Tommaso Campailla: Dream Stuff and the Hypochondria of an Eclectic


  • Aldo Gerbino Department of Experimental Medicine - Section of Histology and Embryology "Arcangelo Pasqualino di Marineo" Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Palermo, I


Tommaso Campailla, Hypochondria


Born on 7th April 1668 in Modica, Ciceronian ‘Agrum Motucanum’ , the Modican county of Chiaramontes and Chiabreras, Tommaso Campailla, a poet and a physician, is mostly known as the author of a philosophical poem in octaves – Adam or the Created World. In his 1727 Problemi naturali [Natural Problems] , his essay Del disordinato discorso dell’uomo [On Man’s Disorderly Discourse]  distinguishes itself by its intellectual wit on both the speculative and the experimental research aspects. He formulates concepts on the darkness which often reason has to fare through; he substantializes the body/soul syncretic dimension, and underlines how this disrupts the perfect bodily mechanism. His observations are born in a scientific and historical period which was absorbed within an iatromechanical scenario  of which they are reliable proofs and physiological foundations. If on the one hand he reduces the spiritual (psychical) stance to a physical one, on the other hand he gives substance to his questioning his own inner torments, his own hypochondriac being. He died of apoplexy aged 72, on 7th February 1740.