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Lanfranc of Milan

  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


Chirurgia magna: in German (incomplete). With an interpolated Epitome of Surgery, in the form of Question and Answer, basedon Lanfranc's work; and a collection of receipts for plasters, ointments, etc. Written by Johannes Weisspurgensis.



Physical description

1 volume 481 ll. (last bl.) 4to. 19 x 14 1/2 cm. Modern vellum binding over wooden boards. Written in a neat semi-current hand 18-20 lines to a page.

Acquisition note

Purchased 1911.

Biographical note

The introductory passage on fol. 1 is similar to that of the beginning of the printed 'Herbarius zu Deutsch' of 1485. The assignment of the date to 1508is confirmed by an entry on fol. 168v 'Ein gut vngennt zu den vergifften blattern malafrantz'-a remedy for syphilis compounded of sulphur and 'wagensch' [? figs.]. A German version of Lanfranc's 'Chirurgia magna' is noted in Sudhoff's Chirurgie im Mittelalter (Leipzig 1918) pp. 469-471, a quoted passage from which corresponds closely with the text in this MS. (Tractatus III, Doctrina, 1, Chap. 6.) In the same work (pp. 603-616) Sudhoff mentions a 'Buchlein uber Art und Behandlung von Apostemen in Frage und Antwort'. This seems almost certainly to be a part of the same work as that in this MS. on Ff. 1-15, 53-139. Though he refers to the division of the work into 'Tractatus' and 'Doctrinae' ('Lere'), he does not link it with the Treatise by Lanfranc, with which these divisions actually correspond, so that it seems most probable that the 'Question and Answer' treatise is an epitomized and popular version of Lanfranc's more elaborate surgical text-book.

Ownership note

From the Payne Collection. Sotheby's Catalogue, No. 407.

Finding aids

Database description transcribed from S.A.J. Moorat, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts on Medicine and Science in the Wellcome Historical Medical Library (London: Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 1962-1973).


  • German

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