Javier Sanz presents his ‘History of Medicine in the city of Sigüenza’ at El Pósito | NewAlcarria

The full-time academic of the Royal National Academy of Medicine (RANM) Javier Sanz Serrulla, presented this weekend, in the Auditorium of El Pósito de Sigüenza, his book ‘History of Medicine in the city of Sigüenza’. The act, with strict anti-COVID protocol, registered the maximum possible capacity, due to the interest that Sanz’s presentations always arouse in the city, and of course, also to the book’s argument.

Published by AACHE Editores in October 2020, it had not been possible to present it in the city of Sigüenza due to the pandemic. The mayoress of Sigüenza, María Jesús Merino, prefaced the author’s explanation. Merino stressed that it is a “special” book, for many reasons. “There are very few cities that have complete documentary Histories of Medicine in a town in Spain that did not exist until now, recovering a heritage that, surely, it will make available to Sigüenza, as it has done on other occasions and to the candidacy a World Heritage. He talks about Medicine, in times of pandemic, and also, the fact of being able to present it is already a symptom that precisely the pandemic is being left behind.

The Councilor for Culture, Ana Blasco, also said a few words about Sanz, in which she put on the table the constant commitment of the Seguntino with his city, “rescuing historiography from the archives always so necessary for the knowledge of the following generations,” he stressed the historical condition of Sigüenza as a university city, in this case recalling the Faculty of Medicine, and finally referred to three of the characters cited in the book, such as Juan Huarte de San Juan, a figure of great importance in Medicine, Pedro Gálvez, doctor of the city and of King Felipe II, and Ramón y Cajal’s summer stay in Sigüenza ”.

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Finally, Teresa Franco, in her capacity as deputy delegate of Culture, made an analysis of the content of the book and a reflection on the medical services of then and now, publicly expressing her gratitude for Javier’s work that values ​​the archive of the City of Sigüenza.

‘History of Medicine of the City of Sigüenza’ is a book that has required enormous documentary research in archives, as well as the necessary interpretation of centuries-old data. It presents a continuity from the 15th century until after the Civil War.

In Spain this type of study is practically unpublished. “Unfortunately, no time has been devoted to the local study of medicine,” says Sanz. Many high-quality monographs have been published on Sigüenza, on its urban planning, music or customs. “And, of course, it deserved a serious study on Medicine, which I took as an obligation,” explains Sanz.

In the first place, it narrates, in a compact way, the assistance that the city provided to its citizens. On the other hand, the assistance of their hospitals is also counted. It was very important that of San Mateo, the oldest, that of La Estrella, or that of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, which was a hospital for foundlings. The Faculty of Medicine of the University of Sigüenza is also a benchmark. In addition to the assistance that the city provided to the seguntinos, Sanz reviews in his text the names of doctors who practiced the profession in Sigüenza and some names in the history of medicine who were born in Sigüenza but who later did not practice in their hometown , like Antonio Pérez Escobar or Antonio Ballano.

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“It is not a story taken by the hair, it is a very powerful story,” says Sanz. In the 16th century, several Seguntine doctors went into the service of the Spanish Royal Family. “In the palace, it was known that Sigüenza was an important nucleus,” explains Sanz. The author highlights the solidarity commitment of the city with its citizens, to provide them with the remedy for something lost, as valuable as health: “When the Seguntinos lost their health, there was the council, to respond, and that is solidarity . In addition, when it was necessary to cut back in times of crisis, historically, it was never done in this section in a drastic way. For 500 years, the citizens of Sigüenza have never been left out in the open. And especially the poorest. This fact distinguishes Sigüenza and gives him a great human category ”.

The book also reviews the pandemics that reached the region at different times. “Since man began to live with animals, they have been happening over the centuries,” says Sanz. Pandemics such as plague, smallpox, some minor ones, such as tabardillos, or the 1918 flu, to which so much has been appealed in times of COVID, reached Sigüenza. “It seems that we are condemned to live with them. Hopefully centuries will pass until the next one arrives, and if it does, we can anticipate or respond quickly. But if something is certain, it is that the Sigüenza City Council will do everything possible for its citizens, as it always did, when they arrive, ”says Sanz.

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A special chapter deserves popular devotion, which is still maintained today. “We continue to celebrate San Roque, in summer, as a lawyer against the plague that devastated Castilla. And very close we also have the sanctuary of Our Lady of Health, in Barbatona. The relationship that man has with the supernatural continues to be maintained, because he perceives that even today he is not capable of giving a scientific answer to everything that comes to him, and he resorts to what he believes is higher, ”says the doctor.

Finally, Sanz pointed out in the presentation that, “when we have the stories of medicine from big cities, such as Toledo, Santiago de Compostela, Granada, Salamanca, or Medina del Campo, very important in this discipline, we will have an extensive and much better knowledge of what has been the History of Medicine in Spain ”.

In a moment of tremendous generosity in his literary production, in just one year, Javier Sanz has published five books. In July 2020 he published ‘From Kings and Dentists, Dentistry and the Spanish Royal House from Carlos V to Felipe II’ (Historical Library). Almost simultaneously, it did the same with the ‘Historical Dictionary of Scientific Authorities of the province of Guadalajara’ (AACHE). In October he published the ‘History of Medicine of the City of Sigüenza’ (AACHE), and in 2021 he has published his ‘Elogio del Guardameta’ (Renaissance), and, in June, his ‘History of Spanish Dentistry’ (Fundación San Pablo CEU University).




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