44 leaves (2 blank), 405mm. by 280mm., wanting a leaf or two at end, else complete, collation: i-iii10, iv3, v11 (xii cancelled), double column, 60 lines in a small secretarial hand in brown ink, rubrics and paragraph marks in red, 6 large red initials (fols.1r, 7v, 13v, 14v, 15r, the first 19 lines in height), spaces left for others throughout, space also left for commentary on fols.36-42, watermark close to Briquet 2670 (Ferrara, 1469), drypoint gloss on fol.42r "Iste liber p(er)tinet mag(istr)o domo", frontispiece discoloured and small tears to some edges, else in excellent condition with wide and clean margins, nineteenth-century marbled pasteboards with leather spine, Ampleforth purple inkstamp and "MS 1" (previously 180)
Guy de Chauliac's monumental work, finished in 1363, is both a history of medieval surgery, and its highpoint. Drawing on the work of Arabic authors such as Avicenna and Al-Razi, and European medical practitioners such as Gulielmo da Saliceto (1210–1277), Guido Lanfranci of Milan (c.1250-1306) and Arnauldus de Vilanova (1235-1311), the author set out to wrest surgery from the hands of butchers and amateurs with no academic training, and reintegrate it within the other medical disciplines. Guy de Chauliac was, in effect, the first modern medical surgeon, and this work is the blueprint of the entire profession. He was greatly respected in his own time, and worked in Montpellier, Bologna and finally Lyon, where he served as the personal physician to three popes (Clement VI, Innocent VI and Urban V).
The present manuscript contains a substantial part of the text, including the prologue, book one and part of book two of the text, ending with doctrine 2, ch.6 on fol.33v. This is followed by Hippocrates, Aphorismi in the Latin translation of the eleventh-century Arab scholar Constantinus Africanus (35r; Thorndike and Kibre 1704) and a chapter of Gulielmo da Saliceto, Summa conservationis et curationis, on fevers (43r, wanting ending; Thorndike and Kibre 552).
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