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António Nunes Ribeiro Sanches (7 March 1699, Penamacor – 14 October 1783, Paris) was an 18th-century Portuguese physician, philosopher and encyclopédiste.

António Nunes Ribeiro Sanches
António Nunes Ribeiro Sanches (c. 1906) - Veloso Salgado.png
António Nunes Ribeiro Sanches

7 March 1699
Penamacor (Portugal)
Died14 October 1783(1783-10-14) (aged 84)

After he studied in the universities of Coimbra and Salamanca, Sanches moved to London. He then went to Leyden University where he completed his formation under the direction of Herman Boerhaave. He was among the three physicians that empress Anna of Russia asked the latter to recommend to her in 1731.

Appointed doctor of the Russian army, he distinguished himself before becoming a court physician. After more than 15 years of stay in Russia, he left the country in 1748 after empress Elizabeth Petrowna had denounced two of his doctor colleagues as Jews. Having had the chance, amid the daily proscriptions which he witnessed to be allowed to leave the country, he took the way to Paris in 1748 where he ended his life. After she ascended to the throne, Catherine the Great rewarded him for his services with a pension of 1000 rubles, which was punctually paid until his death.

He gave the article « Vérole » to the Encyclopédie by Diderot and D'Alembert.


  • 1726: Discurso Sobre as Águas de Penha Garcia.
  • 1751: A Dissertation on the Venereal Disease.
  • 1752: Dissertation sur le origine de la maladie vénérienne, Paris
  • 1756: Tratado da Conservação da Saúde dos Povos.
  • 1760: Cartas sobre a Educação da Mocidade.
  • 1763: Método para Aprender e Estudar a Medicina.
  • 1771: Les bains des vapeurs russe
  • 1774: Examen historique sur l´apparition de la maladie vénérienne (Paris)
  • 1779: Mémoire sur les Bains de Vapeur en Russie..


  • Georges Dulac, Science et politique : les réseaux du Dr António Ribeiro Sanches, Cahiers du Monde russe (ISSN 1252-6576), 2002, 43/2-3, (p. 251–274) (Read online).
  • Hugh James Rose, A New General Biographical Dictionary, t. 11, Londres, B. Fellowes, 1857, (p. 443).
  • José Luis Doria: Antonio Ribeiro Sanches. A Portuguese doctor in 18th century Europe. (PDF; 320 kB) Antonio Ribeiro Sanches, Vesalius, VII, 1, 27 - 35, 2001.
  • Erwin Ackerknecht: Boerhaave Schüler als Medizinalpolitiker, in Erna Lesky, Adam Wandruszka (Hrsg.) Gerard van Swieten und seine Zeit, Böhlau 1973, (p. 122).

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