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This paper analyses a translation of an Italian Renaissance Latin monograph’s key content elements and its place in the history of the concept of addiction.
Pascasius Justus Turq’s 1561 monograph on pathological gambling outlines a disease view of gambling, identifies cognitive processes and biological vulnerabilities as aetiological factors, avoids religious or moral judgements and recommends cognitive treatment to change the beliefs and expectancies of gamblers. This study shows that a ‘disease formulation’ of addiction was enunciated as early as the 16th century, and its contemporary resonance suggests that current clinical features of addictive disorders have existed for centuries.
A contextual analysis of the late Italian Renaissance, followed by key excerpts from the text and commentaries on the meaning and significance of the monograph.