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Hugh Of Lucca

Bruno brought up with him the methods and principles of surgery from the

south of Italy, but there seems to have been already in the north at

least one distinguished surgeon who had made his mark. This was Ugo da

Lucca or Ugo Luccanus, sometimes known in the modern times in German

histories of medicine as Hugo da Lucca and in English, Hugh of Lucca. He

flourished early in the thirteenth century. In 1214 he was called to

Bologna to become the city physician, and joined the Bolognese

volunteers in the crusade in 1218, being present at the siege of

Damietta. He returned to Bologna in 1221 and was given the post of legal

physician to the city. The civic statutes of Bologna are, according to

Gurlt, the oldest monument of legal medicine in the Middle Ages. Ugo

died not long after the middle of the century, and is said to have been

nearly one hundred years old. Of his five sons, three became physicians.

The most celebrated of these was Theodoric, who wrote a text-book of

surgery in which are set down the traditions of surgery that had been

practised in his father's life. Theodoric is especially enthusiastic in

praise of his father, because he succeeded in bringing about such

perfect healing of wounds with only wine and water and the ligature and

without the employment of any ointments.

Ugo seems to have occupied himself much with chemistry. To him we owe a

series of discoveries with regard to anodyne and anaesthetizing drugs. He

is said to have been the first who taught the sublimation of arsenic.

Unfortunately he left no writings after him, and all that we know of him

we owe to the filial devotion of his son Theodoric.