Gout in Duke Federico of Montefeltro (1422-1482): A new pearl of the Italian Renaissance

Antonio Fornaciari, Valentina Giuffra, Emanuele Armocida, Davide Caramella, Frank J. Rühli, Francesco M. Galassi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The article examines the truthfulness of historical accounts claiming that the Renaissance Duke Federico of Montefeltro (1422-1482) suffered from gout. By direct paleopathological assessment of the skeletal remains and by the philological investigation of historical and documental sources, primarily a 1461 handwritten letter by the Duke himself to his personal physician, a description of the symptoms and Renaissance therapy is offered and a final diagnosis of gout is formulated. The Duke's handwritten letter offers a rare testimony of ancient clinical self-diagnostics and Renaissance living-experience of gout. Moreover, the article also shows how an alliance between historical, documental and paleopathological methods can greatly increase the precision of retrospective diagnoses, thus helping to shed clearer light onto the antiquity and evolution of diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-20
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Experimental Rheumatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Federico of Montefeltro
  • Gout
  • Paleopathology
  • Renaissance
  • Rheumatology


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