In Search of an Audience: Popular Pharmacies and the Limits of Literate Medicine in Late Seventeenth- and Early Eighteenth-Century Russia

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Abstract

This article addresses the question of the limits of literate medicine in Europe, through an examination of the Russian literate medical world of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Russian courtly medicine had been dominated by Western Europeans from the 1480s, but in the early eighteenth century new licensing arrangements solidified the presence of these foreigners in the wider Russian medical world. Foreign medical practitioners took advantage of this development, aiming works at an increasingly large proportion of Russian literate society. These works, along with satirical and religious works emulating or deriding medical texts, show how by the 1720s the limits of literate medicine in Russia lay not at the edges of official court medicine, but rather at the edges of literate society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-32
Number of pages28
JournalBulletin of the History of Medicine
Volume89
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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Pharmacies
Russia
Medicine
Licensure

Keywords

  • History, 17th Century
  • History, 18th Century
  • Literacy
  • Pharmacies
  • Russia
  • Textbooks as Topic
  • Historical Article
  • Journal Article

Cite this

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title = "In Search of an Audience: Popular Pharmacies and the Limits of Literate Medicine in Late Seventeenth- and Early Eighteenth-Century Russia",
abstract = "This article addresses the question of the limits of literate medicine in Europe, through an examination of the Russian literate medical world of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Russian courtly medicine had been dominated by Western Europeans from the 1480s, but in the early eighteenth century new licensing arrangements solidified the presence of these foreigners in the wider Russian medical world. Foreign medical practitioners took advantage of this development, aiming works at an increasingly large proportion of Russian literate society. These works, along with satirical and religious works emulating or deriding medical texts, show how by the 1720s the limits of literate medicine in Russia lay not at the edges of official court medicine, but rather at the edges of literate society.",
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AB - This article addresses the question of the limits of literate medicine in Europe, through an examination of the Russian literate medical world of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Russian courtly medicine had been dominated by Western Europeans from the 1480s, but in the early eighteenth century new licensing arrangements solidified the presence of these foreigners in the wider Russian medical world. Foreign medical practitioners took advantage of this development, aiming works at an increasingly large proportion of Russian literate society. These works, along with satirical and religious works emulating or deriding medical texts, show how by the 1720s the limits of literate medicine in Russia lay not at the edges of official court medicine, but rather at the edges of literate society.

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