Making and Marketing Medicine in Renaissance Florence
James Shaw and Evelyn Welch
What did you do when you fell ill in fifteenth-century Florence? How did you get the medicines that you needed at a price you could afford? What would you find when you entered an apothecary’s shop? This richly detailed study of the Speziale al Giglio in Florence provides surprising answers, demonstrating the continued importance of highly personalised medical practice late into the fifteenth century. Drawing on extensive archival research, it shows how personal relationships and mutual trust, rather than market forces, made payment possible even for those with limited incomes. Examining the spaces, people and products involved, Making and Marketing Medicine investigates the roles played by sociability, information networks and regulation in creating communities as well as in promoting health in Renaissance Italy.