The purpose of this thesis, based on scientific analysis, is to show the development of medical thought and practice as well as the work of doctors and surgeons in Slovene Istria under Venetian rule throughout the centuries, more specifically from the Late Middle Ages to the beginning of the 18th century or, in other words, the decline of the Republic of Venice. The analysis was performed on a model of the former island city of Koper.
Argument, objectives and hypotheses. Since Koper belonged to the Republic of Venice for many centuries, it experienced a similar development of medicine as the nearby city of Venice. Due to the proximity of the most important university cities, doctors and surgeons working in the city of Koper would work there equipped with the most modern medical knowledge of the time. Due to their high level of medical expertise, they could introduce new approaches to hygiene, sanitation and property development of the city as well as to public health care. The contribution of all the doctors and surgeons who were active in the city at that time to the development of the public health care system in the island city of Koper is much greater than it was known so far.
Research design, work methods. The study was carried out gradually and in successive steps throughout multiple years. The extensive data collection, the reading and analysing of both old and new published material about this topic collected in international and domestic archives and libraries was followed by gathering original archival documents on this topic, translating from old languages (Latin, Italian, German and Croatian) to Slovenian, naming the specialised contents with uniform terminology, the critical evaluation of the authenticity and reliability of the material, and the comparison of published and original material. The material was analysed by content as well as being comparatively analysed and interpreted in the context of medical history of the given space and time. To present new findings, qualitative research methods from the field of historiography were used.
Results and conclusions. This scientific work has brought along new insights into the development of health care and its representatives within the territory of the city of Koper as well as its significant role in Slovene Istria during the time of the Republic of Venice from the historical, epidemiological, and public health care viewpoint. A vast amount of dispersed material and other resources was gathered and then thoroughly analysed. Furthermore, the obtained results have confirmed the working hypotheses. Much of the so far known data has been confirmed, some has been completed or corrected, some has been reinterpreted in the context of medical history, and some has been presented to the public for the first time. The work in question represents an integral whole but at the same time also sets some guidelines for further interdisciplinary research.