Strong Hands, Clean Words: Renaissance Surgery and Its Patients


ACLS Fellowship Program


Literature, Communication and Culture


Despite the range of skills covered by Renaissance surgery, historians continue to emphasize the surgeon’s manual dexterity in order to elaborate the foundations of anatomy and explore the innovation that characterized the Scientific Revolution. In contrast, this project examines the internally coherent set of traditions that comprised Renaissance surgery in order to understand the dynamic exchange between surgery, learned medicine, and vernacular healing. Combining literary and historical analysis and a range of Italian sources, it explains how surgeons adapted medical and humanist practices, as well as concepts of hygiene, as they organized training facilities, advertised skills, and treated patients.