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Illustration Of A Zodiac Man, In John of Arderne's 'Treatise On Practical Medicine'

Illustration Of A Zodiac Man, In John of Arderne's 'Treatise On Practical Medicine'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1425

Shelfmark: Additional MS 29301

Item number: f.26v

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

This manuscript contains several works, including a collection of recipes, charms, and surgical operations by John of Arderne; a series of drawings of medicinal plants; and a Middle English translation of a Latin medical treatise. John of Arderne (1307-1376) was the first English surgeon to achieve national and international fame. He attended English troops at various battles in the Hundred Years War, which gave him the exceptional opportunities to treat injuries and to study corpses anatomically. In the Middle Ages parts of the human body were believed to be ruled by the twelve zodiac constellations, and by the moon. It was thought that the timing of various medical procedures, such as blood-letting, had to be carefully co-ordinated with the heavens in order to maximise the chances of success.

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