Mostri nella cronaca di Matteo Villani Un “teatrino delle difformità” del XIV secolo
To date most of the several descriptions of deformed births contained in the fourteenth-century Chronicles by the Florentine author Matteo Villani have been surprisingly ignored by scholars. This study analyses such descriptions discarding their fanciful elements in order to concentrate on their truly pathological aspects, with reference to their historical background and their classical sources. An explanation is provided for every malformation described in the Chronicles in terms of the syndrome that might have caused it. As a result, instances of hexadactyly, hypertrichosis and conjoined craniopagus twins, as well as a likely case of Roberts syndrome, have been detected.