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Bonomo [Bonomi], Giovan

1. Dates
Born: Livorno, 30 November 1666
Died: Firenze, 13 January 1696
Dateinfo: Dates Certain
Lifespan: 30
2. Father
Occupation: Merchant
It is known only that the father was a French grocer in Livorno.
No information on financial status.
3. Nationality
Birth: Leghorn, Italy
Career: Italy, Germany
Death: Florence, Italy
4. Education
Schooling: Pisa, MD, Ph.D.
He received the doctorate in philosophy and medicine at the University of Pisa in 1682. I assume a B.A. or its equivalent.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Catholic
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Medicine
His major work, done in collaboration with Cestoni in Livorno, Observazioni intorno a'pellicelli del corpo umano (1687), affirmed that scabies was caused by mites and provided the first clinical and experimental proof of the "live" infection.
7. Means of Support
Primary: Medicine, Government, Patronage
He began medical practice in 1683, and twice served as physician in the galleys of Grand Duke Cosimo III. In 1691, the Grand Duke appointed Bonomo physician to his daughter, who had married to the elector of the Rhenish Palatinate. He spent the rest of his life at the Palatinate court until he came home, fatally ill, to die.
After the first expedition with the galleys in 1684-5, Bonomo appears to have practiced, without great success, in Livorno. In 1690 he got a second appointment to a galley.
8. Patronage
Types: Scientist, Court Official
Grand Duke Cosimo III and his daughter's husband. See above.
However, Redi was Bonomo's original and principal promoter. He gained Bonomo's appointments to the galleys and later his appointment with the daughter of the Grand Duke. However, Redi did not recognize the significance of Bonomo's work on scabies.
9. Technological Involvement
Type: Medical Practice
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
  1. Dizionario biografico degli italiani.
  2. G.M. Mazzuchelli, Gli scrittori d'Italia, (Brescia, 1753- ), 2, pt. 3, 1678.
  3. Ugo Faucci, "contributo alla storia della scabbia" in Rivista di storia delle scienze mediche e naturali, 22(1931) pp.153-170, 198-215,257-371, 441-475.
Not Available and Not Consulted
  1. Luigi Belloni, "I secoli italiani della dottrina del contagio vivo" in Simposi clinici, 4 (1967) liii.
  2. C. Lombardo, "Giovan Cosimo Bonomo a Pisa" ibid, 29 (1938), pp.97-121.
Compiled by:
Richard S. Westfall
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Indiana University

Note: the creators of the Galileo Project and this catalogue cannot answer email on geneological questions.

1995 Al Van Helden
Last updated
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