Book ID: CBB001200915

Plague Hospitals: Public Health for the City in Early Modern Venice (2012)


Crawshaw, Jane L. Stevens (Author)

Ashgate Publishing

Publication Date: 2012
Physical Details: xiv + 290 pp.; ill.; bibl.; index
Language: English

Developed throughout early modern Europe, lazaretti, or plague hospitals, took on a central role in early modern responses to epidemic disease, in particular the prevention and treatment of plague. The lazaretti served as isolation hospitals, quarantine centres, convalescent homes, cemeteries, and depots for the disinfection or destruction of infected goods. The first permanent example of this institution was established in Venice in 1423 and between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries tens of thousands of patients passed through the doors. Founded on lagoon islands, the lazaretti tell us about the relationship between the city and its natural environment. The plague hospitals also illustrate the way in which medical structures in Venice intersected with those of piety and poor relief and provided a model for public health which was influential across Europe. This is the first detailed study of how these plague hospitals functioned, where they were situated, who worked there, what it was like to stay there, and how many people survived. Comparisons are made between the Venetian lazaretti and similar institutions in Padua, Verona and other Italian and European cities. Centred on the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, during which time there were both serious plague outbreaks in Europe and periods of relative calm, the book explores what the lazaretti can tell us about early modern medicine and society and makes a significant contribution to both Venetian history and our understanding of public health in early modern Europe, engaging with ideas of infection and isolation, charity and cure, dirt, disease and death.

Reviewed By

Essay Review Nükhet Varlık (2017) Beyond Eurocentric Histories of Plague. Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period (pp. 361-373). unapi

Review Bamji, Alexandra (2014) Review of "Plague Hospitals: Public Health for the City in Early Modern Venice". Renaissance Quarterly (p. 258). unapi

Review McGough, Laura J. (2015) Review of "Plague Hospitals: Public Health for the City in Early Modern Venice". Bulletin of the History of Medicine (pp. 598-600). unapi

Review Seitz, Jonathan (2014) Review of "Plague Hospitals: Public Health for the City in Early Modern Venice". Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences (pp. 327-329). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Varlik, Nükhet
Easton, Patricia
Lewis, Daniel
Muñoz Sanz, Agustín
Mormando, Franco
Worcester, Thomas W.
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Journal of World History
Social History of Medicine
Medizin, Gesellschaft, und Geschichte
Korean Journal of Medical History
Mefisto: Rivista di medicina, filosofia, storia
Junta de Extremadura
Truman State University Press
Edinburgh University Press
Ohio University Press
Claremont Graduate University
The Claremont Graduate University
Public health
Disease and diseases
Infectious diseases
Medicine and society
Andrade, Nuno Ferreira de
Rush, Benjamin
Leonardo da Vinci
Time Periods
16th century
15th century
Early modern
17th century
18th century
19th century
Ottoman Empire
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

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