Medicine for the Masses: The Placebo Effect of Early Modern Medical Frontispieces and the Commercialization of Socialized Medicine

Ryan Church

Abstract


 

By focusing on a single case study of Girolamo Ruscelli‟s famous Secreti del reverend donno Alessio Piemontese (1555), I argue that the frontispiece contained in this manuscript transformed the knowledge and practices contained within it through the placebo effect, thus helping to generate and mobilize social power through medical self-sufficiency. This tremendous change undercut the economic power of institutional medicine, thus altering the medical landscape toward a utilitarian model in the Early Modern period.


Keywords


Early Modern; Books of Secrets; Placebo Effect; Frontispieces; Socialized Medicine

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EISSN 1923-1334

University of Victoria