visit catalog of the scientific community

Catalog of the Scientific Community
Paré, Ambroise

Note: the creators of the Galileo Project and this catalogue cannot answer
email on genealogical questions.

1. Dates
     Born: c. 1510
     Died: 22 Dec. 1590
     Dateinfo: Birth Uncertain
     Lifespan: 80

2. Father
     Occupation: Unknown

     Nothing certain is known of his antecedents. His father has been
     thought to have been either a cabinet-maker, or a barber-surgeon and
     valet to the Duke of Laval. From the facts that one of his brothers was
     a master barber-surgeon and his sister married a master barber-surgeon
     in Paris it has seemed that his father was probably a barber-surgeon.

     No information on financial status.

3. Nationality
     Birth: French
     Career: French
     Death: French

4. Education
     Schooling: No University

     He apprenticed to Vialot, Master Barber-Surgeon of Vitre in 1523, then
     to a barber-surgeon in Paris in 1531. In 1533 he became house surgical
     student at the Hotel-Dieu, studying anatomy by dissection until 1535.

     He was licensed as Master Barber-Surgeon in 1541. In 1554 he passed
     examination by College of Surgeons as Bachelor of Surgeon, and licensed
     as sworn surgeon.

5. Religion
     Affiliation: Catholic

     Although often reported to have been a Huguenot, Paré remained a Roman
     Catholic throughout his life.

6. Scientific Disciplines
     Primary: Surgery

     He reported his discovery that gunshot wounds were not in themselves
     poisonous and did not require cautery in his first treatise, La methode
     de traicter les playes faites par les arquebuses et aultres bastons a
     feu (1545). The treatise brought him immediate fame. He left a
     powerfully reactivated surgical tradition at his death. His many
     publications circulated throughout Europe, and had considerable
     influence during his life and well into the following century.

7. Means of Support
     Primary: Medicine, Patronage

     In 1535, began his medical practice as a barber-surgeon in Paris.

     1536-8, surgeon in military service under Duke de Montejan.

     1538-42, 1552-90, practice in Paris.

     1542-52, surgeon in military service under Vicount de Rohan.

     1552-9, Surgeon in Ordinary to Henry II.

     1560-2, Surgeon in Ordinary to Charles IX.

     1562-74, Premier Surgeon to Charles IX and Valet-de- Chambre.

     1574-90, Premier Surgeon, Councillor and Valet de Chambre to the court
     of Henry III.

8. Patronage
     Types: Court Official, Aristrocrat

     Duke de Vendome, the commander of the force at Chateau le Comte, sent a
     complete report of his activities to the King, commending him highly on
     his surgical skill in 1562. As a result, the King ordered his premier
     physician to record him as a Surgeon in Ordinary to the King.

     After Henry II's death in 1559, he remained at the court as surgeon in
     ordinary to the new King, Charles IX, and was appointed premier surgeon
     to the King in 1662. He had been in the court during almost the entire
     lifetime of Charles IX, to whom he was a great friend and favorite.

     On the death of Charles IX, he was reappointed premier surgeon to Henry
     III. In 1574 he obtained the King's privilege for 9 years to publish a
     book of his collected works. He held his position at court until his

9. Technological Involvement
     Type: Medical Practice

     He discovered new treatment of gun wounds.

10. Scientific Societies
     Membership: Medical College

     He was admitted to the College of Surgeons in 1554.

  1. Wallace B. Hamby, Ambroise Paré, (St.Louis, Mo., 1967).
  2. R507.P2H19 F.P. Packard, ed., The life and Times of Ambroise Paré, (New
     York, 1926). R507.P2

Not Available and Not Consulted
  1. Bernard Crenn, ed. Ambroise Paré et son temps. Actes du Colloque
     international 24 et 25 novembre 1990 ŕ Laval (Mayenne), (Laval, 1990).

Compiled by:
     Richard S. Westfall
     Department of History and Philosophy of Science
     Indiana University