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Gersdorff, Johann van (c.1456-1517).

Chirurgia, ofte Veldt-Boeck.

Amsterdam, Iacob Theunisz, 1651.

"Hans von Gerssdorff, called Shielhans or 'squinting Hans' or 'cross-eyed Hans' because of a physical deformity, was an army surgeon and took part in numerous campaigns, including the Burgundian War (1476), and was at the battle of Nancy, where Charles the Bold was slain...Gerssdorff's Feldtbuch covers the general field of surgery and wounds. He describes in detail the extraction of arrows and bullets with illustrations of the probes and of the forceps employed. He describes his operation for amputation in great detail, employing a touniquet to control the bleeding, treating bleeding vessels with compression or cauterization, and covering the stump with a beef or pig bladder. He mentions a soporific drink and gives its formula, but states, 'I have never used it or seen it and still I have cut off one hundred or two limbs at St. Anthony's court in Strassburg and elsewhere.' Many of the illustrations in the first of the Feldtbuch are accompanied by doggerel verses extolling the skill of Shielhans. Later editions omit these laudatory verses.

Gerssdorff, unlike Brunschwig, makes no display of learning and quotes relatively few authorities although he mentions Galen, Albucasis, Avicenna, Haly Abbas, Roger, Lanfranchi, Mondeville, and Guy de Chauliac. His work is original and practical and describes his own experiences" (A History of Medicine, Ralph H. Major).

An early Dutch edition of one of the earliest German books on surgery by one of the most important of the early German surgeons. The subject of gunshot wounds is here considered, a new field following the introduction of fire-arms in warfare. Illustrated with many interesting wood engravings illustrating various surgical instruments and methods of the period.

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