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The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Digital Library

The only English translation of Antoine Chaumette’s 16th century text “Enchiridon Chirurgicum”, a beautiful vellum-bound folio manuscript written in 1715

The only English translation of Antoine Chaumette’s 16th century text “Enchiridon Chirurgicum”, a beautiful vellum-bound folio manuscript written in 1715

CHAUMETTE, Antoine. In a neat manuscript hand entitled "A Chyrugicall Pocket-Book Describing A Compendious Method of Curing External Diseases as well in Generall as Particular. With an additional Method of Curing the Venereal Disease. By the Authour, Antonius Chalmeteus, an Italian, and reckoned a diligent Chyrurgeon Among the Ancients.

Manuscript, 1715. Folio Contemporary full vellum, good clean condition. Pagination pp. [4], 364, lacking one leaf of the preface, page 95/6, there also appears to be a blank leaf or divisional title missing at 171/2 but with no loss of text.

An impressive unpublished medical manuscript that is the only translation into English of Antoine Chaumette's classic work, 'Enchiridion chirurgicum'. Published in 1560, it was an early text on surgery and venereal diseases. The translator of this handwritten ,anuscript is anonymous, but the title page is dated 1715. Antoine Chaumette, was an eminent French surgeon. He studied medicine at Montpellier, and attended lectures of Jacques Dubois at Paris. After completing his studies, he built up a practice at Annecy. Chaumette flourished in the mid-sixteenth century, was a friend of Rondelet, and was considered a skillful surgeon. Dr. Jean Astruc, in his famouse treatise on venereal disease, De Morbis Venereis Libri Sex, praised Chaumette highly, saying that he placed him among the most celebrated men of his time. His 'Enchiridion chirurgicum' appears to be his only published work. It displays the influence of earlier medical authors, but also that of Guy de Chauliac and Vigo, and the fruits of his own considerable experience. Divided into five books, the work commences with tumors; discussing and defining various types, including cancerous tumours, tumours of the glands, boils, plague etc, detailing the causes, 'prognosticks', methods of curing etc. The Second Book: 'A treatise of the Universal method of curing Wounds', with causes and treatments for Ecchymosis, Haemorrhage, bite of animals, puncture of a nerve, contusion, wounds to the bones, head, eyes, lips, neck, etc, to the abdomen, breast, and convulsions. Book 3 is 'A Treatise of Ulcers in Generall', and includes causes and cures for cancerous ulcers, ulcers of the eyes, head, nose, mouth, abdomen, groin, etc. Book 4 is entitled 'A Treatise of Fractures & Luxations', commences with fractures in general, of luxations, gout, scabies, etc. Book 5 is 'A Treatise of the Venereal Disease', which includes 'of the French Pox', Ulceration of the Mouth, Venereal Bubo, Herpes, and Alopecia, with cures offered including 'Philosophick Water', Indian Wood, China Root, various diets, and a cure by perfume. After which is a section arranged in alphabetical order entitled 'De Morbis & Cura: of Diseases & the Way of Curing them', includes Anorexia, Apoplexia, Anthrax, Bubo, Cancer, Coma, Diabetes, Epilepsia, Gonorrhea, Hysterica, Mania, Melancholia, Paralysis, Scabies, etc. Finally 'An Alphabetic Account of Physic[a]ll, Anatomic[a]ll, & Chyrurgic[a]ll Words', arranged alphabetically with a short definition to each. His work was very popular and was frequently reprinted, but no English edition was ever published making this original manuscript the sole English translation.

Contributed by anonymous.

English translation of “Enchiridon Chirurgicum”