Centres of Medical Excellence? : Medical Travel and Education in Europe, 1500-1789, Hardback Book

Centres of Medical Excellence? : Medical Travel and Education in Europe, 1500-1789 Hardback

Edited by Professor Ole Peter Grell, Dr. Jon Arrizabalaga

Part of the The History of Medicine in Context series


Students notoriously vote with their feet, seeking out the best and most innovative teachers of their subject.

The most ambitious students have been travelling long distances for their education since universities were first founded in the 13th century, making their own educational pilgrimage or peregrinatio. This volume deals with the peregrinatio medica from the viewpoint of the travelling students: who went where; how did they travel; what did they find when they arrived; what did they take back with them from their studies.

Even a single individual could transform medical studies or practice back home on the periphery by trying to reform teaching and practice the way they had seen it at the best universities.

Other contributions look at the universities themselves and how they were actively developed to attract students, and at some of the most successful teachers, such as Boerhaave at Leiden or the Monros at Edinburgh. The essays show how increasing levels of wealth allowed more and more students to make their pilgrimages, travelling for weeks at a time to sit at the feet of a particular master.

In medicine this meant that, over the period c.1500 to 1789, a succession of universities became the medical school of choice for ambitious students: Padua and Bologna in the 1500s, Paris, Leiden and Montpellier in the 1600s, and Leiden, GAttingen and Edinburgh in the 1700s.

The arrival of foreign students brought wealth to the university towns and this significant economic benefit meant that the governors of these universities tried to ensure the defence of freedom of religion and freedom of speech, thus providing the best conditions for the promotion of new views and innovation in medicine. The collection presents a new take on the history of medical education, as well as universities, travel and education more widely in ancien regime Europe.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Universities
  • ISBN: 9780754666998



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