The Dark Ages
Henri de Mondeville. (d1307)
One of Theodoric’s students was Henri de Mondeville.
Henri de Mondeville, who taught at Montpellier, was an important figure in the history of French medicine and surgery.
He offered some new wound treatments, opting for cleanliness and avoiding like his mentor Theodoric, “laudable pus” in the surgical treatment of wounds.
He argued for removal of foreign bodies and the use of wine dressings in wound care the wine acting as an antiseptic and providing better healing. Henri began writing his treatise on surgery in 1306, but was unable to finish it because of poor health (tuberculosis).
He was also a designer of surgical instruments and, in particular, is remembered for the creation of a special needle holder and also an instrument for extraction of arrowheads. The inclusion of illustrations in his Chirurgie, especially anatomical depictions, was of great importance to Henri. His work is considered the first to actually make use of illustrations for teaching purposes, a concept unheard of in the 14th century, but widely accepted since the Renaissance.
His methods became the forerunner of modern day technique; it had to wait over 500 years however for acceptance.
Henri de Mondeville also documented the use of narcotics such as opium, mandragora and others being soaked in sponges.
These were held over the patient’s noses to induce a “Deep Sleep” during surgery. Henry de Mondeville went on to be surgeon to Philip le Bel, (the fair) King of France who as a King was made infamous by his
eradication of the Knights Templar. 107
"The philosophers of the Middle Ages demonstrated both that the Earth did not exist and also that it was flat. Today they are still arguing about whether the world exists, but they no longer dispute about whether it is flat.” 108