Biography of Juan Fragoso (ca. 1530-1597)

Spanish doctor born in Toledo to 1530 (according to other testimonies, would be of Portuguese origin) and died in Madrid in 1597. Noted for his studies on medicine, botany and anatomy.

He studied at the University of Alcalá, where he/she graduated Bachelor of medicine the year 1552. He/She practised in Seville until the end of 1570, date in which he/she moved to Madrid as a surgeon of the Royal House. There remained the rest of his life, first in the service of Queen Anne and, later, of Felipe II.

Fragoso deserves to be remembered as a naturalist for his studies on the peninsular flora. We know, for example, that he/she accompanied Francisco Hernández in several botanical excursions for various areas of Andalusia in the mid-1950s. He/She picked up the results of these studies in his Catalogus simplicium medicamentorum (1575), but did not finish the Hispanicarum plantarum story projecting. Published, on the other hand, a speech of the aromatic things, trees and fruit trees... which brought India East (1572), based mainly on the work of the Portuguese Horta García, which does not mention, even though his translator Carolus Clusius. It also deals with some American plants studied by Nicolás Monardes, which also cites. This book was translated into latin and published in Strasbourg in two occasions.

His work of naturalist, however, should not forget that Fragoso was, first and foremost, a surgeon. Due to his training at Alcalá, alongside figures such as Francisco Valles, Cristóbal de Vega and Fernando Mena, the doctrinal basis of his surgical work was galenism in direction "hipocratista". For this reason, the importance of clinical observation, taking as a model the clubbing texts. He/She also had great interest in the new currents of anatomical knowledge.

In 1570, he/she published a few Erotemas Chirurgicos, containing "over everything from the art of surgery". Eleven years later appeared the first edition of his Universal Chirurgia, which assembled various writings of anatomical, surgical and therapeutic issues, some unpublished and other reworkings or simple reprints of texts which had previously published. It was highly valued and had fourteen editions in Spanish and three in Italian in little more than one century.

Includes, first, a compendium of surgery divided into the usual "books" in the time - Anatomy, ulcers, wounds, ulcers, fractures, and dislocations-, each of them with a wide "glossing". The content is notable, rather than by personal contributions, by the rich and up-to-date information that handles Fragoso. For example, it is the first Spanish doctor citing Paracelso , and in its anatomical exploration, the work of Vesalius is already clearly displaced by Gabriele Falloppio.

From its Second Edition (1586), the work incorporated a sum of propositions of surgery, in which two years earlier Fragoso had criticized the "particular" of Bartolomé Hidalgo de Agüero, mainly accusing him of favouring the surgical abstentionism way.

According to the mentality of its author, the Universal Chirurgia contains an annotated Spanish translation of aphorisms of Hypocrates, pertaining to the surgery. It also includes a treatise of statements which have of hazer surgeons, which is one of the first monographs on legal medicine, as well as three writings of therapeutic topic, one dedicated to simple medicines, other compounds and the third to "evacuations". Fragoso therapeutic ideas are traditional, although it deals with certain amplitude of the fifth "essncias" and the remedies obtained by distillation, leaning on alchemical texts and the Treaty of chemical drugs of Conrad Gessner.



Catologus simplicium medicamentorum, Alcalá, p. Robles and J. Villanova, 1556. Erotemas Chirurgicos which teaches all most necessary art of the Cyrurgia, Madrid, P. Cosin, 1570. Speech of aromatic things, trees and fruit trees, and other many simple medicine that are brought from Eastern India, and serve to the use of the medicine, F. Sánchez, 1572. De succedaneis medicamentis liber... Animadversiones in queamplurima ejusdem medicamenta composita, Madrid, P. Cosin, 1575. Chirurgia Universal, Madrid, widow of A. Gómez, 1581.Ver López Piñero and Bujosa, et al.: the Spanish scientific forms of the 15th and 16th centuries. Inventory, Bibliometrics and thesaurus, vol. I, Valencia, Chair of the history of medicine, 1982 (for the reprints and translations of the works).


CAPELOT Sanchez, Francisco: The surgical work of Juan Fragoso, Salamanca, seminar of history of medicine, PINERO, José María 1957.lopez et al.: trepanation in Spain. Neurosurgical Españoles, Madrid, Ed. technical Spanish classics, 1967 (playing fragments of the Universal Chirurgia related).GRANJEL, Luis S.: Surgery Spanish Renaissance, Salamanca, Institute of history of the Spanish medicine, 1968.COLMEIRO, m: Botany and the botanical of the Hispano-lusitana Peninsula. Bibliographic and biographical studies, Madrid, M. Rivadeneyra, 1858, pp. 30, 63-65, 152.lopez PINERO, José María: "Paracelsus and his work in 16th and 17th Century Spain" in Clio Medica, 8 (1973), 113-141.(There are no studies about Fragoso as a naturalist, nor about their therapeutic work. The closest are the references of Colmeiro and López Piñero).