Angelo Gatti, a Tuscan doctor and intellectual, dedicated his life to the application and spread of smallpox inoculation. In the second half of the eighteenth century this technique found itself at the centre of a heated debate, involving not only medical-health fields, but also political, theological and intellectual ones. The Tuscan doctor spent most of his life in France where he became, thanks to his intellectual and human skills, an inoculator à la mode and where he won the friendship of illustrious personalities such as Diderot, Morellet, M.me d'Épinay, M.me du Deffand and the dukes of Choiseul. Therefore, the life and work of Angelo Gatti constitute not only a precious source for understanding the state of medical knowledge of the time, but also provide us with an interesting insight into the life of the Century of Enlightenment.
Scuola Normale of Pisa, Italy