Lucia Berti University of Milan ”Italy and the Royal Society: Medical papers in the early Philosophical Transactions.”


During the first years of the Royal Society’s existence, a whole network of natural philosophical exchanges was set up between the Fellows and foreign gentlemen interested in the study of nature. From the exchanges with Italy, medicine appears to be one of the major topics of interest; and a series of medical papers based on Italian researches appear in the Society’s journal, the Philosophical Transactions (PT). This article is a linguistic and socio-historical analysis of 25 medical papers published in the PT in the first fifty years of its existence. The selected articles were either translations of Italian writings or reports of Italian research. The purpose of the study is: (1) to illustrate from a linguistic and socio-cultural point of view the nature of Italian medical contributions to the early PT; and (2) to investigate Anglo-Italian relations through the Royal Society’s medical interaction with Italians by analysing the PT articles and further contextual resources from a critical perspective.

Keywords: Anglo-Italian relations, medical writing, Philosophical Transactions, Royal Society, seventeenth century.

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