Pietro Andrea Mattioli

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Pietro Andrea Mattioli
Pietro Andrea Mattioli.jpg
Born 23 March 1501
Siena
Died 1577
Trento
Author abbrev. (botany) Mattioli

Pietro Andrea Gregorio Mattioli (Matthiolus) (Italian: [ˈpjɛːtro anˈdrɛːa ɡreˈɡɔːrjo matˈtjɔːli]; 23 March 1501 – 1577) was a doctor and naturalist born in Siena.

Biography[edit]

He received his MD at the University of Padua in 1523, and subsequently practiced the profession in Siena, Rome, Trento and Gorizia, becoming personal physician of Ferdinand II, Archduke of Further Austria in Prague and Ambras Castle, and of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor in Vienna.

Mattioli described the first case of cat allergy. His patient was so sensitive to cats that if he was sent into a room with a cat he reacted with agitation, sweating and pallor.[citation needed]

A careful student of botany, he described 100 new plants and coordinated the medical botany of his time in his Discorsi ("Commentaries") on the Materia Medica of Dioscorides. The first edition of Mattioli's work appeared in 1544 in Italian. There were several later editions in Italian and translations into Latin (Venice, 1554), Czech, (Prague, 1562), German (Prague, 1563) and French (Lyon, 1572).

In addition to identifying the plants originally described by Dioscorides, Mattioli added descriptions of some plants not in Dioscorides and not of any known medical use, thus marking a transition from to the study of plants as a field of medicine to a study of interest in its own right. In addition, the woodcuts in Mattioli's work were of a high standard, allowing recognition of the plant even when the text was obscure. A noteworthy inclusion is an early variety of tomato,the first documented example of the vegetable being grown and eaten in Europe.[1]

The plant genus Matthiola was named by Robert Brown in honor of Mattioli.[2]

Mattioli argued against Fracastoro's theory of fossils, as well as against his own conclusions, as described as follows in Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology:

The system of scholastic disputations encouraged in the Universities of the middle ages had unfortunately trained men to habits of indefinite argumentation, and they often preferred absurd and extravagant propositions, because greater skill was required to maintain them; the end and object of such intellectual combats being victory and not truth. ...Andrea Mattioli, for instance, an eminent botanist, the illustrator of Dioscorides, embraced the notion of Agricola, a German miner, that a certain 'materia pinguis' or 'fatty matter,' set into fermentation by heat, gave birth to fossil organic shapes. Yet Mattioli had come to the conclusion, from his own observations, that porous bodies, such as bones and shells, might be converted into stone, as being permeable to what he termed the 'lapidifying juice.[3]

Works[edit]

Woodblock for a ca. 1561 printing of Discorsi
  • 1533, Morbi Gallici Novum ac Utilissimum Opusculum
  • 1535, Liber de Morbo Gallico, dedicated to Bernardo Clesio
  • 1536, De Morbi Gallici Curandi Ratione
  • 1539, Il Magno Palazzo del Cardinale di Trento
  • 1544, Di Pedacio Dioscoride Anazarbeo Libri cinque Della historia, et materia medicinale tradotti in lingua volgare italiana da M. Pietro Andrea Matthiolo Sanese Medico, con amplissimi discorsi, et comenti, et dottissime annotationi, et censure del medesimo interprete, also known as Discorsi
  • 1548, Italian translation of Geografia di Tolomeo
  • 1554, Petri Andreae Matthioli Medici Senensis Commentarii, in Libros sex Pedacii Dioscoridis Anazarbei, de Materia Medica, Adjectis quàm plurimis plantarum & animalium imaginibus, eodem authore, also known as Commentarii. This Materia Medica work had anonymous commentaries by Michael Servetus, and it is known as “Lyon printers tribute to Michael de Villanueva.”[4]
  • 1558, Petri Andreae Matthioli senensis, serenissimi Principis Ferdinandi Auchiducis Austriae &c. Medici, commentarii secundo aucti, in libros sex Pedacii Dioscoridis Anazarbei de medica materia : adjectis quam plurimis Plantarum, & Animalium Imaginibus quae in priore Editione non habentur, eodem Authore Digital edition by the University and State Library Düsseldorf
  • 1558, Apologia Adversus Amatum Lusitanum (attached to the Digital edition above)
  • 1561, Epistolarum Medicinalium Libri Quinque
  • 1569, Opusculum de Simplicium Medicamentorum Facultatibus
  • 1571, Compendium de Plantis Omnibus una cum Earum Iconibus
  • 1586, De plantis epitome. Francofurti ad Moenum Digital edition by the University and State Library Düsseldorf
  • 1590, Kreutterbuch deß hochgelehrten unnd weitberühmten Herrn D. Petri Andreae Matthioli : jetzt widerumb mit viel schönen neuwen Figuren, auch nützlichen Artzeneyen, und andern guten Stücken, zum andern mal auß sonderm Fleiß gemehret und verfertigt. Franckfort am Mayn : [Johann Feyerabend für Peter Fischer & Heinrich Tack]. Digital edition by the University and State Library Düsseldorf
  • 1598, Medici Caesarei et Ferdinandi Archiducis Austriae opera quae extant omnia . Frankfurt a.M. Digital edition by the University and State Library Düsseldorf
  • 1627, Les commentaires de P. André Matthiolus sur les six livres de Pedacius Dioscoride Anazarbeen, de la matiere medecinale : traduits de latin en françois, par M. Antoine du Pinet ; et illustrez de nouveau, d'un bon nombre de figures, & augmentez ... ; avec plusieurs tables ... . Lyon Digital edition by the University and State Library Düsseldorf


References[edit]

  1. ^ McCue, George Allen. "The History of the Use of the Tomato: An Annotated Bibliography." Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden (Missouri Botanical Garden Press) 39, no. 4 (November 1952): 291.
  2. ^ Genaust, Helmut (1976). Etymologisches Wörterbuch der botanischen Pflanzennamen ISBN 3-7643-0755-2
  3. ^ Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology, 1832, p.29
  4. ^ Michael Servetus Research Website with graphical study on the Materia Medica of 1554 by Mattioli and Michael "Servetus"
  5. ^ "Author Query for 'Mattioli'". International Plant Names Index. 
  • Duane Isely, One hundred and one botanists (Iowa State University Press, 1994), pp. 26–28

External links[edit]