Cosmo Maria De Horatiis 1771 - 1850
June 04, 2009
Cosmo Maria De Horatiis 1771 - 1850 was an Italian orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy (Journal of the House of Representatives, Part 2. _Michigan. Legislature. House of Representatives. 1861. Page 898). Horatiis was the physician of Francis I of Naples, Ferdinand II, Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine in the University of Naples (The Homeopathic Examiner, Volume 2. 1841. _Pages 55 and 58), President of the Royal Academy of Medicine, and in 1830, Horatiis founded The Naples Homeopathic Society.
In 1845 Horatiis published an Italian translation of the fourth edition of Samuel Hahnemann’s Organon,
In 1828-9 Horatiis conducted clinical trials into homeopathy in Naples, at the Military Hospital of the Trinity, and he published the results of these trials, causing a great sensation in Naples. Francis I of Naples decided to definitivly manage this outcry with a series of clinical trials under his auspices, and Francis I of Naples issued a Royal Decree to open a homeopathic clinic and conduct clinical trials into homeopathy (_The British Journal of Homeopathy, Volume 14. _John James Drysdale, Robert Ellis Dudgeon, John Rutherford Russell, Richard Hughes. 1856. Page 309 onwards).
The articles of this Royal Decree set out conditions for scientific clinical trials which are the precursor to today’s procedures, and they included blind trials, security arrangements to prevent fraud, parameters set for diagnosis and the inclusion of subjects for the trials, accurate record keeping, signed off by appointed staff under clinical conditions.
Of course, the allopathic physicians did their absolute utmost to upset the clinical trials, with antagonistic behaviour, making sinister predictions, refusing to attend the hospital and publishing vitriolic texts against homeopathy.
Albanese was actually accused of trying to poison the patients to prevent their recovery under homeopathic treatment, distributing poisoned figs and loudly predicting the death of the patients under homeopathic treatment!
False reports of patient deaths were circulated by the allopaths, which proved unfounded when the Duke of Calabria investigated these false claims.
Forty days into the clinical trials, the allopaths withdrew and refused to co-operate, issuing a damning report which was reported to the President of Public Instruction, finding its way to the Minister of the Interior and eventually to the Council of State.
Francis I of Naples demanded to see the reports on which these damning claims were founded, whereupon the offices were searched, the documents sealed and presented to Francis I of Naples who personally read every detail, pronouncing himself perfectly satisfied with the results of the homeopathic treatment, and he recommended that the clinical trials be continued, much to the disgust of the allopaths, who continued to do everything they could to disrupt the trials.
However, the trials continued for 155 days, ending only when Francis I of Naples had to travel abroad and refused to do so without his physician Horatiis. Francesco Romani was not suited to face such implacable odds alone, so he resigned and the trials ended.
The results of these trials were published in State Papers which severely condemned the antics of the allopathic physicians. The report concluded that the results could not be verified as the allopaths refused to co-operate with the Articles of the Royal Decree.
The State also decreed that henceforth, any citizen should have the right to choose the style of treatment they preferred for themselves, and Francis I of Naples decided to open a homeopathic hospital.
The disembling and disinformation of the allopathic physicians proved to be very unpleasant lies. Esquirol even went so far as to claim that the trials had ended after 40 days and that Horatiis had himself given up homeopath due to the results of the trials against homeopathy!
This is despite the fact that two of the allopaths, Marchesani and Alessi actually converted to homeopathy on the strength of the results they had witnessed during the trials, and Comte Sebastien Gaeten Salvador Maxime Des Guidi, the Inspector of the University of Lyon, who was not part of the trials, but who was visiting Italy, also converted to homeopathy as a result of observing the trials from a distance, and he had his wife treated by Francesco Romani and Horatiis. As a result, Comte Sebastien Gaeten Salvador Maxime Des Guidi converted to homeopathy and became the first homeopath in France.
Also, note that Oliver Wendell Holmes repeated all the same old lies and inuendos of the Naples allopaths in his defamatory Currents and Counter currents in Medical Science, choosing to ignore the actual facts, puff up the reputations of the allopaths who took part (or otherwise) in these clinical trials, and to simply repeat the same tired old false accusations against homeopathy, revamped for a new age in 1861.
For 11 years he entered the seminary of Trivento, learned from Attanasio Tozzi, a disciple of the Genoese, the scientific disciplines. He attended in 1788 by the University of Naples, at that time much in vogue for the presence of distinguished professors, and at first perfected in the humanities, and then devoted himself to the study of medicine, learning the science of anatomy under Giuseppe Mauro, Cotugno, Sementina and Andria.
He returned to Poggio Sannita, where he remained until 1799, he visited Isernini for personal reasons… and he stayed for a very short period during the French government of the city. Shortly after the Bourbon restoration, he was arrested and locked up in Naples in dell’Ovo Castle and sentenced to death but the sentence was commuted to exile.
Soon after this he went to France in the Napoleonic period with Agnonesi Carlantonio Tirone and Carlo Barbieri, to practice in Montpellier and Paris, where he perfected his clinical medicine. He returned to Italy, he perfected his surgery at the University of Pavia, under the guidance of Brugnatelli and Antonio Scarpa.
Horatiis also knew Lazzaro Spallanzani, an outstanding clinician in Pavia. Antonio Scarpa wanted his deputy at the University of Pavia where Horatiis learned the most advanced surgical techniques of the time.
Returning to Naples, he became a surgeon at the Military Hospital of St. Giovanni, where he performed for the first time the operation of cataract using the method of depression with curved needle and litomia through “gorgeret” by Antonio Scarpa.
The government promoted the Bourbon Surgeon Major De Horatiis who opened a public school of descriptive anatomy and operative surgery. Because of its capacity, it won the esteem of Francis I of Naples
- the future King of the Two Sicilies - who ascended to the throne and appointed Horatiis as his personal physician.
In 1821 he was promoted to the rank of Chief Surgeon of the army, and then that of Inspector General of Military Health and member of the Directorate General of Military Hospitals of the earth.
In 1827 he was awarded the Cross of Constantine and in 1829 he accompanied Francis I of Naples in Spain, where he was decorated by King Ferdinand VII with the Cross of Commander of the American Order of Isabel the Catholic.
After the death of Francis I of Naples, he became a surgeon of the room his wife, Queen Isabella, and since 1825 was a Professor in the second surgical clinic of the University of Naples, becoming director of the clinic in 1832, after the death of Boccanera. Horatiis first performed the lithotripsy, and for 25 years he devoted himself to teaching. In 1827, he came to be part of the government for mandatory vaccination, contributing much to its spread, and became chairman of that committee in 1840.
Horatiis became a Supporter of homeopathy, whose philosophy spread in Europe through the successful treatment of Francis I of Naples, who became a supporter of the “new medicine”.
The most famous of his writing remains his Essay of clinical homeopathy (1828), which describes 180 cases of patients treated with this method. Defended before the University of Paris in 1830 this doctrine, proved a great success. Horatiis also wrote the Doctrine of comparative examination of Brown, of Rasor and Hahneman in Latin, On the homeopathic doctrine, also in Latin, and containing the speech given at the University of Paris in 1830, Ephemeris homeopathic, compiled together with Pezzili.
Horatiis married Mary Padula, an exemplary husband and father, they had four children, one female and three males, who followed the father’s ways. His son became a distinguished judge.
Horatiis died in Naples on 26 March 1850. ‘buried in the cemetery of Naples, where, on the tombstoneare recorded his virtues… At Poggio Sannita, there is a street dedicated to his name…
Cosmo Maria De Horatiis was a practitioner of Naples and converted to Homoeopathy by Georg von Necker in 1822. His name is given both in the Zeitung list of 1832 and that of Frederick Hervey Foster Quin of 1834.
He was a contributor to the Samuel Hahnemann Jubilee of 1829.
Dadea tells us that Cosmo Maria de Horatiis, of Cacavone Campobasso, already the alternate of Antonio Scarpa in the chair of surgery of the Athenaeum of Ticino - an honor far transcending any that all the king of the earth could bestow - was Surgeon in Chief of the Neapolitan army, Inspector General of the Military Hospitals, Private Physician to the Hereditary Prince, the Duke of Calabria, afterwards Francis I of Naples, then physician to this king, and subsequently Professor of Clinical Surgery in the University of Naples and President of the Council of Vaccination.
He soon perceived that a summary of the _Organon_ was far from sufficient to convey in exact idea of Samuel Hahnemann’s doctrine, and that the clinical observations trade under Georg von Necker were inadequate to the needs of a general practice; he realized the necessity of a translation of the _Organon_ and the Materia Medica Pura as indispensable to a conscientious and rational practice.
Professor Cosmo de Horatiis, by reason of his eminence in science and his official position at the court and in the kingdom, should be regarded as the chief of the first triad of learned and ardent apostles in Italy of the doctrines of Samuel Hahnemann.
His first care was to make the new practice acceptable to the king - not so easy a matter if we remember that princes, though absolute, are often servants of their servants, and still oftener princes of the crowd.
He succeeded through his fortunate cure of a most serious illness of the Queen. In consequence of this, not only were there many conversions at the court, but the king declared himself the patron of Homeopathy and of the Homeopathists.
Having secured the favor of the king, Horatiis endeavored to gain that of a scientific corporation, the Medico Chirurgical Academy of Naples. At a regular electing, October 19 (or 9th), 1826, he read in oration, afterwards published in Latin, in which he pointed out the errors of the old medical systems and warmly urged them to investigate Samuel Hahnemann’s new method.
The celebrated Professor Giacomo Antonio Tommasini was present, and he addressed himself especially to him, urging him to examine it and render an opinion. After his return to Bologna, Giacomo Antonio Tommasini, in an introductory lecture, delivered in 1826-27, mentioned the subject, and while not condemning his own school he yet was rather favorable to Homeopathy. He advised experiments with homeopathic remedies.
De Horatiis communicated to the Academy several noteworthy cures. But he thought that theoretical demonstrations before the learned ought to be followed by clinical experiment also in the presence of the learned. To this end, having his sovereign’s approval, he opened his clinique in March in the general military hospital of Trinity, assisted by Baldi, Grossi and Pezzillo, in the presence of the Chiefs of Service de Cusatis and Ascione, and of de Simone and the entire medical staff of the hospital. He published a report of the experiment the same year in a quarto of 84 pages, entitled ’Saggio di Clinica Omiopatica la Prima Volta Tentato in Napoli Nell, Ospedale General Militare Della Trinita.
This report, the truth of which was indisputable. since the experiments had been made in the presence of men eminent in science and in character and under the royal protection, created great excitement within the realist and abroad.
It contains abridged or complete. records of 180 clinical cases treated in the space of a few months (This experiment lasted from March to December, 1828, and must not be confounded, as it often has been, with the public experiment made in 1829.) among which are worthy of note a number of eases of primary and secondary syphilis, of acute and chronic blennorrhagia, simple or complicated by orchitis, phimosis and the like; of acute and chronic ophthalmia and especially some case; of obscured cornea of high degree, cured in a short time by Cannabis sativa, Staphisagria, and Phosphoricum acidum in the 30th dilution.
Encouraged by success, and taking counsel of his heart, De Horatiis thought he could best accomplish the noble end he desired by giving the experiment lilt official character insider an official commission. His best friends, better acquainted with the nature of men in general and of physicians in particular. and cognizant of the enmity which burned in the minds of certain envious allopathic physicians against De Horatiis, tried to dissuade him.
He persisted, however, and at his request Francis I of Naples, January 23 d. 1829, approved a decree in eight sections designed to secure fair play and highest judgment on all sides.
A commission of six members and six alternates, appointed by the government, was to be present at the preparation and administration of the remedies, to accompany the director in his visits to the patients, to take along with the director and assistants the diagnoses and sign the record of them, to verify and sign at each visit a statement of the condition of each patient and a statement of the final result in each case; these records to be kept in the archives of the clinique and a copy given the director for publication.
Two assistants, one representing the commission and the other the director, were to remain constantly in the wards to keep an accurate account of whatever occurred during the absence of the commission and the director, to preserve order, and watch visitors. The director had the right of refusing cases not suitable for positive and comparative experimentation, but was bound to justify his refusal. In the first place diseases were to be treated which Homeopathy is reputed to cure more rapidly than Allopathy, then more difficult, and finally desperate cases.
The wards were to be large, containing 15 to 20 beds, well lighted, with only one entrance, and that well guarded. The commissioners appointed by the government were Dr. Lucarelli, Professor Lanza, Dr. Delforno; Dr. Ronchi, formerly court physician; Dr. Folinea, and Professor Macry. The alternates were Dr. Panvini, Dr. Curti, Dr. Araneo, Dr. Albanese, Dr. Alessi, and Dr. Marchesani.
Professor de Horatiis, Director of the Clinique, selected as Vice Director Francesco Romani, who, foreseeing the troubles that subsequently occurred, at first declined, but under persuasion of General Caraffa di Noja and other ardent friends of the new doctrine accepted the appointment. Dr. Vincenzo Laraja was chosen assistant of the director.
After some delay on account of De Horatiis’ engagements at court and of difficulty in over arming the reluctance of the commissioners and alternates, the clinique was opened April 13th, 1829. Of the commissioners Professor Macry never made his appearance at the hospital, Dr. Folinea attended only the first visit, Dr. Delforno attended two or three times, but perceiving that several patients whose death he had predicted were getting well he came no more;
Professor Lanza attended seven or eight times without saying a word, Dr. Lucarelli appeared only once to request the closure of the clinique, and Dr. Ronchi attended five or six times and with great pomp uttered sinister prognostications.
Of the alternates Marchesani was the most attentive, and not only was converted to Homeopathy, but defended it most effectively against the calumniators of this experiment; Alessi, who was also a most diligent attendant, became a homeopath and defender of Homeopathy; Araneo took upon himself the duty of continually informing the poor patients, that they were being experimented with like cattle; Curti, a violent and brutal man, did nothing but provoke the homeopaths by gratuitous insults, carrying his vulgarity so far as to be rebuked by Professor Lanza whose alternate he was; Pauvini was so dishonest as to deny the facts which occurred before his eyes, so that the verification of the condition of the patients was always in dispute and almost impossible; and Albanese was one of those men who stop at nothing to gain an advantage over an adversary.
With such elements it is easy to see the probable course of the clinic and the verdict of the commission. But who could have anticipated that these wards, in which it behooved the commissioners; and their alternates, as honest and impartial judges, to seek the truth with earnest, peaceful minds in the interests of the science they professed and of humanity, would become an arena for the display of malignant passion and almost incredible ribaldry?
History, however, records fact, of which only infamous men could be guilty.
The clinic remained open until September 13 th of the same year; seventy one patients were received, (The records were published in an abridged form by Francesco Romani in 1847, as all appendix to the translation of a discourse by James Young Simpson) of whom fifty three were completely cured, six remained, much improved when the clinic closed, and two, who entered moribund, died; of the latter, one was a case of malignant parotitis and the other a case of typhus. Of those who remained in the clini , one was all inveterate ophthalmia with pannus, one a purulent ophthalmia, and three were cases of thoracic disease.
The cures were cases of fever; of gonorrhea, simple or with phimosis; primary syphilis with phagedenic ulcer and buboes; of jaundice; of pleuritis; of angina tonsillaris; of chemosis; of purulent ophthalmia, etc.
The clinic was attended by many foreign physicians and by many Italians, both Neapolitans and others; and these were both witnesses and judges of what occurred.
Among the latter may be named Dr. Pezzillo, Dr. Baldi, chief army physician; Dr. Buongiovanni, Dr. Grossi, Rocco Rubini, Dr. Traliani, of Ascoli; Dr. da Rabatta, of Fabriano; Comte Sebastien Gaeten Salvador Maxime Des Guidi, resident at Lyon, and Dr. Sannicola, of Venafro.
Among the foreigners were Dr. Pizzati, a distinguished physician of the Russian army; Dr. Schultz, of Berlin; Dr. Miliusy, physician of the czar, and Frederick Hervey Foster Quin, of London, who became a homeopath and one of the most fervent and effective apostles of Homeopathy in Great Britain.
The clinical records were all signed by the director (Dr. de Horatiis, being obliged to attend the king, was absent several times; Francesco Romani never) and Vice Director, and countersigned by the commissioners and alternates when they were present and as long as they attended.
These happy results, attested by witnesses and signatures that could not be impeached, instead of cooling passions, which deeply wounded self conceit had kindled, greatly inflamed them.
Only a few days after the clinique was opened a rumor of great mortality among the patients treated homeopathically in the great Hospital of the Trinity began to creep about the city, and, growing as rapidly as calumny and slander are wont to grow, it soon reached the royal ear.
On the 8th of May the Duke of Calabria (afterwards Ferdinand II), accompanied by two generals, suddenly appeared in the wards and demanded the list of the dead. Great was his astonishment on being told that no such list existed since, of the patients received, none had thus far died. “Then.” said the prince, “the sick whom I see here must be the dead brought to life again.”
After, perhaps in consequence of, this rebuke the adversaries of Homeopathy, willing to substantiate their calumnies with incontestable facts, endeavored to poison the patients under treatment.
There was in the clinic a man named Domenico Fioccola, who was seriously ill; Commissioner Ronchi had, with strong emphasis, prognosticated his death, and his alternate, Dr. Albanese, at each visit, repeated the unfavorable prognosis to the poor patient. Nevertheless, Fioccola got better; on the twelfth day he was free from fever and convalescent, a result which was attested by the most distinguished physicians who attended the clinic, among them Dr. Milius.
Suddenly Fioccola’s fever rekindled, and the poor fellow was in a state of the greatest peril. The allopaths were overjoyed; the homeopaths could not account for the fact, which learned physicians laud not foreseen, and which honest ones could not have anticipated. Suspicions arising, the director demanded an inquiry, which was held by the commandant of the hospital on June 9th.
This inquiry brought to light the following facts :
- That Dr. Albanese, alternate of Commissioner Ronchi, had secretly given dried figs to Fioccola and some other patients, enjoining them not to tell the homeopathic assistant, Dr. Laraja, that he had done so.
2, That Fioccola alone, whose death had been predicted by these physicians, soon after eating the dried figs, showed symptoms of poison, which were fortunately followed by vomiting of the contents of the stomach. (A copy of the report of the Court of Inquiry, countersigned by the commandant, and addressed to Dr. de Horatiis by order of the Director General of Military Hospitals, may be found in the Effemeridi di Medicini Omiopatica, vol. 1, p. 81. It is dated June 22, 1820)
Dr. Albanese was publicly accused of this nefarious crime, but the good nature and ill timed generosity of Drs. de Horatiis and Francesco Romani on the one side, and the self interested interposition of Dr. Ronchi on the other, saved the accused from a judicial investigation and from the rigor of the laws. Fioccola, meanwhile, had left the hospital in perfect health.
The magnanimity of the homeopaths was far from disarming the adversaries of the new doctrine: so true is it that this noble virtue is often not only powerless against, but even gives immunity to the dangers that threaten the cause of justice. They adopted another method to put an end to the experiment or at least to deprive it of the legitimate value which the eminent success already attained conferred upon it.
On the fortieth day of the clinic, the six commissioners, including Macry, who had never before appeared, and the six alternates attended in a body. Provocation and abuse on that day reached their climax, and, after a fierce battle of words, the commissioners and their alternates abandoned the clinique for ever.
At the same time they addressed a secret report against it to the president of public instruction, and through him to the minister of the interior, who laid it before a cabinet council.
The king could not credit the accusations of the allopaths; he nevertheless desired to examine the records with his own eyes. Accordingly on the 9th of June, his aide de camp, the Duke of San Valentino, accompanied by General La Grua, the Inspector General of Hospitals, appeared suddenly at the Hospital of the Trinity, seized, sealed, and took away all the records and papers relating to the experiment.
Records of patients discouraged cured, records of cases under treatment - this was all that these papers revealed or could reveal to the astonished monarch. But what of this? The calumniator is never disheartened, well knowing that, if he plies his trade, some at least of his slander will adhere.
Dr. Panvini, who in 1824 opened the virulent warfare in Italy against Homeopathy by his Critical Reflections on the Medical System of Samuel Hahnemann; Vice Commissioner Panvini, who at the hospital was wont to fight, watch in hand, for one pulsation more or less to be entered in the clinical record, published a famous pamphlet, entitled The Forty Days in the Homeopathic Clinique of Naples.
The cases cured by Homeopathy were slight ones and nature effected the cure; the cures were always slow; the homeopathic remedies, which in 1824 he had called poisons, had no effect whatever; this and similar nonsense, duly seasoned with malignant insults, directed against persons most respectable and highly respected, constitute the substance of this work of Panvini, and the form was worthy of the substance.
Dr. Marchesani, who had also attended the clinique as vice commissioner, replied at once and most effectively to Panvini, and with a few words, more were not needed, closed forever the lips of his rebuked colleague.
Notwithstanding this whirlwind of passion and malice, the clinic continued, as we have seen, until September, but without the attendance of the commission.
At this time it became De Horatiis’ duty to attend the king on a visit to Spain (* Francis I of Naples, accompanied his daughter, Maria Christina, who went to marry King Ferdinand VII of Spain.) and Francesco Romani, tired of past, intolerant of present, and apprehensive of future vexations during the director’s absence with the king, retired on the 13 th of September, and the clinic was form ally closed on the 17th 1829.
Such is the history of the hundred and fifty fivve days of the public trial of Homeopathy in the great Hospital of the Trinity in Naples; a trial which shed great lustre on Samuel Hahnemann’s doctrines and greatly incensed its adversaries, and brought upon the whole sect of the Allopaths an infamy of which they have not purged themselves.
During his travels in Spain, and subsequently in France, Professor De Horatiis made the name of Homeopathy known and respected in the halls of the scientific men of these nations.
In Madrid he read before the Medical Academy a report of the Naples clinic: (This statement rests on the authority of Dr. Rabini; I have found no record of the fact.) and in the Academy of Medicine of Paris in the presence of Portal and the flower of the French physicians (Salvatore Tommasi in Discourso Funebre Letto Nelle Eseg ie del Commandatore Cosmo Maria de Horatiis.
The oration was published in the Effemeridi di Medicina Omiopatica vol. 2, page 225) at the session of June 13, 1830, he gave in an elegant Latin oration a compendious exposition of the Hahnemannian doctrine.
After his return to his own country he lived twenty years, dying March 26, 1850, instructing in the theory and more difficult operations of surgery the ablest men of the present generation and teaching and practicing the doctrines of Homeopathy, which persecution had only endeared to him.
July 1st, 1829, appeared, under the nominal direction of De Horatiis, the first number of a monthly journal, entitled Effemeridi di Medicina Omiopatica, compiled by a society of physicians. The active direction was intrusted to Drs Rocco, Pezzillo and Giuseppe Mauro, Francesco Romani and De Horatiis were active editors.
Two volumes were published, the first comprising the second half of the year 1829, and the second the first eleven months of 1830. When the publication ceased for the same reason that caused the closure of the clinic. This journal, the first to appear after the Archiv für die Homöopathische Heilkunst, which was the first in our literature, is second to none in the value of its contents.
Clinical facts predominate, and like a host of others of ancient as well as recent date, they prove that opinions on the pure doctrine of Samuel Hahnemann, and especially on the Hahnemannian dose, can never be too carefully weighed.
In 1845 De Horatiis published an Italian translation of the fourth edition of Samuel Hahnemann’s ___Organon_, with fragments of his other works and a homeopathic pharmacopoeia. (The illustrious historian of Italian medicine, Salvatore de Renzi, and Professor Salvatore Tommasi have published worthy eulogies of De Horatiis).
In this way he replied to Esquirol, who, some years before, had asserted in the French Academy that De Horatiis no longer practiced Homeopathy.
This was the last literary work of his busy life. He died in 1850, almost eighty years old, lamented, as few have ever been, by the followers of Samuel Hahnemann.
An account of this trial of Homeopathy in the hospital at Naples has also been published in the British Journal of Homeopathy, vol. 14. (World’s Con., vol. 2, 1068, 1075. Pierre Augustus Rapou, vol. 1, 132-40, 241. British Journal of Homeopathy, vol. 14, 308)