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Swords, Cutting and Military History

The Medieval Wounded Man: Common wound locations and treatment

The Medieval Wounded Man: Common wound locations and treatment

Photo by Ranulf 1214

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Wound treatment was a serious consideration for medieval doctors.  Battlefield injuries, town violence and natural accidents could inflict terrible damage.  Medieval physicians and scholars wrote books on medicine, such as it existed at the time, which made extensive use of diagrams for passing on treatments.

One of teaching conventions found in many of these books were “Wounded Man” illustrations, depicting a man bearing any number and type of violence-based injuries — usually the most common injury locations inflicted with the weapons or items being depicted.  Surrounding the illustration would be notes or references for treatment for injuries of that kind.

Here are several examples of Wound Man diagrams, from texts of the 14th century onwards:

 

Wounded Man

14th century manuscript illustration

 

Gersdorff Wounded Man

Gersdorff, Feldbuch der Wundarzney (Field book of surgery), 1517

 

 

Wounds Man, Pare

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