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Journal > Volumes > 41 (2010) / 1 (Spring)
Tradition and Innovation in Spanish Medicine: Bartolomé Hidalgo de Agüero and the Vía Particular
Kristy Wilson Bowers
Northern Illinois University

In the last years of the sixteenth century and the first half of the seventeenth, Spanish medical writers on both sides of the Atlantic engaged in an energetic series of debates on several intertwining issues, including the use of the vernacular for medical texts, the use of anatomical knowledge, the place of surgery within medicine, and the best methods for healing wounds. Beginning with a close reading of a debate over theories of wound treatment in Seville in 1584, this article explores the various issues under discussion within the Spanish empire, and seeks to reinsert Spanish medical practitioners and intellectuals within the larger European framework. The two protagonists debating in 1584, Bartolomé Hidalgo de Agüero and Dr. Estrada, represent both divergent beliefs about the value of tradition versus innovation and convergent beliefs about the value of empiricism and empirical testing for validating their beliefs. Thus, they each reflect and represent the ongoing intellectual debates of the early modern era.

Pages: 29 - 47