Andrew Berns

Ph.D. Candidate
Department of History
University of Pennsylvania

2009 to 2010
Dissertation Research Fellow

The Natural Science of the Biblical World in Late Renaissance Italy

Abstract. My dissertation examines the study of the ancient Jewish past in early modern Italy. From the middle of the 16th century through the first quarter of the 17th century a group of Italian medical doctors, both Jewish and Christian, scrutinized the natural science of the classical Jewish world. Based on a close study of texts composed by Italian physicians in Hebrew, Latin, and Italian, this project expands our understanding of early modern antiquarianism by considering an early modern research agenda that most modern scholars have neglected. Additionally, the dissertation connects reforms in medical education during the later 16th century to the emergence of a steady, inter-confessional curiosity regarding biblical and post-biblical natural science. Here is a report on his work.