Antonio Cocchi

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Antonio Cocchi

Antonio Cocchi (3 August 1695 – 1 January 1758) was an Italian physician, naturalist and writer. He was best known for his work on anatomy.

The Pythagorean Diet: for the Use of the Medical Faculty[edit]

Original title: Del vitto pitagorico per uso della medicina. Quotes from The Ethics of Diet by Howard Williams (University of Illinois Press, 2003, ch. Cocchi).
  • True and constant vigour of body is the effect of health, which is much better preserved with watery, herbaceous, frugal, and tender food, than with vinous, abundant, hard, and gross flesh. And in a sound body, a clear intelligence, and desire to suppress the mischievous inclinations, and to conquer the irrational passions, produces true worth.
  • The vulgar opinion, then, which, on health reasons, condemns vegetable food and so much praises animal food, being so ill-founded, I have always thought it well to oppose myself to it, moved both by experience and by that refined knowledge of natural things which some study and conversation with great men have given me. And perceiving now that such my constancy has been honoured by some learned and wise physicians with their authoritative adhesion, I have thought it my duty publicly to diffuse the reasons of the Pythagorean diet, regarded as useful in medicine, and, at the same time, as full of innocence, of temperance, and of health. And it is none the less accompanied with a certain delicate pleasure, and also with a refined and splendid luxury, if care and skill be applied in selection and proper supply of the best vegetable food, to which the fertility and the natural character of our beautiful country seem to invite us.
  • I wished to show that Pythagoras, the first founder of the vegetable regimen, was at once a very great physicist and a very great physician; that there has been no one of a more cultured and discriminating humanity; that he was a man of wisdom and of experience; that his motive in commending and introducing the new mode of living was derived not from any extravagant superstition, but from the desire to improve the health and the manners of men.

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