DR. LORENZO DOJMI DI DELUPIS – VIŠKI “GEPARD”
Dr Lorenzo Dojmi di Delupis (1845-1927) was a descendant of a respectful aristocratic family from Vis. His father was Peter Dojmi di Delupis (1809-1886), an attorney, a moderate pro-Italian autonomist, and a mayor of Vis, and his mother was Margherita Siminati. As soon as he graduated from the Medical University of Graz in 1870, he joined the Ottoman army as a physician for a two-year journey in which he reached as far as Baghdad and
Basra. He left notes about this dramatic, juvenile adventure in his diaries. In 1878, he married a Viennese girl Maria Neidl and brought her home to Vis, where he got a position of municipal doctor. He had an extraordinary diagnosing acuity, great sympathy for patients, and was always willing to help, which is why he was adored by all the people of Vis, whether they agreed with his autonomist ideas or not, and soon became “the father of Vis”. He was the first to warn of leprosy in Dalmatia, when he diagnosed two cases in Vis. Beside medicine and politics, he was also a passionate botanist. He was the first to seed palms in Vis and to grow a palm nursery with his agronomist son Peter Dojmi, for the whole of Dalmatia. He also tried breeding ostriches and growing Mexican coffee. He funded a small meteorological station in Vis, and planned to open a health resort with professor Schröter from Vienna. Even though Lorenzo Dojmi di Delupis held the great Italian culture very dear, his vocation as a physician and humanist inclination never let him burn with the fervour of a political extremist. Thanks to his psychophysical stability, he overcame numerous difficulties in life and retained faith in people. All these traits evoke Prince Salina, the leading character of the renowned novel Il gattopardo (The Leopard) by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, which is why the author has so entitled this article „The Gattopardo of Vis“.
Key words: Lorenzo Dojmi di Delupis, Vis, Dalmatia, History of medicine, Dalmatian autonomist, 19th century, 20th century