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Desolation in Spain 

Desolation in Spain
Desolation in Spain

Marco Catani

and Stefano Sandrone

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date: 07 May 2021

Toward the end of 1559, Philip II decided to move his court from Brussels to Madrid. Vesalius followed but struggled to adapt to life in a new country. Furthermore Philip II, having been raised in Spain, preferred to trust the word of Spanish physicians—those still dedicated to the word of the classical texts. It became increasingly clear to Vesalius that under Philip he would never reach the rank of protomedicus (the highest position in the royal medical hierarchy), the one title he longed for. Facing the clear hostility of his peers at court Vesalius decided to return to anatomy. But leaving Spain was not easy. He had to persuade the king to grant him permission to return to Italy, which he managed with a loophole: the request for a pilgrimage in the holy land.

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