The PioneersThe MilitaryReferences

The Dark Ages

Theodoric (1205—1298 A.D.) Bishop of Cervia

It was during the 14th century that the first antiseptic technique was used, not the “clean” aseptic method used today, but rather one based on the avoidance of Pus bonum ET laudable “laudable pus.”
This was when Theodoric of Cervia (1205-1298) an Italian, soaked his dressings in Arnica, (a plant of the composite family) before applying it to the wound. Both Theodoric advocated the use of wine to clean a wound and also pointed out that the substances that were being commonly used at the time made matters worse. These physicians are well worth their place in surgical history, because they stressed the importance of a clean wound.

It has also been documented that Theodoric used substances to ease the suffering of the patient, below is a quote from:

Theodoric gives the following directions for making " a soporific sponge " taught him, as he says, by his master Hugh of Lucca :

"Take of opium, of the juice of the unripe mulberry, of henbane, of the juice of hemlock, of the juice of the leaves of mandragora, of the juice of wood ivy, of the juice of the forest mulberry, of the seeds of lettuce, of the seeds of the dock which has round apples, and of the water hemlock, of each an ounce. Mix them all in a brazen vessel and then place a new sponge in it. Boil them all together for so long as the sun lasts in the dog days and until the sponge absorbs all the liquid. Put it aside to dry and when it is required for use put the sponge in hot water for an hour and afterwards apply it to the face of the patient until he falls asleep. When the operation is finished soak another sponge in vinegar and let the patient breathe through it, or drop the juice of fenugrek into his nostrils; he will quickly awaken." 105


Quote 41

“He who is born in imagination discovers the latent forces of Nature. Besides the stars that are established, there is yet another Imagination that begets a new star and a new heaven.” 106




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