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April 1961

The Surgeon and His Knife

Author Affiliations


Arch Surg. 1961;82(4):613-624. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300100127014

There is little in human thought and progress that does not owe much to technology. So it is for this fascinating story of The Surgeon and His Knife.

In the spirit of reverence for the past and with a love for mankind, I present the modern surgeon with fragments of sacred history surrounding him and the instrument with which he is so commonly identified. It is hoped that the reader will be lured into the past to better appreciate mankind's long and tedious effort to improve his art and to give impetus to his respect for the surgical knife.

No attempt is made to exhaust 5,000 years of literary and archeological compilation in preparation of a paper of this type and purpose. Much of the material is factual and some is protean, but it is hoped the reader will receive aesthetic value from a perusal of it.

Literate man, according