Rodolfo Teófilo, an intellectual from the world of science and letters

Rodolfo Marcos Teófilo, a pharmacist, sanitarian, teacher, naturalist, historian, poet and writer from Ceará, worked in various social areas between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th.

Dedicaton and signature of Rodolfo Teófilo in the book O Reino de Kiato by Rodolfo TeófiloBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

Rodolfo Marcos Teófilo was born on May 6, 1853. The son of Marcos José Teófilo and Antonia Josefina Sarmento Teófilo. He was born in Bahia, because of his father, a health doctor, who didn’t think that Ceará was safe due to the yellow fever epidemic that was ravaging the province of Ceará at the time. 

Dedication page from História da Secca do Ceará by Rodolfo TeófiloBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

In 1862, the family of Dr. Marcos Teófilo lived in Maranguape when the cholera epidemic came to the region. The whole family fell ill and Rodolfo, at the age of 9, had to look after the whole family while the epidemic ravaged the city, leaving dozens dead.

In 1862, the family of Dr. Marcos Teófilo lived in Maranguape when the cholera epidemic came to the region. The whole family fell ill and Rodolfo, at the age of 9, had to look after the whole family while the epidemic ravaged the city, leaving dozens dead.

Cover of Memórias de um engrossador by Rodolfo TeófiloBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

In 1865, he studied as a boarding student at the Ateneu Cearense, and was a colleague of famous Ceará intellectuals such as Capistrano de Abreu, Paula Ney, Domingos Olímpio, João Lopes, Tomás Pompeu and Rocha Lima.

Front matter of O Caixeiro by Rodolfo TeófiloBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

Between the years of 1867 and 1872, Rodolfo Teófilo worked at the Albano e Irmão trading house, as a clerk. In 1927, published the book O Caixeiro, in which he described his daily  work in the commerce of Fortaleza.

Cover of the book Botânica Elementar by Rodolfo TeófiloBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

At the age of 18, after studying and accumulating money through a small paint factory, he left for Recife, where he took the preparatory exams and passed the Pharmacy course at the Faculty of Medicine in Bahia.

Image from the book Varíola e Vacinação no Ceará by Rodolfo TeófiloBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

Rodolfo Teófilo was not only a witness of the great drought of 1877 - 1879. He had an important role as a sanitarian in the manufacture of medicines and in assisting the afflicted and those suffering from smallpox.

Chapter 1 from História da Secca do Ceará by Rodolfo TeófiloBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

História das Secas do Ceará (1877-1880)

História das Secas do Ceará was the first book published  by Rodolfo Teófilo and brings together statistical data on the effects of droughts on the geography and economy of Ceará. With the repercussions of his work, Teófilo was admitted as a member of the Brazilian Historical and Geographical Institute.

Cover of the book A Fome by Rodolfo TeófiloBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

A Fome

Rodolfo Teófilo introduced the Naturalism to Ceará with his work A fome. This was the writer’s debut novel and described the terrible events that occurred during the severe drought that hit the province of Ceará, between 1877 and 1879.

Cover of the book A Fome by Rodolfo TeófiloBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

In 1979, A fome was published together with Violação, a short novel released in 1898, a mixture of memoirism and horror fiction, which presents Teófilo, as a child, during the terrifying events of the cholera epidemic in the city of Maranguape.

Ver com Karine by Rodolfo TeófiloBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

   Sciencias Naturaes em Contos       

He was a teacher at the Liceu do Ceará, teaching Biology, Natural Sciences, Meteorology, Mineralogy and Geography.

In 1889, published the work Sciencias Naturaes em Contos, which had been unanimously approved by the Superior Council of Public Instruction, on July 16 of 1888, for use in public schools in Ceará. 

Stamp of Padaria Espiritual in the book O Paroara by Rodolfo TeófiloBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

Invited by Antônio Sales, in 1894, Rodolfo Teófilo joined the cultural association Padaria Espiritual, under the name of Marcos Serrano, and became president (padeiro-mor) of the guild in 1896.

Front matter of the book O Paroara by Rodolfo TeófiloBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

O Paroara

The book O Paroara, published in 1899, tells the story of the plight of the sertanejo João das Neves who migrated to the Amazon region to work, along with other people from Ceará, in rubber extraction. 

Page from the newspaper Le Figaro, with a review of O ParoaraBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

   Le Figaro       

Page from the french newspaper Le Figaro, which featured a review by critic André Beaunier about the novel O Paroara, published by Rodolfo Teófilo in 1899.

Chapter 1 of the book Varíola e Vacinação no Ceará by Rodolfo TeófiloBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

   Variola e Vacinação no Ceará       

The book is a summary of the sanitary work done by Rodolfo Teófilo between 1901 and 1904, during the vaccination campaign to eradicate smallpox in Ceará. through the manufacture of the vaccine made by him, the installation of a vaccinogen and home vaccination.

Page 37 of the book Varíola e Vacinação no Ceará by Rodolfo TeófiloBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

It's important to note that in some of his books, Rodolfo Teófilo presents statistical data on demographics, diseases, vaccinations, deaths and more. 

Cover of the book O Reino de Kiato by Rodolfo TeófiloBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

The book O Reino de Kiato, from 1922, is one of the first works of science fiction in Ceará and Brazil, describing an utopian country centered on science, free of disease, alcohol and sexually transmitted infections.

Advertisement for Rodolfo Teófilo's Cajuina drinkBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

   A Cajuína       

Record of the final formula for Cajuína in 1900. This was a great achievement for Rodolfo Teófilo as a chemist and industrialist, as he won the golden medal, in 1908, at the National Exhibition in Rio de Janeiro.

Collection of books about Rodolfo Teófilo by Several authorsBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

On July 2, 1932, Rodolfo Teófilo died, leaving a legacy of 28 published works for Ceará’s history, science, culture and literature. His work continues to be one of the great national and international references in contemporary studies and research . 

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