The history of homeopathy in the Russian Empire
until World War I, as compared with other European countries and the USA: similarities and
by Alexander Kotok, M.D.
On-line version of the Ph.D. thesis improved and enlarged
due to a special grant of the Pierre Schmidt foundation.
Notes and references
Chapter I: Allopathy vs. Homeopathy
Homeopathy in Russia during the period under study
1 Carl Bojanus,
Rossii" (Homeopathy in Russia), Moscow, 1882, p. 1. Dr. Carl Heinrich Bojanus
(1818—1897), to whose work I shall often refer throughout my study, was born in St.
Petersburg, in the family of a bank official rooted in Hessen-Darmstadt. At the age of three years
he lost his mother and was fostered in the German School of St. Peter. He studied medicine in the
St. Petersburg Medical-Surgical Academy, then he moved to the Moscow University, where he graduated
in 1845. Until 1852 he worked as a house doctor for Count Perovsky in the Chernigov province.
During that period he became interested in homeopathy as possible means against malaria which was
widely spread in the province, and converted to it. In 1853-1863, he worked as a doctor in the
Nizhny Novgorod district hospital under the patronage of Vladimir Dal' (on this person see
later in this chapter; on Bojanus' work in the hospital see the chapter "Homeopathic
facilities"). From 1863 to 1884, he practiced in Moscow privately. In 1884, he left Moscow for
his estate in the Saratov district. In 1893, he participated in the Homeopathic Congress in
Chicago. Dr. Bojanus left a book on the history of homeopathy in Russia (German and, significanlty
enlarged, Russian versions), several pamphlets (in Russian and in German) and many papers in
Russian, German, French, English and American homeopathic periodicals. Three of his sons,
Maximillian, Carl and Nicholas were homeopathic doctors, whilst his second wife Ol'ga also was
involved actively into homeopathic affairs of her husband. She was elected a honorary member of the
American Institute of Homeopathy in 1894 "for her outstanding services rendered to homeopathy
in all and to the Institute in part by her referats published in 'Institute transactions'
and in other journals". Dr. Bojanus proved Spirea ulmaria, Sinapis alba and
Acidum osmicum. (Vestnik gomeopaticheskoi meditsiny, 1910, 4, p. 117;
Vrach-gomeopat, 1894, 4, p. 193 and Rudolf Tischner, "Geschichte der Homöopathie,
Leipzig, 1932, p. 773). The detailed story of his conversion to homeopathy entitled "Kak i
pochemu ia sdelalsia gomeopatom" (How and why I became a homoeopath) was published in
"Gomeopatichesky vestnik" in 1886-1887.
2 Ibid., p. 2. The
province of Lifland was then represented by the contemporary North Latvia and South Estonia.
gomeopaticheskogo lecheniia, 1861, 18, pp. 375-383
gomeopaticheskogo lecheniia, 1862, 12, p. 202
5 C. Bojanus,
"Gomeopatiia...", see note 1, p. 64
6 Ibid., pp.
7 Ibid., p. 9 and
B. Plonka-Syroka, "Rezeption der Homöopathie in polnischen Ärztekreisen des 19.
Jahrhunderts", Medizin, Gesellschaft und Geschichte, 16, 1997, pp. 155 and 162-63.
Bojanus points out that "Examen..." was published in 1827, whilst Plonka-Syroka refers to
another date — 1832.
8 Prof. for
Dietetics and Pharmacology (1826—27), then Prof. of Clinical Medicine (1828—1845) at
the Dorpat University; "Biographisches Lexicon der hervorragenden Ärzte aller Zeiten und
Völker", Vienna and Leipzig, 1887, v. 5, p. 148
die gegenwärtige Stellung der Homöopathie zur bisherigen Heilkunde, von Dr. G. F. I.
Sahmen in Dorpat", Dorpat, 1925.
10 C. Bojanus
"Gomeopatiia...", see note 1, p. 3.
Sankt-Peterburgskie vrachebnye vedomosti, 1793, 14, p. 106. The newspaper had about 200
subscribers: 105 in St. Petersburg, 25 in Astrakhan (due to the great concentration of troops
caused by the Persia Campaign), 20 in Moscow, 4 in Kiev and Kaluga, etc. ("Bol'shaia
Meditsinskaia Entsiklopediia" — "The Great Medical Encyclopedia", 1963, v. 29.
pp. 362—363). On this periodical see the chapter "Pervyi meditsinsky zhurnal, XVIII
v." (The First Medical Journal in the 18th Century) in Mark Mirsky, "Meditsina
Rosii XVI—XIX vekov" (Medicine in Russia of the 16-19th centuries), Moscow,
1996, pp. 39—42, pp. 158—161 and the paper by H. Müller-Dietz "Die erste
medizinische Zeitschrift in russischer Sprache: Sankt-Peterburgskie Vratschebnye Vedomosti
(1792—1794)", Sudhoffs Arch. Gesch. Med. u. Naturw., 46 (1962), pp. 229-250
12 C. Bojanus,
"Gomeopatiia...", see note 1, p. 3
13 Ibid., pp. 3
"Vospominaniia d-ra Seidlitz o turetskom pokhode 1829 v pis'mah k druz'iam" (Dr.
Seidlitz's Memoirs About the Turkish Campaign in His Letters to his Friends), Russky
Arkhiv (Russian Archive), 1878, pp. 412, 415—16. Cit. C. Bojanus,
"Gomeopatiia...", see note 1, p. 12
15 I failed to
find exact data on this periodical. Dmitry Zhbankov pointed out: "The periodical was published
by D. Marcus [...]. Started in 1828, ceased, most probably, in 1829(?). Four issues published
[...]". Dmitry Zhbankov "Materialy dlia istorii russkoi meditsinskoi zhurnalistiki"
(Data on the History of Russian Medical Journalistic), Vrach, 1890, 12, p. 282.
Nevertheless, this information seems erroneous as the discussed issue of the journal was published
zapiski, 1827, v. 1, p. 3
17 Ibid., p.
18 Ibid., pp.
19 C. Bojanus
described shortly Deriker's biography in his book (see note 1), pp. 149-151. On some activities
of Vasily Deriker in the capacity of a founder of a homeopathic society and the editor of the first
Russian homeopathic periodicals, see the section "The St. Petersburg Society of Homeopathic
Physicians - from the establishment to the split", the chapter "Homeopathic
20 C. Bojanus
"Gomeopatiia...", see note 1, p. 14
21 Ibid., pp.
22 Ibid., p.
23 Roderick E.
McGrew, "Russia and the Cholera 1823—1832", Madison and Milwaukee, University of
Wisconsin Press, 1965, pp. 4—5. On cholera epidemics in pre-Revolutionary Russia and their
statistics, see K. David Patterson: "Cholera diffusion in Russia, 1823—1923",
Social Sciences and Medicine, 1994, 38, pp. 1171-1191
24 R. McGrew,
ibid., p. 22
25 For example,
distinguished Russian writer Avdotia Panaeva (1820—1893) wrote in her memoirs (1893) that
there were steady rumors during the epidemic that the people has been poisoned by Poles, by
physicians or by some others persons bribed in order to kill. (A. Panaeva "Vospominaniia"
(Memoirs), Leningrad, 1927, pp. 49—51). Also McGrew testified: "The English delegation
which had visited the military hospitals under the guidance of Sir James Wylie offered to take
charge of a number of cholera cases, but their offer was refused because of the violent excitement
of the people against all foreigners, more particularly against medical men, whom they lately
looked on as emissaries employed by their enemies to poison them..." (Ibid., p. 114).
26 His name has
often been misspelled in homeopathic literature as Korsakoff or von Korsakoff; these spellings
clearly originated in the old-fashioned German and should be dropped.
27 C. Bojanus
"Gomeopatiia...", see note 1, pp. 27-36
28 Ibid., p.
29 Ibid., p.
Leary, "The Homeopathic Management of Cholera", Medizin, Gesellschaft und
Geschichte, 1997, v. 16, p. 131.
Black, "The Homeopathic Treatment of Asiatic Cholera", British Journal of
Homeopathy, 1843, 1, pp. 57—68, cit. B. Leary, ibid.
Hamilton, "Comparative Results of the Homeopathic and Allopathic Treatment of Asiatic
Cholera", British Journal of Homeopathy, 1843, 3, pp. 101—103, cit. B. Leary,
ibid., p. 132
33 R. McGrew,
"Russia...", see note 23, pp. 51-54
34 C. Bojanus,
"Gomeopatiia...", see note 1, p. 38-39
35 N. Mordvinova
"Vospominaniia ob admirale grafe Mordvinove i semeistve ego" (Memoirs about Admiral Count
Mordvinov and his Family), St. Petersburg, 1873, p. 87
36 C. Bojanus,
"Gomeopatiia...", see note 1, p. 40
39 Ibid., p.
40 Ibid., p.
Otechestva, 1830, 11, pp. 97—113 and pp. 274—296. "Syn otechestva" (Son
of Fatherland) - historical, political and literary journal issued in 1812—44, 1847—52;
in 1856—61 issued as a political, scientific and literary weekly; in 1862—1901 issued
as a liberal daily ("Sovetsky Entsiklopedichesky Slovar'" — The Soviet
Encyclopedic Dictionary - SES, Moscow, 1980, p. 1305)
dlia chteniia, 1840, v. 39, No. 3—4, pp. 163—184
Otechestva, 1830, v. 14, N 27—40, pp. 94—114, 138—161
44 Philip A.
Nicholls, "Homoeopathy and the Medical Profession", London, 1988, p. 106
Otechestva, 1831, pp. 224—231, 256—272, 335—359
46 Ibid., pp.
47 Ibid., p.
Mordvinov, "Vzgliad na gomeopaticheskoe lechenie", St. Petersburg, 1831, pp.
49 Ibid., pp. 14
Ministerstva Vnutrennih del, 1832, 3, p. 50
51 According to
Prof. Ushakov, "Vodianka — a disease featuring an enormous accumulation of the
liquid part of the blood and lymph in the cavities of the body" - "Tolkovyi slovar'
russkogo iazyka" (The Explanatory Dictionary of Russian Language), Moscow, 1996, v. 1, p. 330;
"Chakhotka — tuberculosis of lungs", v. IV, p. 1242. Nevertheless, the
nosologically defined disease of tuberculosis as the malady caused by a mycobacterium was not known
till Robert Koch's discovery in 1882. Under "chakhotka" were viewed different
steadily progressive diseases, mainly of pulmonary origin, but not necessarily tuberculosis.
Vladimir Dal', who was a doctor himself, defines chakhotka as "an exhausting, fatal
disease, usually accompanied by damage of the lungs" V. Dal', "Slovar' zhivogo
velikorusskogo iazyka" (A Dictionary of the Living Great Russian Language), St. Petersburg,
1880, v. 4, p. 584
Zhurnal..., see note 50, pp. 58—60
53 Ibid., pp.
54 Ibid., pp.
55 C. Bojanus,
"Gomeopatiia...", see note 1, p. 60
56 Thomas L.
Bradford, "The Life and Letters of Hahnemann", Philadelphia, 1895, p. 165
57 C. Bojanus,
"Gomeopatiia...", see note 1, p. 61
58 On Dr. James
Wylie (from Scotland) see the chapter "James Wylie" in the book by M. Mirsky,
"Meditsina...", see note 11, p. 188-197
59 C. Bojanus,
"Gomeopatiia...", see note 1, p. 63. Bojanus refers to the File No. 150 in the Archive of
the Chief Military-Medical Office.
60 Ibid., p.
sobranie zakonov Rossiskoi imperii. Sobranie vtoroe", St.-Petersburg, 1834, tom 8, otdelenie
1. 1833 g.-m "The Whole Collection of the Laws of the Russian Empire. The Second
Edition", St. Petersburg, vol. 8, section 1 — 1833, p. 531 (6447)
62 Ibid., pp.
63 C. Bojanus,
"Gomeopatiia...", see note 1, pp. 69-73
64 Ibid., p.
65 Ibid., pp.
Decembrist revolt — this was the revolt of the nobility, mainly represented by the army
officers, against the monarchy and serfdom in Russia in December 1825. After the revolt had been
crushed, many of its participants were exiled to Siberia. There is a rich literature on the subject
of the revolt both in Russian and in English languages. Cf. Yacov Gordin, "Miatezh
reformatorov 14 dekabria 1825" (The Revolt of Reformers on December 14, 1825) and "Posle
miatezha. Khronica" (After the Revolt. Chronic), issued by the publishing house
"TERRA" in Moscow, 1997.
67 See mention
of his homeopathic activity in: G. Mendrina, "Meditsinskaia deiatel'nost'
politicheskih ssyl'nykh v Sibiri" (Medical Activity of the Political Exiles in Siberia),
Tomsk, 1962, p. 20
"Sibirskie pis'ma dekabristov, 1838—1850" (Sibirian Letters of the Decembrists,
1838—1850), Krasnoiarsk, 1987, p. 190
krai (Our land), 1925, 7(11), p. 9. "Nash krai" — a journal published by the
Astrakhan district planning committee in 1922—1928.
krai, 1925, 8—9 (12—13), p. 9
71 The above
mentioned Decembrist Ivan Pushchin wrote: "The people considers all of us as doctors and turns
to us for help rather than to a staff [military] physician, who either is drunk or does not move
without payment". I. Pushchin "Zapiski o Pushkine. Pis'ma" (Memoirs on Pushkin.
Letters), Moscow, 1955, p. 205
Zdekauer (1815 — no earlier 1901); Prof. of Therapy and General Pathology (1842—1860)
then Clinical Prof. (1860—64) at the St. Petersburg Medical-Surgical Academy. Since 1861 he
was physician-in-ordinary to the Tsar family, and since 1884 President of the Medical Council.
("Biographisches...", see note 8, v. 6, 1888, p. 358). I found little information on
Prof. N. Kozlov. He also was a Professor at the St. Petersburg Medical-Surgical Academy; in the
1870—80s he became a member of the Medical Council.
73 C. Bojanus,
"Gomeopatiia...", s. note 1, p.
74 Ibid., p.
75 Dr. Anton von
H???bbenett (1824—1901) graduated in 1850 from Dorpat University. After having observed
several successes of homeopathic treatment, he traveled abroad in 1863 to learn more on homeopathy.
He studied homeopathy in Vienna, Budapest and Paris, and practiced in St. Petersburg; since 1896 he
lived in Riga (Vrach-gomeopat, 1901, 4, pp. 170—171); for a biography of Dr. Carl
Bojanus see note 1; Dr. Carl Frantz von Villers (1817—1890) graduated in 1836 in Leipzig.
From 1852 to 1867 and from 1870 to 1873 he lived in St. Petersburg (R. Tischner
"Geschichte...", see note 1, p. 802). I found no biographical data on Dr. Alfons Beck.
For an interesting fact of his biography see note 85 below.
76 C. Bojanus,
"Gomeopatiia...", see note 1, p. 222
77 Ibid., p.
78 Ibid., p.
275. The names of Kozlov and Zdekauer had never appeared in any direct connection with homeopathy
any longer. The only, much later and rather amusing exception was the celebration of the fifteenth
anniversary of the medical and scientific activity of Nicholas Zdekauer in 1888, arranged by the
Society of Public Health Protection (Obshchestvo Ohraneniia Narodnogo Zdraviia). The Society
of Homeopathic Physicians was invited to participate in the celebration together with other
scientific societies. The deputation composed of the President of the Society Dr. Vladimir von
Ditmann, the Secretary Dr. Lev Brazol and a full member A. von Hübbenett arrived at the
celebration and delivered a congratulation, in which the following was stressed: "...The
Society of Homeopathic Physicians is expressing a deep respect toward you, as a noble opponent who
had a moral courage to fairly and openly arise the problem of the benefit of homeopathic treatment.
The 'Program', proposed by you 26 years ago, serves a proof to your sincere desire to
elucidate a debatable question and to introduce the spirit of a serious scientific investigation
into the teaching bequeathed to us by immortal Hahnemann. We do not loose the hope that your
example would, probably, awake other influential in science doctors to quiet discussion of
theoretical grounds of homeopathy in its current period of development..." (Gomeopatichesky
vestnik, 1888, 6, pp. 453—54). I am not sure whether the homeopaths reread the
"Program" before speaking of "sincere desire" of Zdekauer to discuss the
"teaching ... of immortal Hahnemann". Did the President Vladimir von Ditmann already
forget that only 6 years before the names of Kozolv and Zdekauer had appeared among those who
signed the shameful "Decision" of the Medical Council in 1882, in which he was labeled as
total ignoramus (see the section "The Medical Council vs. Homeopathy: 50 years later")? I
think it goes without saying that a "noble opponent", i. e., Prof. Zdekaur could hardly
be ascribed to the friends of homeopathy. We will never know the true reasons which caused the wish
of homeopaths to take part in the celebration of Zdekauer. In any event, these congratulations were
characteristic for Russian homeopaths of the late 1880s who sought any possibility to establish
more friendly connection with their allopathic counterparts.
79 Dr. Eduard
von Grauvogl had graduated in 1835 from Munich University. He practiced in Ansbach, Nürnberg
and Munich. He was the author of "Die Zukunft der arztlichen Arbeit" (Erlangen, 1848) and
"Das homöopathische Ähnlichkeitgesetz" (Leipzig, 1861). He introduced into
homeopathic practice Calcarea silico-fluorata to which he gave the name of Lapis
alba (R. Tischner "Geschichte...", see note 1, p. 778 and "Thorsons
Encyclopedic Dictionary of Homeopathy. Edited by H. Gaier", London, 1991, p. 207).
80 C. Bojanus,
"Gomeopatiia....", see note 1, p. 306
81 Ibid., pp.
82 Ibid., pp.
83 Ibid., pp.
Vrach-gomeopat, 1904, 8—9, p. 359
"Zhurnal'noe postanovlenie Meditsinskogo soveta 7-go dekabria 1882 goda, No. 457"
(The Journal Decision of the Medical Council of December 7, 1882; No. 457),
Pravitel'stvennyi vestnik, 1882, 283 (no pages). The story of Mercurius cyanatus
as a reliable homeopathic medicine against diphtheria had a very interesting background relevant to
Russia. Before Mercurius cyanatus was proposed, Kalium bichromicum, Lachesis,
Mercurius corrosivus and Apis had rather successfully been applied. In 1864, a
seven-year old son (a future homeopath and the editor of "Homöopathische
Jahrbücher", Alexander von Villers, 1857—1904) of Dr. Carl von Villers (see above),
who was then working in St. Petersburg, fell ill with necrotic diphtheria. A colleague in
homeopathy of Dr. Villers, Dr. Alfons Beck, told him that he had recently seen a case of Mercurius
cyanatus poisoning, accompanied by symptoms which seemed to be very similar to these of his son.
Dr. Villers then ordered a homeopathic pharmacy to prepare a 6th decimal dilution of
Mercurius cyanatus. The medicine worked reportedly perfectly, and the son, a future distinguished
homeopath, was saved. Since then Mercurius cyanatus has been used as a powerful homeopathic
remedy against diphtheria (R. Tischner, "Geschichte...", see note 1, pp.
86 This point of
view hardly goes with the fact that von Ditmann had been awarded a golden medal by the Dorpat
University for his research of lung's structure and later he gained the title of MD at the same
university. "Vrach" commented to its readers: "... Although usually respectable
people are rewarded with the MD degree, it sometimes happens that such people [like von Ditmann],
not deserving to be called doctors, may obtain [this degree]. On the other hand, this example of
being rewarded with a golden medal confirms the fact that even people, completely lacking general
medical education, can write a special-technical work". Vrach, 1882, 52, p. 882
Pravitel'stvennyi vestnik, 1882, 283
88 This topic is
analyzed in the chapter "Homeopathy and the clergy"
89 On the
hospitals, as well as on the Russian homeopathic societies, see the chapter "Homeopathic
90 For an
analysis of the professionalisation process of Russian medical profession from the 1860s to 1891,
when the 4th Meeting of the Piriogov Society took place, see Nancy Frieden,
"Russian Physicians in an Era of Reform and Revolution, 1856—1905", Princeton,
1981, pp. 127—128
91 Ibid., p.
92 See the
papers "Physicians in pre-Revolutionary Russia: professionals or servants of the State?"
by Nancy Frieden (Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 1975, v. 49, pp. 20—29),
"Tsarist Russia and the Bacteriological Revolution" by John Hutchinson (The Journal of
the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 1985, 40, pp. 420—439) and "A Matter of
Life and Death: Politics, Profession and Public Health in St. Petersburg before 1914" by
Gerald Surh (Russian History, 1993, Nos. 1-4, pp. 125—146)
vserossiisky s'ezd posledovatelei gomeopatii" (The First All-Russian Meeting of the
Followers of Homeopathy), St. Petersburg, 1914, p. 213
1898, 40, pp. 1178
98 Ibid., p.
Vrach, 1898, 16, p. 507, referring to Syn Otechestva of April 7, 1898. For a detailed
report on the following events, see "Obshchestvo vrachei-liubitelei fizicheskih uprazhnenii i
velosipednoi ezdy v osobennosti. Otchet o deiatl'nosti Obshchestva za vremia 1897—1902 s
prilozheniem podrobnogo otcheta o protsesse obshestva s vrachom-gomeopatom Laurom'" (The
Society of physicians promoting physical exercise and bicycling especially. Report on the activity
of the society during the period of 1897—1902 with attaching of a detailed report on the suit
of the society with the doctor-homeopath A. Laur'), St. Petersburg, 1903.
"Velosiped i gomeopatiia" (The Bicycle and Homeopathy), Vestnik gomeopaticheskoi
meditsiny, 1904, 2, pp. 60—61. "Svet" — a political, economical and
litarary daily newspaper. Published in St. Petersburg in 1882-1916, edited by V. Komarov in
1882—1906. V. Komarov, whose biographical data are unkwnon to me, was a member of the St.
Petersburg Society of the Followers of Homeopathy and edited some other newspapers, like the
monthly literary journal "Zvezda" (Star) in 1886—1905 and the weekly
"Slavianskie izvestiia" (Slavic News) under the St. Petersburg Slavic Charitaible
Society, in 1889—1891.
Vrach, 1898, 14, p. 421
Vrach, 1898, 19, p. 557
Vrach, 1899, 12, p. 357
Vrach, 1900, 6, p. 188
Osip (Yulian) (1800—1858) — a Russian writer, a journalist, an orientalist, a
corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1828), one of the founders of
Russian orientalism. An editor and publisher of "Biblioteka dlia chteniia". (SES, see
note 39, p. 1206)
Biblioteka dlia chteniia, 1840, v. 40, No V—VI, pp. 9—10
Bojanus, "Gomeopatiia...", see note 1, pp. 131—135. The following examples will
suffice: Vol'sky stressed that if a patient has suffered from vomiting, he has to take a
homeopathic medicine inducing a stronger vomiting, in order to cause an artificial illness stronger
than the natural one. A mentally ill person, who has killed two of his children, has to take a
homeopathic drug which led him to kill his other children, etc.
Arkhangel'sky, "S. F. Vol'sky — rossiisky istorik meditsiny 30—40-h godov
XIX veka", Problemy sotsial'noi gigieny i istoriia meditsiny, 1997, 2, pp.
Tischner, "Geschichte...", see note 1, pp. 654-655
117 Carl Bock,
"Bud'te ostorozhny! Gomeopatiia, izoblichennaia v interesah narodnogo zdraviia.
Popul.-med. lektsii d-ra Boka. Per. s nem.", Novgorod, 1875, 23 pp.
Karrick, "Gomeopatiia kak uchenie i uvlechenie", St. Petersburg, 1891, 204 pp.
119 Ibid., p.
Rodzaevsky, "Gomeopatiia kak mediko-filosofskaia systema v proshlom i nastoiashchem.
Kritiko-istorichesky ocherk", Kiev, 1891, 271 pp.
Orshansky, "Gomeopatiia, eio proishozhdenie i sovremennoe sostoianie", Khar'kov,
1892, 30 pp.
Rodzaevsky, "Znachenie oligodinamichskih iavleny dlia zhivotnogo organisma",
Khar'kov, 32 pp.
123 Dr. A.
Lozinsky, "Gomeopatiia po ucheniu eio avtoritetov", St. Petersburg, 1893, 97 pp.
Vrach, 1893, 46, p. 1287
Karrick, "Gomeopatiia kak uchenie i uvlechenie", St. Petersburg, 1893, 47 pp.
Lozinsky, "Protiv gomeopatii. Polemicheskie stat'i", St. Petersburg, 1895, 56 pp.
Matskevich, "Rol' gomeopatii v 19-v veke. Kritika gomeopatii kak nenauchnogo metoda",
St. Petersburg, 1897, 14 pp.
128 A. M.
Finkelstein, "O gomeopatii. Publichnaia lektsiia, chitannaia v pol'zu postradavshih ot
neurozhaiia, 19 marta 1892 tovarishchem predsedatelia (nyne predsedatelem) Obshchestva Odesskih
vrachei A. M. Finkelshteinom", 1896, Odessa, 88 pp.
129 Ibid., p.
Frieden, "Russian...", see note 90, pp. 114—115
131 Ibid., p.
Vrach, 1887, 12, p. 274. Dr. Lev Brazol had
probably been the most prominent Russian sincthe late 1880s to the Bolshevik revolution. He born in
the Poltava province to a noble family. In 1877, he had graduated from the St. Petersburg
Medical-Surgical Academy. It seems that in the late 1870s, or at the beginning of the 1880s, he
became acquainted with homeopathy, but the circumstances are unknown. In any event, by the middle
1880s he was already a convinced adherent of homeopathy. He first became known to the Russian
medical community not for being a homeopath, but for his writings on smallpox vaccinations —
"The imaginary benefit and the real harm of smallpox vaccinations" (Mnimaia pol'za i deistvitel'ny vred
ospoprivivania) and "Jennerism and pasteurism. A critical essay of the scientific and the
empirical grounds of smallpox vaccinations" (Dzhennerizm i pasterizm. Kritichesky ocherk nauchnyh i empiricheskih osnovany
ospoprivivaniia), issued in 1884 in St. Petersburg and in 1885 in Khar'kov respectively. In
1885 he became a member and later was elected the President of the St. Petersburg Society of
Homeopathic Physicans, the post he held until 1917. He was the first who delivered in Russia public
lectures on homeopathy (three lectures in 1897 and one lecture in 1890) in the Pedagogical Museum
in St. Petersburg. In 1896, he proposed at the International Homeopathic Congress in London to
immortalize Hahnemann's name and was elected the President of the International committee for
erecting Hahnemann's memorial. As all we know, the memorial was erected on the grave of
Hahnemann at the P??re-Lachaise cemetery due to the efforts of the committee and the collection of
money initiated by its local representatives in various countries, while Russia, where Dr. Brazol
was in charge, donated as much as a third of the sum of 20,000 franks collected. In 1924, he left
Russia for Paris where he died in 1927. The name of Brazol will often appear throughout my research
in connection with the most important events of Russian homeopathic life.
gomeopaticheskoi meditsiny, 1900, 11, p. 332
Victor Pashutin, a student of Ivan Sechenov (1829-1905) and later of Carl Ludwig (1816—1895),
the founder of the Russian school of pathophysiology, was probably the most important
administrative figure in Russian medicine in the second part of the 1890s. He was the President of
the Medical Council at the Ministry of Interior and the head of the St. Petersburg Military-Medical
(formerly Medical-Surgical) Academy, whilst being a member of the advisory council at the Ministry
of Public Instructions, he was virtually responsible for the whole Russian medical education.
Tischner "Geschichte...", see note 1, p. 678
Vrach-gomeopat, 1895, 11, pp. 520—521
Unfortunately, I have no exact reference.
meditsinsky vestnik, 1900, February 15, cit. Vrach, 1900, 9, p. 287
Vrach, 1900, 13, pp. 412—413
Vrach, 1900, 15, p. 486
Vrach, 1887, 5, p. 119
Frieden, "Russian...", see note 90, p. 183. For social background of the cholera riots on
example of Iuzovka (contemporary Donetsk, Ukraine) see Theodore Friedgut "Labor Violence and
Regime Brutality: The Iuzovka Cholera Riots of 1892", Slavic Review, v. 46, No 2, 1987,
pp. 245-265. Describing the attitude of working class toward doctors, Friedgut refers to Nikita
Khrushchev (1894—1971) who stressed that doctors were repeatedly attacked as poisoners of
well also later on, both in 1902 and 1910 (p. 251).
143 See the
report published in Vrach, 1899, 4, pp. 119-120
Frieden, "Russian...", see note 90, p. 113
145 The only
earlier all-Russian organisation of doctors had been a purely financial one; this was the mutual
aid fund created by Yacov Chistovich in 1865.
Gross Solomon and John F. Hutchinson (Eds.), "Health and Society in Revolutionary
Russia", Bloomington and Indianapolis, 1990, p. 8
Lozinsky, "Protiv...", see note 126, p. 9, footnote 1
Frieden, "Russian...", see note 90, pp. 243—244
conservative Russian circles condemned the 9th Meeting for its "benevolence"
toward Jews. I cite Nancy Frieden: "The session on tuberculosis provided a pretext for
discussing the rights of Jews. Because Jews with tuberculosis were barred from sanatoria and health
resorts, and did not have freedom of movement, a resolution objected to 'the danger — in
reference to the development of tuberculosis — arising from the artificial concentration of
the Jewish population in the Jewish Pale of Settlement'. The Jewish question, raised at the
Eighth Congress in relation to university education, had gained prominence in liberal circles after
the Kishinev pogrom of 1903. The resolution on behalf of Jews did not indicate a control of the
proceedings by a clique of Jews, as the police reports claimed, but in the tradition of Pirogov, a
general opposition to anti-Semitism". (Ibid., p. 252)
Diukov, "Meditsina i mediki. O
neobhodimosti izmeneniia priniatoi sistemy obrazovaniia i vospitaniia medikov" (Medicine
and Medical Staff. About the Necessity of Changing the Accepted System of Education and Training of
Physicians), Khar'kov, 1911, pp. 155-156. On this book, see the chapter "Homeopathy and
151 The name
of Dr. Tsenovsky nevertheless appeared later twice in "Vestnik gomeopaticheskoi
meditsiny". It was reported with reference to "Odesskie novosti" (Odessa News) of
March 25, 1909 that Tsenovsky had proposed the Odessa Hahnemannian Soceity of the Followers of
Homeopathy to publicly discuss homeopathy. At the meeting held on March, 30 the Board of the
Society agreed with this proposal. After that Tsenovsky fell into silence and the planned
disputation did not take place (Vestnik gomeopaticheskoi meditsiny, 1909, 12, pp.
375—376). In 1910, "Vestnik", with reference to "Zemshchina" (The
Zemstvo) informed their readers that Tsenovsky was accused by a local court of tormenting the
Persian Consul General Zaitchenko in the the capacity of a "progressive journalist" of
the newspaper "Odessky listok" (Odessa Leaflet). Tsenovsky was sentenced to imprisonment
for three months, and both the Judicial Chamber and the Senate approved this decision of the court
(Vestnik gomeopaticheskoi meditsiny, 1910, 11, p. 342).
"Obshchestvo Russkih vrachei v pamiat' N. I. Pirogova. Trudy IX Pirogovskogo s'ezda.
Pod red. P. Bulatova." (The Society of Russian Physicians in Memory of N. I. Pirogov. The
Proceedings of the 9th Meeting. Edited by P. Bulatov), St. Petersburg, 1905, v. 4, p.
153 Ibid., p.
154 Ibid., pp.
155 Ibid., p.
156 Ibid., p.
157 Ibid., p.
158 On Dr.
Andrey Shingarev, see the section "The Nizhnedevitsk zemstvo
experience" in the chapter "Homeopathy and zemstvo
Euchwald "Dve lektsii o spetsificheskom sposobe lecheniia. Kritichesky obzor lekarstvennyh
metodov vrachevaniia. Voskresnye lektsii, chitannye v 1888—89 gg. dlia vrachei i studentov v
Klinicheskom Institute V. K. Eleny Pavlovny" (Two Lectures on the specific method of
treatment. A Critical View of Medicinal Methods of Treatment. The Sunday Lectures Delivered in
1888—89 for Doctors and Students at the Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna Clinical
Institute", St. Petersburg, 1897, v. 1, p. 20 and pp. 33—34
160 Dr. Hoyle
had graduated from the Hahnemann Medical College of the Pacific (San Francisco) in 1860. Settled in
Kittery, Maine, USA, later moved to London. He was the editor of the 1911 and 1931 International
Homeopathic Directories. I thank Julian Winston of Tawa, New Zealand who kindly provided me with
Gijswijt-Hofstra, "Conversions to homeopathy in the nineteenth century" in: M.
Gijswijt-Hofstra, H. Marland, H. de Waarot (Eds.) "Illness and Healing Alternatives in Western
Europe", London-New York, 1997, p. 161
gomeopaticheskoi meditsiny meditsiny, 1904, 4, p. 103
163 Roy James
Squires, "Marginality, Stigma and Conversion in the Context of Medical Knowledge, Professional
Practices and Occupational Interests. A Case Study of Professional Homeopathy in Nineteenth Century
Britain and the United States" Ph.D. Thesis, University of Leeds, 1985, pp. 10—11
Severnaia pchela, 1832, No 127—128 (no pages). The paper was signed "Vladimir
Lugansky, a retired lieutenant of the navy and medical doctor", yet Dal' never tried to
hide his authorship. The pseudonym "Lugansky" was also used by Dal' in 1830—40s
in some ethnographical essays. "Severnaia pchela" (Northern Bee) — a political and
literary (since 1838) newspaper, issued in 1825—64, then in 1869—1870. Since 1831 until
1864 it was issued as a daily newspaper.
Otechestva, 1833, v. 34, pp. 347—348, v. 35, pp. 28—33
Bojanus, "Gomeopatiia...", see note 1, pp. 84—85
Severnaia pchela, 1834, vols. 124—26
Sovremennik, 1838, v. 12, pp. 43—72. "Sovremennik" — a quarterly, was
founded by Alexander Pushkin and had been published in St. Petersburg in 1836—1846. During
1847—1866 it was edited by the poet Nicholas Nekrasov (1821—1878) as well as the writer
and journalist Ivan Panaev (1812—1862) as a monthly.
Dal' "O gomeopatii. Pis'mo k kniaziu Odoevskomy, St. Petersburg, 1838, 30 pp.
St. Peterburgskogo Obshchestva vrachei-gomeopatov, 1873, 1, pp. 4—5
171 Ibid., p.
von Ditmann, "Pochemu ia sdelalsia gomeopatom?", St. Petersburg, 1882, pp. 5—6
173 Ibid., p.
174 Ibid., pp.
175 Ibid., p.
Bojanus, "Gomeopatiia...", see note 1, pp. 74—75
177 Ibid., p.
"Otvet S.-Peterburgskogo Obshchestva vrachei-gomeopatov na otzyv professorov meditsinskogo
fakulteta universiteta Sv. Vladimira o gomeopaticheskom lechenii s prilozheniem otdel'nykh
vosrazhenii doktorov L. Brazolia, Solianskogo i E. Gabrilovicha", St. Petersburg, 1877, pp.
6—7. On this document see the chapter "Homeopathy and zemstvo medicine", where I
translated this title.
179 Ibid., p.
those medicines had little to do both with electricity and with homeopathy, their inventor
certainly deserves several lines of biography. Cesare Mattei (1809—1896) from a noble family
of Bologna, to whom the title of Count was later bestowed by Pope Pius IX, invented his own theory
of diseases and their treatment. According to Mattei, all diseases are rooted in blood and lymph,
whilst main medicines needed to treat diseases, are divided into "anti-lymphatic" and
"anti-angiotic". There were specific medicines: "Pettorale" (for catarrh and
diseases of lungs), "febrifugo" (for all kinds of fevers) and "antivenereo"
(for syphilis). Mattei's medicines were prepared as homeopathic grains. There were also five
"electric" fluids different by their colors. Different combinations of these medicines
and fluids represented the essence of Mattei's method of treatment. The composition of
medicines was kept secret. Mattei gave to his medicines the name "electric" only for
their "rapid" effect. Mattei's treatment spread in Europe in the second half of the
19th century. By 1884, there were 79 distribution units in ten European countries. It
goes without saying that homeopaths protested against the bitter profanation of homeopathy by
Mattei's secret medicines. This brief report on Mattei is based mainly on the biographical
sketch presented in the book by Robert Jütte, "Geschichte der Alternativen Medizin. Von
der Volksmedizin zu den unkonventionellen Therapien von heute", Munich, 1996, pp. 229-233 and,
partially, on R. Tischner, "Geschichte...", see note 1, p. 664
Vrach-gomeopat, 1897, 2, pp. 89—90
Hael, "Samuel Hahnemann. His Life and Works. Based on Recently Discovered State Papers,
Documents, Letters, etc.", London, 1922, p. 200
Jütte, "Wo alles anfing: Deutschland" in: M. Dinges (Ed.) "Weltgeschichte der
Homöopathie. Länder. Schulen. Heilkundige", Munich, 1996, p. 20
184 Ibid., pp.
Staudt, "[...] den Blick der Laien auf das Ganze gerichtet [...]". Homöopathische
Laienorganisationen am Ende des 19. und zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts" In: Martin Dinges
(Ed.): Homöopathie. Patienten, Heilkundige. Institutionen. Von den Anfängen bis
heute", Heidelberg, 1996, pp. 97-98
Vrach, 1881, 10, p. 167 referring to All. Med. Centr.-Zeitung, 1881, p. 191
Heumann, "Das Verhältnis der Homöopathie zur Naturwissenschaftlichen Medizin in den
letzten hundert Jahren im Spiegel der medizinischen Fachpresse", unpublished MD thesis, the
Free University of Berlin, 1966, p. 31
188 Ibid., p.
Jütte, "Wo alles...", see note 183, pp. 52-53
Nicholls, "Homeopathy...", see note 44, p. 111
191 Ibid., pp.
192 Ibid., p.
194 R. J.
Squires, "Marginality...", see note 163, p. 391
195 Ibid., pp.
196 Ibid., p.
197 Ibid., p.
198 Ibid., p.
Nicholls, "Homeopathy...", see note 44, pp. 138—143
200 Ibid., p.
Morrell, "A History of Homoeopathy in Britain" published at http://www.homeoint.org/morrell/articles/pm_brita.htm
Morrell, "Aristocratic social networks and homeopathy in Britain" published at http://www.homeoint.org/morrell/articles/pm_arist.htm
Nicholls, "Homeopathy...", see note 44, p. 127
"Thorsons...", see note 79, p. 245. George Weisz testifies: "A discussion (held in
the French Academy of Medicine) of homeopathy in 1835 was extremely critical of this from of
practice despite an almost total lack of data about its effectiveness" (G. Weisz, "The
Medical Mandarins", New York-Oxford, 1995, p. 161).
205 Olivier B.
Faure, "Eine zweite Heimat für Homöopathie". In: M. Dinges (Ed.):
"Weltgeschichte...", see note 183, p. 58
"Thorsons...", see note 79, pp. 247—248
207 Ibid., p.
248. My Italics.
208 O. Faure,
"Eine...", see note 205, p. 61
Bradford, "The Life...", see note 56, p. 165, referring to Homeopathic Examiner,
1840, vol. I, p. 20
"Thorsons...", see note 79, p. 246
Vrach, 1886, 25, p.?, referring to "L'Union médicale" of June 17, 1886.
The paper of Sarcey was translated and published in Gomeopatichesky vestnik, 1888, 1, pp.
Vrach, 1887, 35, p. 681 and Vrach, 1887, 37, p. 721
Garden, "L'histoire de l'homéopathie en France" in: Oliver Faure (ed.)
"Praticiens, Patients et Miltants de l'Homéopathie (1800—1940). Actes du
Colloque, Lyon, Octobre 1990", Presses Universitaires de Lyon, 1992
Rozenberg, "The Cholera Years: the United States in 1832, 1849 and 1866", Chicago, 1962,
Campbell, "The Two Faces of Homoeopathy", London 1984, p. 85
Rosenberg "The Cholera...", see note 214, p. 161
217 Harris L.
Coulter, "Divided Legacy. A History of the Schism in Medical Thought" Vol. 3, Berkeley
1973, pp. 101—102. In a table on pp. 109—110 H. Coulter demonstrates that homeopathy
was mostly spread in the places where German emigrants usually settled.
218 William G.
Rothstein, "American Physicians in the Nineteenth Century Medicine. From sects to
science", Baltimore and London 1972, pp. 159-160
219 Ibid., p.
Coulter, "Divided...", see note 217, pp. 119—120
Rothstein, "American...", see note 218. One allopathic doctor was expelled from the
Connecticut local medical society for consulting with a homeopath — his wife. H. Coulter,
"Divided...", see note 217, pp. 206—207, footnote: Medical News, 78 (1900),
Rothstein, ibid., p. 170
Coulter, "Divided...", see note 217, p. 179
Wendell Holmes (1809-1894), physician and moralist, father of the famous Supreme Court judge.
Coulter, "Divided...", see note 217, p. 206
Ibid., pp. 158—159
Flexner (1866—1959) was the prinicipal author of 1910 Report of the Carnegie Endowment for
the Advancement of Teaching. Coulter testifies: "Hailed at the time as the starting point of a
great reform, and applauded intermittently ever since, the Flexner Report did mark a new era in
condemning the separate system homoeopathic schools and thus helping ensure its subsequent
decline... The Flexner Report instituted the so-called 'full-time' system, which made it
difficult or impossible to combine teaching with practice. Since a professor of homeopathy would
necessarily have to continue practice, if only not to lose his skills, and aside from the pleasure
and the emotional reward, 'the full-time' system militated strongly against the
homeopaths". Harris L. Coulter, "Divided Legacy. A of the Schism in Medical Thought"
Vol. IV, Berkeley, 1994, p. 318—319, and "The findings of the Flexner Report and the
ongoing evaluation of medical schools by the American Medical Association were soon accepted by
state examining boards which decided to bar the examinations to graduates of school receiving a law
rating 'regardless of the candidates' own knowledge or proficiency. The refusal of
examining boards to admit the graduates of schools which the AMA held in disfavor was the
death-knell for these schools, and in this way the AMA acquired a whip hand over the whole medical
educational system, not only allopathic, but homoeopathic and Eclectic as well, a power which it
had been seeking for decades. Furthermore, the private benefactors of medical education, in
particular Rockefeller and Carnegie, followed these evaluations in their allocations of funds,
encouraging the schools which had the AMA's approval and refusing funds to the others".
Ibid., vol. III, 1973, p. 446. It is important to note here that the Report was coauthored by and
considerably influenced by Nathan Colwell, chairman of the AMA's Council on Medical
Cook and Alain Naudé, "The Ascendance and Decline of Homoeopathy in America: How great
was its fall?", The Homoeopath, 1997, 64, p. 667
228 Ibid., p.
Campbell, "The Two..." see note 215, p. 89
231 D. Cock
and A. Naudé, "The Ascendance...", see note 227, p. 664
prominent Canadian doctor and scientist who was associated with John Hopkins University in
1889—1904 and then taught at Oxford from 1905 on.
233 Harris L.
Coulter, "Divided Legacy. A History of the Schism in Medical Thought", vol. 4, Berkeley,
1994, p. 318
Copyright © Alexander Kotok 2001
Mise en page, illustrations Copyright © Sylvain Cazalet 2001