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Sanchez, Antonio Nuñes Ribeiro

SANCHEZ, ANTONIO NUÑES RIBEIRO (1699–1783), Marrano physician. Born in Penamacor, Portugal, Sanchez fled to Holland to escape persecution and studied medicine at the University of Leiden. In 1731, on the recommendation of his teacher, the noted Professor Boerhaave, he became physician to Empress Anna Ivanovna of Russia and eventually to the czar and his family. A gifted physician, and a member of the Imperial Academy of Science, Sanchez is recorded in the Memoirs of Empress Catherine II as having cured her of a serious illness. However, in 1747, he was forced to leave St. Petersburg after Czarina Elizabeth Petrovna, an antisemite, discovered Sanchez' Jewish origins. He then went to Paris and resumed his medical practice in the poorer sections of the city. In 1762, when Catherine II came to power, she granted him a life pension of 1,000 rubles annually in belated recognition of his faithful service to the royal court. Sanchez published Dissertation sur l'origine de la maladie vénérienne (Paris, 1750) and De Cura Variolarum Vaporarii Ope apud Russos (1768), which first informed European physicians of the medical value of Russian vapor baths.


Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Aerzte, 5 (19324), 4–5, incl. bibl.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.