Two medieval doctors: Gilbertus Anglicus (c1180-c1250) and John of Gaddesden (1280-1361)

Pearn, John (2013) Two medieval doctors: Gilbertus Anglicus (c1180-c1250) and John of Gaddesden (1280-1361). Journal of Medical Biography, 21 1: 3-7. doi:10.1258/jmb.2011.011024

Author Pearn, John
Title Two medieval doctors: Gilbertus Anglicus (c1180-c1250) and John of Gaddesden (1280-1361)
Journal name Journal of Medical Biography   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0967-7720
Publication date 2013-02
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1258/jmb.2011.011024
Volume 21
Issue 1
Start page 3
End page 7
Total pages 5
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Biographies of medieval English doctors are uncommon and fragmentary. The two best-known English medieval physicians were Gilbertus Anglicus and John of Gaddesden. This paper brings together the known details of their lives, compiled from extant biographies and from internal references in their texts. The primary records of their writings exist in handwritten texts and thereafter in incunabula from the time of the invention of printing in 1476. The record of the lives of these two medieval physicians can be expanded, as here, by the general perspective of the life and times in which they lived. Gilbertus Anglicus, an often-quoted physician-teacher at Montpellier, wrote a seven-folio Compendium medicinae in 1271. He described pioneering procedures used later in the emergent disciplines of anaesthetics, cosmetic medicine and travel medicine. Gilbertus’ texts, used extensively in European medical schools, passed in handwritten copies from student to student and eventually were printed in 1510. John of Gaddesden, an Oxford graduate in Arts, Medicine and Theology, wrote Rosa Anglica, published circa 1314. Its detailed text is an exemplar of the mixture of received Hippocratic and Galenic lore compounded by medieval astronomy and religious injunction, which mixture was the essence of medieval medicine. The writings of both these medieval English physicians formed part of the core curriculum that underpinned the practice of medicine for the next 400 years.

Acknowledgement: This work was made possible by the hospitality and generosity of the Warden and Librarian of Green Templeton College, Oxford.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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