quinta-feira, abril 09, 2009
«Historia naturalis Brasiliae» - Willem Piso
Piso, Willem, 1611-1678 & Georg Markgraf, 1610-1644.
Historia naturalis Brasiliae,: auspicio et beneficio illustriss, Lugdun. Batavorum,: apud Franciscum Hackium, ; et Amstelodami,: apud Lud. Elzevirium, 1648.
In 1638, naturalist Willem Piso arrived to the Dutch colony in Brazil to work as the personal physician of Governor Johan Maurits. In Recife he partnered with astronomer Georg Markgraf, a member of the Governor’s inner circle. Both scholars worked together on this magnificent Natural History of Brazil, sponsored by Johan Murits and published with the financial support of the Dutch West India Company. Markgraf wrote eight chapters on botany and zoology, while Piso contributed four chapters on medicine. This section of the work includes discussions on trypanosomiasis, dysentery, and ophthalmology. Piso is one of the first European authors to recommend the use of lemons for the cure and prevention of scurvy, crediting local informants with this discovery. It is obvious that Piso and Markgraf were very familiar with the contributions made by Francisco Hernández. Their approach to the expertise of native practitioners was based on a very similar methodology.
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