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"If one wanted to know just what effect the Renaissance had on medicine, this book would be the place to start. Nancy Siraisi proposes lucidly and elegantly her answer to this important academic puzzle. Her use of Girolamo Cardano's self-revelations makes this the liveliest of works on the famous scholar."--Vivian Nutton, The Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine "Girolamo Cardano was an idiosyncratic man in an idiosyncratic age, and Nancy Siraisi has traced the processes of accommodation between the drive for invention and the reliance on convention so prevalent to Cardano and his century. Her story of Cardano's role in the history of medicine bridges the history of the body, Renaissance occultism, and the emerging science of experimental philosophy and probabilistic knowledge. Siraisi has read Cardano with great intelligence and erudition, and is a sure guide through the paradox and particulars of his age."--Mary J. Voss, Princeton University