The traumatologist and the battlefield: The book that changed the history of traumatology

Berardo Di Matteo, Vittorio Tarabella, Giuseppe Filardo, Anna Viganò, Patrizia Tomba, Maurilio Marcacci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


ABSTRACT: This is a brief historical essay about the 16th century European military surgeon Hans von Gersdorff (approximately 1455 to 1529 in Strasbourg) and his epochal illustrated text, Feldbuch der Wundtartzney (Field Book of Surgery), the first manual of traumatology describing the treatment of battle injuries covering topics ranging from human anatomy to pharmacy, as a guide to field surgery, and explaining the use of surgical instruments developed by Gersdorff himself; for the first time in medical history, a precursor to scientific books for practitioners, this manual is a precious source of information, and it is illustrated by hand-colored woodcuts, attributed to distinguished German renaissance artist Hans Wechtlin; this combination of text and pictures made the Feldbuch a point of reference in the process of arriving at modern traumatology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-343
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


  • anatomic illustration
  • Gersdorff
  • military medicine
  • surgical history
  • traumatology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'The traumatologist and the battlefield: The book that changed the history of traumatology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this