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MIRANDA, Joaõ Cardoso de

Relaçao Cirurgica, e Medica, Na qual se trata, e declara especialmente hum novo methodo para curar a infecçao escorbutica, ou mal de Loanda, e todos os seus productos, fazendo para isto manifestos dous especificoe, e mui particulares remedios.


Lisbon, Manuel Soares, 1741 (i.e. 1752).


Small 4to.  (8) ff., 255 pp., (1) blank p., 22 pp, (1) f.  Original calf (worn).   Pp. browned throughout.   Tear repaired in outer margin p. 27/28, small wormhole in upper margin of final p. 21-end.

"(This) is a famous book in the history of Brazilian medicine.   The title is frequently cited but the text is seldom studied because of the rarity of the work, both of the first and second editions” (Borba de Moraes).   Cardoso de Miranda was active both as a merchant and a surgeon in Bahia.   In the lengthy prologue he describes the lamentable state in which the slaves arrived in Bahia and the high mortality rate.   When caring for the newly arrived slaves he discovered a remedy to cure "mal de Loanda" or scurvy, and moved by humanitarian reasons he wanted his remedy to be known to all.   Then follows the treatise on scurvy and in each ensuing chapter Miranda describes an illness, citing cases which he has treated and gives details of the remedies, in very simple and clear language and style.   The description of the cases he treated is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the work;  he gives the names of his patients, describes their state of health, how they reacted, and many significant details which help to portray the private lives of the inhabitants of 18th century Bahia.   The book first appeared in 1747;  the date 1741 given on the title page of this second edition is probably a typographical error, as the licences are dated 1751 and 1752.   “Miranda recalls that he bought three ailing slaves, the sickest for only six milreis, and after he cured them, sold them for a hundred and fifty milreis and more each . . .   (He) was the owner of a ship used to transport slaves from Africa to Brazil” (Schaeffer, Portuguese exploration to the west and the formation of Brazil, 1450-1800, 84).  

Borba de Moraes (1983) II, 572.  Innocêncio III, 338.   Alden & Landis 741/27.   Gauz, Portuguese and Brazilian Books in the John Carter Brown Library 1537-1839, 752/3.   Not in Bosch, Brasilien-Bibliothek.  


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