Hebrew Letters as Witness to Rural Medicine in Renaissance Italy
Andrew Berns received his PhD in history from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011. He is currently preparing his doctoral dissertation, “The Natural Philosophy of the Biblical World: Jewish and Christian Physicians in Late Renaissance Italy,” for publication. During the 2011-2012 academic year he was Viterbi Visiting Professor of Mediterranean Jewish Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Following his fellowship at Villa I Tatti he will take up a position as Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of South Carolina.
This project focuses on a Hebrew manuscript at the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana that contains the letters of a Jewish physician who served a rural community outside of Rome. Study of these letters will augment our understanding of rural medicine in Renaissance Italy and the nature of Jewish-Christian relations in the sixteenth century.