We present the life, career and memory of Pápai Páriz Ferenc (1649, Dés - 1716, Nagyenyed), professor and rector of the Protestant College of Nagyenyed, the famous Transylvanian humanist, medical doctor, poet, philosopher, church historian, heraldist. He studied in Dés (now Dej, Romania), Gyulafehérvár (now Alba Iulia, Romania), Kolozsvár (now Cluj-Napoca, Romania), Marosvásárhely (now Târgu-Mureş, Romania) and Nagyenyed (now Aiud, Romania). In the spring of 1672 he set off from Nagyenyed for a pedestrian trip abroad. He admired the Treasury in Dresden, and attended medical studies in Leipzig and Heidelberg. He completed his medical studies in Basel. In 1674 he became doctor medicus and was elected member of the board of the medical faculty. He returned to Nagyenyed in 1675. Between 1676 and 1690 he is the physician of the court of the Transylvanian princely couple. In 1678 he got a department in the College of Nagyenyed, extended in 1680 with Greek, physics, natural sciences and medical knowledge departments. Between 1681 and 1715 he was the rector of the College. Above all he cherished peace. He was a versatile writer. His medical book written in Hungarian, the PAX CORPORIS, i.e. “the peace of the body” was printed and published at Kolozsvár in 1690. This was dedicated to the target community: “for the benefit of the stupid poor”, it substituted the physician in the family. The rules of a healthy lifestyle were formulated also. The popularity of the book was proved by those eleven editions we know about. Another great work was the Hungarian-Latin, Latin-Hungarian dictionary (Lőcse, now Levoca, Slovakia, 1708). His memory is kept by a bust and plate in the courtyard of the Protestant College of Nagyenyed. The Hungarian postal service (Magyar Posta) released a stamp on his 350th anniversary. His life, work and importance were appreciated by a number of authors across centuries. An internet search on the terms “Pápai” + “Páriz” + “Ferenc” returns an important number of hits. Many foundations and associations are dedicated to his memory.
Bereczki Dániel, Balla Árpád, Pelok Benedek and Szatmári Szabolcs
Pax Corporis is the first book written in Hungarian that presents in detail human diseases, their etiology and treatment. Ferenc Pápai Páriz had completed the manuscript entitled Pax Corporis in 1687, and it was published 3 years later in 1690 in Kolozsvár. Ferenc Pápai Páriz summarized the knowledge he gained during his studies and accumulated during his personal practice. He did not write this book for the professionals but for those poor people who had no access to physician’s care. This was the reason why Pax Corporis was written in Hungarian. Whereas Pápai’s Latin language scripts – for example his doctoral thesis written in Basel – are known to the international scientific community, the Hungarian language Pax Corporis remained unknown for all who were not familiar with the language. For this reason it also remained neglected that in Pax Corporis Ferenc Pápai Páriz had given a detailed description of all four currently acknowledged cardinal signs of Parkinson’s disease – tremor, rigor, bradykinesia and postural instability – and also of other characteristics of the disease 130 years before James Parkinson. The report on the description of the syndrome of Parkinson’s disease in Pax Corporis was presented to the international professional community in 2009. In the current study we evaluated the international recognition of Ferenc Pápai Páriz as one of the first descriptors of all 4 cardinal signs of Parkinson’s disease. We searched scientific citation databases – Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar – and also performed general searches on the web. We found that until April 2018 Pápai Páriz has been cited among those who first described the complete motor syndrome of Parkinson’ disease in Pax Corporis, in many countries of the world from New Zealand to Canada, and also in 16 European countries. Citations appeared in dissertations, scientific publications, textbooks, handbooks, professional websites and other documents. Three centuries after his original Hungarian script, Ferenc Pápai Páriz got his international recognition in medical history as one of the first descriptors of the syndrome of Parkinson’s disease.