Authors/Pieter Volck

From Theatrum Paracelsicum

Personal Bibliography

Dedications, Prefaces, Postfaces

Source: Paracelsus, Die groote Chirurgie, ed. Pieter Volck, Antwerpen: Gillis Coppens van Diest, 1556, sig. a2r–a3v [BP035]
Peter Volck, a surgeon from Delft, addresses the city's authorities to share his motivations for translating a significant medical book from German into Dutch. He highlights the scarcity of valuable medical literature in Dutch, especially in the field of surgery, which he deems crucial for health, surpassing all other treasures. Volck criticizes existing surgical texts for their lack of practical benefit, pointing out the harmful advice and overly complex treatments found in works by Italian and French authors. He expresses concern about the misuse of dangerous prescriptions by poorly informed surgeons.
Volck praises the contributions of German scholars, especially Paracelsus, whose writings he has followed and found faultless over 14-15 years. He critiques the current state of surgical training and practice, noting the incompetence and lack of experience among young surgeons who, despite minimal training, are trusted with patients' lives. He condemns the practice of physicians attempting surgery without proper skills and the prevalence of non-professionals encroaching on surgical work.
Lastly, Volck explains his decision to publish the translation to correct the errors and misrepresentations in a previous version titled "The Pearl of Surgery," which he claims was corrupted and dangerously inaccurate. He expresses his determination to contribute positively to the field despite expecting envy and criticism from less competent practitioners.
Source: Paracelsus, Die groote Chirurgie, ed. Pieter Volck, Antwerpen: Gillis Coppens van Diest, 1556, sig. L1r [BP035]
The translator presents the work to the reader with confidence, having meticulously translated it and personally tested its contents in various challenging environments such as wars and natural disasters. With over a decade of experience serving emperors and kings, the translator found the work flawless, attributing any issues solely to personal oversight. The motivation behind the translation was to unveil an exceptional but previously obscured piece of work. The translator encourages the reader to approach the text with discernment, promising that its quality will become apparent through thoughtful engagement. Expressing readiness to undertake further efforts for the reader's benefit and the advancement of surgical knowledge, the translator concludes by entrusting the reader to God's guidance and strength.

Notices, Editorial Remarks etc.


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