With Benefit of Hindsight: Girolamo Mercuriale and Simone Simoni on Plague

Vivian Nutton


Simone Simoni and Girolamo Mercuriale, both Paduan graduates, published their tracts on plague in 1576 and 1577 after they had witnessed plague epidemics in Leipzig and Venice respectively. This essay compares the style of their tracts, the ways in which they attempted to avoid responsibility for what others viewed as their failures, and their interpretations of the theories of Fracastoro on contagious diseases.

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