Book: Medicine, Government and Public Health in Philip II’s Spain Shared Interests, Competing Authorities

By Michele Clouse, Ohio University

Bridging the gap between histories of medicine and political/institutional
histories of the early modern crown, this book explores the relationship between one of the most highly bureaucratic regimes in early modern Europe, Spain and crown interest in and regulation of medical practices.
Complementing recent histories that have emphasized the interdependent
nature of governance between the crown and municipalities in 16thcentury
Spain, this study argues that medical policies were the result
of negotiation and cooperation among the crown, the towns and medical
practitioners. Bringing to life a cast of characters from early modern Spain,
from the female empiric who practiced bonesetting and surgery to the
university-trained, Latin physician whose medical textbook standardized
medical education in the universities, the book broadens the scope
of medical history to include not only the development of medical theory
and innovative practice, but also the complex tensions between various
authorities that influenced the development and nature of medical practice
and perceptions of “public health” in early modern Europe.
Juxtaposing the history of medicine with the history of early modern statebuilding
brings a unique perspective to this challenging book that reassesses
the relationship between the monarch and intellectual milieu of medicine
in Spain. It further challenges the dominance of studies of medical
regulation from France and England and illuminates a diverse and
innovative world of Spanish medical practice that has been neglected
in standard histories of early modern medicine.
Ashgate Publishing
PO Box 2225
Williston VT 05495-2225 USA
Toll-free: 1-800-535-9544
The History of Medicine in Context
Michele L. Clouse, Ohio University


Please visit for sample pages New Now available from Ashgate Publishing…


Introduction: “The importance of the matter to the public health”;

Protecting the public health:

  • Tribunal del Protomedicato;
  • Medical education at the University;
  • Empirics, surgeons, and experiential;


  • Patronage and legitimization;

The apothecary’s profession:

  • Cooperation and professionalization;

Poor relief:

  • Cooperation and resistance;

December 2011 208 pages
Hardback 978-1-4094-3794-9 $114.95
eBook 978-1-4094-3795-6