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The Edinburgh School of Surgery before Lister

Nature volume 101, pages 182183 (09 May 1918) | Download Citation



THE author, who is one of the surgeons to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, has compressed into 220 pages a great deal of interesting matter concerning the development of surgery in the northern capital from 1505 down to the period preceding Lister. The origin of this famous school may be said to date from the “seil of cause granted be the Towne Counsell of Edinburgh to the Craftes of Surrengenry and Barbouris” whereby they received permission to dissect one condemned criminal each year “quairthrow we may heif expedience, ilk ane to instruct utheris.” ir The principles here laid down to base surgery on anatomy and to teach the same pervades the whole history of the Edinburgh school down to the period of Syme, its greatest representative in the middle of last century.

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