From Padua to Istanbul: Peregrinatio Medica of Joseph Solomon Del Medigo (1591-1655) and Tobias Cohen (1652-1729)


Osmanlı Bilimi Araştırmaları, vol.24, no.1, pp.199-215, 2023 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 24 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.26650/oba.1174793
  • Journal Name: Osmanlı Bilimi Araştırmaları
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus, Index Islamicus, Directory of Open Access Journals, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.199-215
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper examines the stories and works of two Padua-trained Jewish physicians, Joseph Solomon Del Medigo (d.1655) and Tobias Cohen (d.1729) who traveled between major urban centers of the Eastern Mediterranean. In the early modern Mediterranean, Jewish physicians served as the vectors of knowledge between different geographies. The paper will start by rendering the learning and practicing medicine in 16th and 17th century Padua and then move on to the experiences of the abovementioned physicians in the Ottoman Empire with a particular focus on their biographies. The final section of the article will focus on the reasons and consequences of their sojourn in the Ottoman Empire. In addition to scientific quests, the paper argues that Del Medigo and Cohen headed towards the East with religious motives, the realization of which could only be made possible by the career opportunities offered by the Ottomans. This paper will conclude that the stories of Del Medigo and Cohen pose an episode of the coalescent nature of European and Eastern Mediterranean science.