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Jewish Physicians

Jewish physicians in Italy were much esteemed. The most famous family of physicians in Italy was the Portaleone dynasty who had treated Italian nobility in Mantua and Padua for 300 years.

Abraham Portaleone was an Italian-Jewish physician in Mantua. Like many physicians of the period he played a leading role in the development of Hebrew scientific writings during the Renaissance. Portaleone wrote two medical treatises in Latin, which he dedicated to his patron Duke Guglielmo, Consilia Medica and Dialogi Tres de Auro (published 1584). His Shilte ha-Gibborim Shields of Warriors printed just before he died in 1612 was an encyclopaedic & antiquarian work relating arts and sciences to the Temple; it included techniques of warfare.