Daniel Le Clerc

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Daniel Le Clerc
Born(1652-02-04)February 4, 1652
Died(1728-06-08)June 8, 1728
Geneva, Republic of Geneva

Daniel Le Clerc (or Daniel Leclerc) (1652-1728) was a Genevan[1] medical writer of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. He wrote the seminal Histoire de la Medecine, and co-edited the equally groundbreaking text Bibliotheca Anatomica with Jean-Jacques Manget.[2]


Le Clerc was born in Geneva on February 4, 1652. As a student he traveled to Paris, Valence, and Montpellier, to study medicine, eventually returning to Geneva to begin his professional practice. Leclerc was the author of a number of books, though it is the Histoire de la Medecine which made his reputation. The work was unique in its time in that it went beyond merely describing the current state of medical knowledge, but delved in detail into the history of medical knowledge from the ancient world until contemporary times, and gave special emphasis to ancient Greek medicine.[3] Le Clerc also drew heavily upon Al-Tamimi's seminal work, al-Murshid, upon which many of his views on dietetics and medicines are based.[4] It is widely considered a classic and has been translated and reprinted many times in the centuries since its publication.[2]

Le Clerc later became interested in politics in his native city, and was elected to the Council of Two Hundred in 1701, a position that he held until his death in 1728.[2]


  1. ^ According to the Historical Dictionary of Switzerland, Le Clerc, Daniel was a citizen of the Republic of Geneva and a deputy there in one of the republic councils (Conseil des Soixante). In sources from outside of Switzerland his country of origin is sometimes (for instance in the Bibliothèque nationale de France) referred to as being Switzerland.
  2. ^ a b c Ivashchuk, Galyna (2015). "Daniel Le Clerc (1652-1728) and his "Histoire de la Medecine"". International Journal of History and Philosophy of Medicine. Retrieved 2015-12-05.
  3. ^ Gabriel, Richard A. (2013). Between Flesh and Steel: A History of Military Medicine from the Middle Ages to the War in Afghanistan. Potomac Books. p. 68. ISBN 978-1612344201.
  4. ^ Fuat Sezgin, Geschichte des Arabischen Schrifttums (Band III, Medizin - Pharmazie; Zoologie - Tierheilkunde), E.J. Brill: Leiden 1970, p. 317