Gaspare Tagliacozzi and Early Modern Surgery: Faces, Men, and Pain, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Gaspare Tagliacozzi and Early Modern Surgery

Faces, Men, and Pain, 1st Edition

By Paolo Savoia


320 pages | 29 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780367201739
pub: 2019-12-17
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 17th December 2019
Hardback: 9780367201746
pub: 2019-12-17
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 17th December 2019

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This book uses the work of Bolognese physician and anatomist Gaspare Tagliacozzi to explore the social and cultural history of early modern surgery; it discusses how Italian and European surgeons‘ attitudes to health and beauty, and how patients‘ gender shaped views on the public appearance of the human body.

In 1597, Gaspare Tagliacozzi published a two-volume book on reconstructive surgery of the mutilated parts of the face. Studying Tagliacozzi’s surgery in context corrects widespread views about the birth of plastic surgery. Through a combination of cultural history, microhistory, historical epistemology, and gender history, this book describes the practice and practitioners considered to be at the periphery of the "Scientific Revolution." Historical themes covered include the writing of individual cases, hegemonic and subaltern forms of masculinity, concepts of the natural and the artificial, emotional communities and moral economies of pain, and the historical anthropology of the culture of beauty, the face, and its disfigurements.

The book is essential reading for upper-level students, postgraduates and scholars working on the history of medicine and surgery, the history of the body, gender and cultural history. It will also appeal to those interested in the history of beauty, urban studies and the renaissance period more generally.

Table of Contents


list of abbreviations

list of figures


Chapter 1. Patients and Cases

Chapter 2. Patients and Practitioners: Swords, Books, and Knives

Chapter 3. The Culture of the Face

Chapter 4. Health and Appearance

Chapter 5. Grafting Humans and Plants

Chapter 6. Surgery and The Moral Economy of Pain

Chapter 7. Conclusion: The Place of Tagliacozzi


About the Author

Paolo Savoia is Assistant Professor of the History of Science at the University of Bologna.

About the Series

The Body in the City

‘The Body in the City’ investigates the complex, diverse, and multi-layered realities and understandings of ‘the body’ in medieval and early modern societies. The research program encompasses various disciplines – art, architecture, literature, medicine, politics, religion, gender, society – and focusses on archival, textual, visual and environmental materials. The time-period covered by this series, 1100-1800, corresponds to a crucial period for the development of European urban centres and cultures. Within this framework the series will explore very diverse, yet still coherent, studies, aiming to speak to each other in thought-provoking ways.

The series aims to intersect and to energise two strands in historical studies: the pre-modern city as an historical subject (encompassing political institutions, rituals, built environments, religious activities, etc) and histories of the premodern body with their debates about how bodies are shaped by discourse and context. The series will emphasize approaches which emphasize the vernacular as revealed by new sources and novel approaches to them. While there are numerous studies of the body in history, this series will explore critically and in innovative ways the relationship between bodies and environments. This will allow scholars involved to analyse how particular spaces, locations and physical milieux affect understandings of the body and govern responses to particular problems. The multi-disciplinary approach to the topic places the series at the leading edge of its field.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General