Darrera modificació: 2011-12-02
Bases de dades: Sciència.cat
Wray, Shona Kelly, "Boccaccio and the doctors: medicine and compassion in the face of plague", Journal of Medieval History, 30/3 (2004), 301-322.
- This article proposes that Boccaccio's descriptions in the introduction to the Decameron which describe the activities of Florentines during the plague of 1348 are repetitions of medical advice present in plague tractates or consilia of Gentile da Foligno and Giovanni della Penna, written in Italy during the epidemic. Boccaccio's introduction can be read as a condemnation of doctors' advice to flee the sick, since to follow their advice for the preservation of one's own health would lead to the destruction of society. It is a call to compassion, which is precisely how Boccaccio begins the Proem (‘To take pity on people in distress is a human quality…'), and an example of the influence of doctors' advice during the Black Death. Recent scholarship, most notably that of Samuel Kline Cohn, Jr., has repeated Boccaccio's portrayal of the doctors during the Black Death as futile and helpless. This is an erroneous interpretation, as there is indisputable evidence of professionalism and practicality in the tractates of 1348. The wills of townspeople in Bologna during the height of the epidemic further demonstrate that doctors, professors of medicine, and barber-surgeons were staying in town and tending the sick.
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