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La medicina en els sainets d'Eduard Escalante i Mateu

[Medicine in the dramatic works of Eduard Escalante i Mateu]

Àngel Calpe. València: Universitat de València, 7 microfiche (616 frames), Doctoral dissertation, 2001. ISBN 84-370-4838-9.

Link to the file card in Teseo, the data base of doctoral dissertations kept by the Spanish Education Department.


The dramatic works of Eduard Escalante i Mateu (1834-1895), an important Valencian playwright, are studied from the medical and scientific point of view. Forty-seven comic sketches written along the last third of the 19th century are analysed as literature of fiction able to reflect personal experiences of common people regarding health, illness, disease, medicine, science and technical innovations. The gathered information is exposed in two main sections: Testimonies and Lexicon. 1. In the Testimonies section, fragments and scenes of the works are ordered and explained as they reflect the influence of ancient medical doctrines, hygienic and alimentary habits, popular visions of the human body and nature, illnesses and remedies, professions and sanitary activities, technical and scientific advances, etc. 2. Lexicon is presented in two ways: a) as an alphabetical vocabulary in which each entry is put into context; and b) classified in a semantic tree which is divided in three hierarchical levels and is similar to a thesaurus. Basic statistics are reported. In the Conclusions section we highlight the persistence of Hippocratic and Galenic elements in popular medicine, frequently distorted. Illness and disease are considered natural processes without magical or religious intervention. People’s physical look and appetite are the principal concerns related to good health. There are some interesting contributions in popular therapeutics, and barbers are still important as common sanitary agents. The lexical wealth of contemporary Valencian language that is related to health topics is remarkable; of 4,970 gathered terms, 3,292 (66.24%) are Valencian with some contribution to popular anatomical terminology; other words and expressions are mainly in Spanish.

Descriptors: Eduard Escalante i Mateu; folk medicine; history of science; history of medicine; medical vocabulary; popular medicine; medicine and literature, Valencian theatre.

Language: Valencian.

Academic information

Departament:  D225 – History of Science and Documentation

Doctorate studies (1991-92): Programme of History of Medicine (255 B).

Fresquet Febrer, José Luis    (Director)
Micó Navarro, Juan Antonio    (Co director)

Date of oral examination:  October 2nd, 2000

Examination committee:
Olagüe Ros, Guillermo    (President)
Báguena Cervellera, Mª Jose    (Secretary)
Martínez Vidal, Alvar    (Member)
López Terrada, Mª Luz    (Member)
Casanova Herrero, Emili    (Member)

Qualification: “Cum laude”

Dowloadable text (in Valencian)

I. Introducció / II. L'època: la societat valenciana del segle XIX / III. L'autor: Eduard Escalante i Mateu / IV. L'obra

V. Objectius / VI. Materials i metodologia

VII. Resultats - A) Testimonis historicomèdics i historicocientífics: 1. Conceptes / 2. El ser humà: parts i funcions.

3. Les malalties i les seues manifestacions

4. La terapèutica / 5. La prevenció

6. Les professions i l’activitat assistencial / 7. L’alimentació / 8. Ciència i tècnica

B) Lèxic relatiu a la medicina i la ciència - 1. Thesaurus historicomèdic / 2. Vocabulari de térmens específics escalantins / 3. Expressions lingüístiques

4. Recompte del lèxic

VIII. Conclusions / IX. Abreviatures i sigles / X. Bibliografia


Observation: Some minor corrections have been made to the original text after further proof-reading.