9 MAY 2020

On Europe Day 2020, we recall the Verona-born Italian physician and poet Girolamo Fracastoro (1478-1553), whose new theory of contagion sparked in Europe the modern debate on the transmission of infectious diseases.

Portrait of Fracastoro
The National Gallery

Bibliographical references:

Girolamo Fracastoro, De contagione et contagiosis morbis et eorum curatione [On contagion, contagious diseases and their cure], Venice, 1546.

Vivian Nutton, “The Reception of Fracastoro’s Theory of Contagion: The Seed that Fell among Thorns?”, Osiris, 2nd ser. 6 (1990), 196-234.

Charles Singer – Dorothea Singer, “The Scientific Position of Girolamo Fracastoro [1478?-1553]. With Especial Reference to the Source, Character and Influence of His Theory of Infection”, Annals of Medical History 1 (1917), 1-34.