Sue Young Histories

Giacomo Antonio Tommasini 1768 - 1846

September 24, 2009

Giacomo Antonio Tommasini 1768 -
1846Giacomo Antonio Tommasini 1768 - 1846 MD, was a famous Italian orthodox physician, Secretary General to the Prefecture of Parma, Professor of Medicine at the University of Bologna, Professor of Clinical Medicine at Parma, President of the Societas Medica Chirurgica Bononiensis,

Tommasini was a supporter of homeopathy, a liberal and radical physician who founded the ’new doctrine’ in Italian medicine, and he was opposed to the smallpox vaccine,

Tommasini was the physician of Caroline of Brunswick (and he supported her at her trial), Giacomo Leopardi, Marie Louise Duchess of Lucca,

Tommasini was a colleague of Cosmo Maria De Horatiis,

Tommasini was married to Antonietta, who was a radical authoress and supporter of radical poet Giacomo Leopardi, who was a patient of her husband. Antonietta wrote a book in 1837 which caused a clash with the censors.

The celebrated Professor Tommasini was present (at Cosmo Maria De Horatiis’s experiments in Naples), and Cosmo Maria De Horatiis addressed himself especially to him, urging him to examine it and render an opinion.

After his return to Bologna, Tommasini, in an introductory lecture, delivered in 1826-27, mentioned the subject (of homeopathy), and while not condemning his own school he yet was rather favorable to Homeopathy. He advised experiments with homeopathic remedies.

Tommasini’s Obituary is in The Gentleman’s Magazine in 1846,

Tommasini was a prolific author,  including Lezioni critiche di fisiologia e patologia:

… A disciple of John Brown, Tommasini divides his work into three substantial volumes. The first presents a “general prospectus of life”, in which he examines the principles of life, the motion and solids and animal fluids, the nature of vitality, John Brown’s definition of life, and an account of life considered as the combination of the systems of the “machina animale”.

The second volume is devoted to the nervous system, while the third deals with the vascular system. Throughout, Tommasini quotes extensively from authors including Antoine Fourcroy, Hunter, Leopoldo Caldani, and Erasmus Darwin.

Tommasini became professor of physiology and pathology at Parma in 1794, a post he occupied until his move to Bologna in 1816. In addition to the present work, which went through several editions spanning three decades, he also published works on epidemiology, diabetes, and the influence of the heart on the circulation of the blood, along with many pamphlets and articles.


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