Saturday, October 29, 2016

William of Salacet (1210-1277)

An important contemporary of Theodoric was William of Salacet (1210-1277), who taught surgery at Bologna and later at Verona.

Guglielmo da Saliceto (William of Salacet) was born in Salacet, a village near Piacenza around 1210, went to Bologna around 1230 and there probably followed the lectures of Ugo Borgognoni and Bono del Garbo.

Although he was also trained as a cleric, he is not known to have been active as a priest. His skill, wisdom and conservative practices are clearly exposed in his treatises, and made him famous as a teacher. His prime pupil was Lanfranchi of Milan, who carried William's methods into France.

He practices in several north Italian cities (e.g. Piacenza, Milan, Cremona, Pavia, Verona). Because of his reputation, his patients were mostly from the upper class, although he also treated inmates in prisons, hospitals and convents. At the end of his carrier, in 1275, he published his major work Cynurgia, which was the first systematic treatise on surgery to emerge after the Middle Ages.

One of its five volumes as devoted to surgical anatomy. William advocated the use of the knife rather than the cautery and initiated the practice of quoting patients he had treated personally rather than quoting from the classical authors.

He also wrote Summa curationis et conservations (or Gulielmina), which dealing with what currently call internal medicine. William of Salacet (1210-1277)

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