c 1662-63 Bound Manuscript Medical Diploma - Pisa, Italy


A rare complete Italian Renaissance vellum medical diploma issued by the University of Pisa in 1662/63 for a doctorate degree in medicine. The manuscript diploma comprises eight handwritten pages, ie. four folios, in Latin . Each page measures 8.25 x 6 inches.

The first page contains an elaborate hand-illuminated coat of arms with “In Dei Nomini Amen” as the motto. The liquid gold shield encloses a silver tower on a grassy field under a blue sky, with a helmet and three feathers above, all surrounded by colorful acanthus. The text is scribed in an elegant Italic book hand with the names of the recipient, several important persons, and many initials written in liquid gold.  

The diploma is presented to Christophorus Barluzzijs of Floriano by the University in recognition of his obtaining a Degree of the College Faculties of Philosophy and Medical Physicians to the level of Doctorate. 

It begins by naming church and university dignitaries, extols the virtues of the man, lists others who are being presented with honors, explains how worthy he is to receive the degree, sets out the oaths he has to swear by (the Creed and Profession of Faith per the Council of Trent, 1565), and ends with mention of the esteemed witnesses to the event.

The document is authenticated and signed by Lord Antonius Morrona, Archbishop of Pisa. The dates on the last page for the issuance of the diploma are 1663 and 1662 for Rome and Florence. (The Gregorian calendar was introduced in the Holy Roman Empire in 1583, but not introduced in Tuscany till 1750). 

Provenance: ex-collection of Roger Martin (d 04-20), Grimsby UK, manuscript scholar and collector.  Martin’s twenty two page detailed description of the document with complete Latin transcription and English translation, is included.  

Diploma is in remarkably nice condition, binding wear as shown in photos.

A unique piece of history - medical related illuminated documents of this period are seldom encountered.…Galileo was studying medicine and teaching mathematics at Pisa about 80 years earlier. 

  • Inventory# IM-12805
Sold Out