1633 - 1714
Bernardino Ramazzini was born in Carpi, a town in north-central
Italy a few miles north of Modena. He studied both medicine and
law at Parma and received his doctorate in medicine in 1659.
In 1700, Ramazzini's work entitled De morbis artificum
diatriba was published: five years later the Latin work was
translated into English (altho does ugh not adequately until 1940)
as Diseases of Tradesmen. This was the first treatise to address
comprehensively the infirmities provoked by the hazards of one's
livelihood, that is, occupational health.
Ramazzini deals with a variety of trades people, such as miners of
metals, wet-nurses, corpse-bearers and fishermen. He also offers
advice for workers who stand, sedentary workers and those who
strain their eyes over fine work. A dissertation on "diseases of
learned men" is included as well, lest it be thought that only
those involved with physical labor were subject to health hazards.
discusses occupational health and hygiene in a practical yet
poetic manner, combining quotations from classical verse with his
own erudite prose. In the 1713 supplement, which augments the
original edition by twelve entries, Ramazzini muses on the nature
"How useful or rather how
necessary is the weaver’s art we can decide from the fact that
every living soul covers his nakedness with some sort of woven
stuff. Nor should we grumble at Nature for having bestowed plumage
on birds and on every animal a hairy cover while man alone she
left naked. For man has inventive talents and hands with which to
weave for himself many different kinds of clothing, not merely as
a covering but also to adorn and beautify himself."
Janice Braun, Medical History
Library, Yale University, Reprinted with permission: copyright