LA MEDICINA DEL RINASCIMENTO E LA SCOPERTA DELLA CIRCOLAZIONE MINORE: IL RUOLO DI MICHELE SERVETO (1511–1553)
Michael Servetus (1511-1553) was a humanist, physician and theologian. He studied the Bible and was also interested in science, astrology, meteorology, scholastic philosophy, geography, law, anatomy and mathematics. Michael Servetus developed a considerable knowledge of the classical languages (Latin, Greek and Hebrew), which he will use a lot for his studies during his lifetime. After early studies at home and then in the school of the convent of Mount- Aragón, in 1524, Servetus was working for two years for Juan de Quintana de Mallorca, a doctor at the Sorbonne in Paris, Franciscan and a prominent member of the Cortes of Aragon. At first, he seemed to be destined for the priesthood, but then, at the age of seventeen, in 1528, Servetus began studying law at the prestigious University of Law of Toulouse. He abandoned the law school after only a year, because in 1529 he was invited by Quintana, who in the meantime became a personal confessor of the Emperor Charles V. He is recognized as the first physician – at least in Europe – to have discovered and described the pulmonary circulation or lesser circulation. For his anti-Trinitarian views, he was arrested, tried and burned at the stake in Champel, a suburb of Geneva. Servetus represents a profound innovator, both in theology and medicine, a martyr and a giant of the free thought.
Keywords: Michael Servetus; Renaissance medicine; pulmonary circulation; lesser circulation.