This detailed illustration of a leg amputation by a military surgeon comes from the Feldtbuch der Wundartzney (“Field-book of the Wound Doctor”) by Hans von Gersdorff (1455-1529), the famous German surgeon. Published in 1517, it was based largely on the writings of Guy de Chauliac and became one of the foremost basic surgical texts in Europe for many years. While the surgeon saws with his right hand he is using his left hand as a tourniquet. The padded glove on an assistant “anaesthetises” the patient by hitting his head to produce unconsciousness by knocking him out.
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