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PLAGUE – MEDICINE – ISTANBUL: Conseil Supérieur de Santé de l’Empire Ottoman. Messieurs. Dans la séance du 13 Septembre tenue par l‘academie des Sciences à Paris, Mr. le Dr. Aubert lut in Mémoire…



An important governmental article in French language was printed in early 1842 in Istanbul to introduce new discoveries on the spreading of plague and start a survey in the ports, connected to the Ottoman Empire.

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Large 4° (34 x 22,5 cm / 13.4 x 8.9 inches), 8 pp. photolithographed text with manuscript additions and stamps and signature on the last page, unbound as originally issued (soft folds with tiny tears, slightly dusty and age-toned, edges with light staining, water-staining and fraying in the edges, otherwise in a good condition).


An official article in French was issued in 1842 by the Ottoman Supreme Health Counsel and was signed by the Ottoman officials and six European medical doctors.
In the first part the text introduces the new scientific conclusions on the research of the plague, as presented by Louis-Rémy Aubert-Roche (1810-1874) at the Academy in Paris on September 13th, 1841. 

Aubert was a French medical doctor, who was making researches on the plague in North Africa and the Middle East in European Lazarettos. Based on the recorded statistics, Aubert made some major revolutionary conclusions, important for stopping the plague, listed in this document. These were joined in 7 main points, among others a discovery that most of epidemics happened on the boats arriving to the port and not after landing, that the cargo from not affected boats did not transmit the disease, and that the incubation time of plague was maximum eight days. 

These points confirmed that plague was a contagious disease and that quarantine in ports was necessary to stop its spreading. 

The last part of the article is requesting the assistance of ports Istanbul was cooperating with, to send in their observation on the matter. The name of the port, in our case Marseille, was hand written, indicating, that copies of this text were sent to different locatins. 

Conseil Supérieur de Sante de l’Empire Ottoman was composed form Ottoman officials and European scientists and medical doctors. 

This document is signed by Bachi Effendi (or Hekim Bachi Efendi), which was an official title of the first physician to the Sultan, the secretary Saffet Offendi, the secretary, J. Nasgiovich (?), a knight of Rab, and the official black stamp in the lower point was made by the Conseil Supérieur de Sante de Constantinople. The other original signatures were made by six European medical doctors working in Vienna, St. Petersburg, Paris and Constantinople. 

One of the signed physicians, Antoine Pezzoni, wrote in the next years several international scientific texts on the importance of quarantine and about plague being a contagious disease, with the results obtained in Constantinople following this research made by the Superior Health Council of the Ottoman Empire. In 1847 he published a book De la Contagionabilité de la peste fondée principalement sur les résultats obtenis par les quarantaines en Turquie, which was printed in Constantinople.

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