Course d’Operations de Chirurgie Demonstrée au Jardin Royal (1707)

Course d’Operations de Chirurgie Demonstrée au Jardin Royal (1707)

     

Pierre Dionise (1643-1718)

     

Course d’Operations de Chirurgie Demonstrée au Jardin Royal (1707)

     

Course d’Operations de Chirurgie Demonstrée au Jardin Royal (1707)

Pierre Dionise (1643-1718)

This volume is the first edition of an illustrated manual of surgical operations by Pierre Dionise, Royal Surgeon to King Louis XIV.

Pierre Dionise was premier chirurgien to Madame la Dauphine, Madame the Duchesse of Bourgogne, & Sworn surgeon in Paris and started his practice around 1661. According to Shane Tubbs2, Dionis probably learned surgery in courses at the Confraternity of Saint Come and demonstrations at the Royal Garden established by Louis XIII. Dionis was considered an extremely skillful surgeon. In 1672 he succeeded Charles-François Félix de Tassy as Louis XIV’s surgeon, who successfully operated on the King’s anal fistula.

At the Royal Garden, Dionis performed anatomical and surgical demonstrations according to blood circulation as described by William Harvey, while the faculty of medicine in Paris challenged that discovery1. The Jardin du Roi, in his time, was the premier teaching institution for surgery. In 1680, he became a surgeon to Queen Maria Theresa of Austria. 

The current volume, a first edition of many similar compilations, shows the range and sophistication of surgery performed at the end of the 17th century. The book has 746 pages and 11 engraved copper plates. One of the engravings shows the anatomy amphitheater (see above), where demonstrations would occur. In addition, 52 woodcuts of instruments and tools of surgery and special abdominal, thoracic, or head and neck operations. One woodcut shows the kidney stones of Pope Innocent XI removed in 1689. 

During the 18th century, French surgery gained ascendancy over French academic medicine and on the international stage. The French Revolution demolished the medical and surgical institutions established under the old regime. However, French surgery emerged from the rubble to play a significant part in the birth of modern clinical medicine.

Editorial notes by Andrew I Spielman, based on 1D. Simpson: Pierre Dionis and the Franco-British dialogue in surgery. ANZ J Surg. 2003 73(5):336-40. 2R Shane Tubbs, et al., Singapore Med J 2009; 50(4) : 449)

Digital Version