom I have always lived and whom I recognize in my affection and my duty as a sister’: a ‘duty’ that altogether conveys a sense of subordination, see ASV, Notarile testamenti, Giovanni Antonio Dall’Acqua, b. 351, no. 53. 91 The documents drawn up by the notary Giovanni Antonio Dall’Acqua on Anna Maria Ferramonti’s behalf are numerous and would deserve a study of their own. They concentrate especially in the years 1771, 1772, 1775, 1779 and 1787, cf. ASV, Notarile atti, Giovanni Antonio Dall’Acqua, reg. 5322bis–5326 (Indexes). 92 For a similar informal apprenticeship of barber-surgeons’ daughters, see Cavallo, Artisans of the Body, 160–4. 93 ASV, Notarile testamenti, Giovanni Antonio Dall’Acqua, b. 351, no. 144. Anna Maria provided for the dowries of numerous nieces and made many small cash bequests, among which there was one amounting to 500 ducats to an aunt. If the aunt were to predecease her, the capital would go ‘to Mr. Girolamo Cimolin detto Scutellio’. 94 Ibid. 95 On these hierarchical relationships characterised by a small age gap (‘diagonal relationships between men’) see Cavallo, Artisans of the Body, 193–8. 96 ASV, Notarile testamenti, Giovanni Antonio Dall’Acqua, b. 351, no. 144. 97 See the aforementioned deeds in ASV, Notarile atti, Giovanni Antonio Dall’Acqua, reg. 5322bis–5326. 98 This was the consequence of Anna Maria’s last will. ASCPV, S. Vidal, Morti, 1779–1810, 27 January 1788: ‘Signora Anna Maria quondam Giovanni Maria Ferramonti circa 66 years of age beset by pain, then by volvulus, then by slow fever with consumption, after forty days of continuous illness her life ended in the evening.’ 99 ASCPV, S. Vidal, Morti, 1779–1810, 117. 100 ASV, Notarile atti, II serie, Angelo Maria Casser, reg. 504, ff. 1953r–1956r, 26 August 1794. It turns out that Girolamo was also the owner of another apothecary shop in contrà San Michele Arcangelo, which his aged father set about selling off. 101 ASV, Notarile atti, II serie, Angelo Maria Casser, b. 493, no. 74. Attached is the death certificate of Antonio Cimolin, who died on the mainland in the town of Mira on 6 October 1799. 102 Ibid. 103 All the above is to be found in Anna Maria’s will, set down in 1806 and executed on 20 April 1808, cf. ASV, Notarile atti, Carlo Gabrieli, b. 7810bis. 104 On Galvani, see Giovanni Battista Ronconi, ‘Della vita e degli scritti di Antonio Galvani’, Ateneo Veneto, 1868–1869, s. II, vol. VI, 181–97 and Angelo Bassani, La ricerca chimica nell’università e nell’Istituto Veneto, in La chimica e le tecnologie chimiche nel Veneto dell’800: atti del settimo Seminario di storia delle scienze e delle tecniche nell’Ottocento veneto (Venice: Istituto veneto di scienze lettere ed arti, 2001), 87–130. On Girolamo Dian, In memoria del cav. Girolamo Dian, 1831–1914 (Milan: Marchiondi, 1915) and U. Tergolina, ‘Girolamo Dian’, Il farmacista italiano, 1938, 6, 108–12. 105 Girolamo Dian, Cenni storici sulla farmacia veneta, I–VII (Venice, 1900–08), I, 10–11. 106 Minuzzi, Sul filo dei segreti, 29–30 and ‘Testare i segreti. Sperimentazioni pubbliche’, 194–205. 107 In eighteenth-century Venice the secrets’ selection criteria were applied more methodically; petitions and authorities’ answers were recorded and records kept and consulted, while during the previous centuries the negative answers were not always recorded and never kept—but existed. To be precise the health autorities did not become stricter, the system simply became more efficient and regular, see Minuzzi, Sul filo dei segreti, 29–30, ‘Autorizzazioni orali e scritte, autorizzazioni concesse e negate’. 108 Features of modern as opposed to ancient empiricism are outlined in C. Crignon, C. Zelle and N. Allocca, eds, Medical Empiricism and Philosophy of Human Nature in the 17th and 18th Century (Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2014), see the Introduction and the contribution of Carsten Zelle in particular. 109 Dictionary of Irish Bigraphy (Cambrige: Cambridge University Press 2009), O’Glacan received his early medical education from a famous Irish family of phisicians (at the time Ireland had no Studios of Medicine) and held a university chair reserved to eminent foreigners doctors at the Faculty of Medicine in Bologna. 110 Scutellio, Il morir alla moda, 19, 21, 84, 89–91, 113–14, 153, etc. 111 Minuzzi, Sul filo dei segreti, 237–47, ‘Punti vendita: dalla casa alla spezieria senza passare per la libreria’. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for the Social History of Medicine.

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