From the mid-sixteenth century, Italian Protomedico tribunals, Colleges of Physicians or Health Offices (jurisdiction varied from state to state) required ‘charlatans’ to submit their wares for inspection and, upon approval, pay a licence fee in order set up a stage from which to perform and sell them. The licensing regime allows us unparalleled opportunities when it comes to the investigation of suspect but generally tolerated categories like charlatans. It was the ongoing attempt to regulate the activity of charlatans which provides us with the raw material for this Database and for the book associated with it, David Gentilcore’s Medical Charlatanism in Early Modern Italy (Oxford University Press, 2006; ISBN 0199245355) MAIN TOPICS The licensing procedure - from initial application by the charlatan to the issuing of a licence - provides us with a wealth of information about them and the phenomenon of which they were part. Each complete licence tells us the charlatan's name and place of origin, his stage name or alias, the nature of his practice/activity, licences and/or 'privileges' from other States (if any), the remedies he wished to sell, and (sometimes) their ingredients. A database of such information can thus tell us as much about individuals and medicines as it can about broader trends in the history of early modern Europe. Itemising some 1,600 licences, issued to over a thousand of different charlatans the length and breadth of Italy, over a period of over two and a half centuries, the Italian Charlatans Database comes as close as it is possible to get in our attempt to understand charlatans and charlatanism 'from the inside'. The data has been divided in to three tables: representing the Charlatans (Charlatans), licences awarded to the Charlatans (Licences) and the remedies each licence allowed them to sell (LicenceToSell). Two appended documents offer further information relevant to this third table. Appendix One: Translation of remedy ingredients assists in the case of information supplied in the original Italian, by providing information on the ingredients and their purported uses and benefits. Appendix Two: Index of remedies with ingredients gives lists of ingredients for some of the main licensed remedies referred to in the Database.
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