This is the first book to be published on any aspect of medicine in the crusades. It will be of interest not only to scholars of the crusades specifically, but also to scholars of medieval Europe, the Byzantine world and the Islamic world. Focusing on injuries and their surgical treatment, Piers D. Mitchell considers medical practitioners, hospitals on battlefields and in towns, torture and mutilation, emergency and planned surgical procedures, bloodletting, analgesia and anesthesia. He provides an assessment of the exchange of medical knowledge that took place between East and West in the crusades, and of the medical negligence legislation for which the kingdom of Jerusalem was famous. The book presents a radical reassessment of many outdated misconceptions concerning medicine in the crusades and the Frankish states of the Latin East.
'... this remarkable pioneering monograph ... fused with occasionally unknown literary and historical texts (Vivian Nutton's translation of the Frankish Medical Licensing and Negligence Regulations will be new to almost all students of the crusades ... Mitchell's careful and cautious assessment of wounds, disease, diet and life spans as revealed through pollen, insect-parts, soil analysis, drug jars and osteology, reveals a vibrant medical and surgical activity throughout most of the era of the crusades ... His chapter on anaesthesia is essential reading for anyone interested in the mystery of why earlier and successful surgeries seemed to fade from view by the late Middle Ages.' Times Literary Supplement