chapter  5
18 Pages

Between Science and Philology: Taxonomy of Errors in Garcia de Orta’s Colloquies

This chapter addresses the appropriation of Orta by the Portuguese medical and scientific community as well as by the State in the twentieth century and discusses some of the scientific and ideological interests which were at stake in this process. On 8 September 1958, visual representation of Garcia de Orta was inaugurated at a medical institution, the Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical. It was in the wake of the re-edition of the Colquios that the Portuguese medical community called attention to the relevance of Garcia de Orta in the understanding of diseases specific to warm climates. A significant theme of the commemorations was the portrayal of Garcia de Orta not only as a founding father of Portuguese and tropical medicine but a major symbol of national identity. Garcia de Orta is the physician who, to date, has received more public homages, including paintings, sculptures, banknotes, stamps, names of streets and gardens in 1991, the name of an hospital.