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The textbook of surgery written by the Arab physician Abu al-Qasim Khalaf Ibn Abbas az-Zahrawi stood for nearly 500 years as the leading handbook in this field of medicine. It constitutes the oldest and also most important link between Greek classical and late classical medicine and the European medicine of the high Middle Ages. His writings were widely acknowledged and preferred even to the teachings of the Greek medical authority Galen. In all, 68 miniatures form the decorative apparatus of this bibliophile manuscript, illustrating individual methods of medical treatment and instruments in all their details. Besides these miniatures, which might have been derived from Arab models, numerous gilded initials (in total 227) bear testimony to the flawless quality and great significance of the manuscript, both in medical history and in the history of art. Chirurgia is composed of three books and decorated with numerous miniatures to illustrate diverse methods of medical treatment
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