Revista „Cercetări istorice” – XXXIX / 2020


Born on the island of Corfu, in 1788, from parents with a noble background, Antonio Caruso studies medicine in Padova. He is contemporary with great personalities of the European diplomacy, such as Ioannis Kapodistrias, with whom he might have been colleague when the two of them worked as doctors at the military hospital in Corfu. Up to the moment he settles down in Botoșani (1810), his itinerary was rather an adventurous one, due to the international context of that period. His involvement in the treatment of soldiers during the occupation of the Ionian Islands by the Bonapartist armies is not excluded. Starting with 1807, Antonio becomes a surgeon in the Russian army. He takes part to the campaigns of the Tsarist troops in the Russian-Turkish war (1806-1812), activating in the military hospitals of Focșani, Hârșova and Botoșani. Without sparing his own life, Antonio provides treatment with responsibility, sometimes using his own medicine and without waiting for timely payment for his medical services, both the superior military personnel and the ordinary soldiers, a fact proven by the certificates issued by the Russian commanders. The physical efforts will cost him his health, on which occasion he decides to settle down in Botoșani, a city with a favourable climate, well-stocked with drugs through Johann Gorgias’ apothecary. In this city which lacked someone capable to cure, to treat and to prevent the human diseases, he also found many countrymen which were probably in need of a competent doctor who could also speak their language. During the plague epidemic (1829), which hit Moldavia, he is appointed to manage the hospitals of Botoșani and Hârlău. From this doctor we have one of the first forensic documents issued in Botoșani, that he signs as follows: ”doctor è operator, Antonius Caruso”. We can say that Antonio was the first doctor of the city of Botoșani, which professed based on higher specialized studies. He definitely nursed, cured or protected poor people, a fact proven by the 24 tax-payer whose taxes he used to pay, as well as by the obituary of 1840 in which “the poor people which were helped bless his memory”.