Ophthalmic techniques described by Serefeddin Sabuncuoglu (1385-1468 AD)

Oguz H., San I., Verit A., Uzel I.

CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL OPHTHALMOLOGY, vol.32, no.2, pp.192-195, 2004 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 32 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/j.1442-9071.2004.00780.x
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.192-195


Serefeddin Sabuncuoglu (1385-1468 AD) was a Turkish surgeon who lived in the Ottoman Empire during the fifteenth century, a time of progressive expansion. When in his eighties, he wrote Cerrahiyyetu'l-Haniyye, which means Imperial Surgery. His book is the first example of an illustrated surgical textbook in the Turkish-Islamic medical literature. The importance of his book rests upon the inclusion of colour miniatures of the surgical procedures, incisional techniques and instruments, all drawn by Sabuncuoglu himself. Only three hand-written copies exist, two of which were originally written by the author and are currently exhibited in Paris and Istanbul. The book was rediscovered in 1936, but some parts of it are still suspected to be missing. At present, the book consists of three chapters divided into 193 known sections. The sections deal with all fields of surgery including ophthalmology, and cite relevant Greek, Arabic and Persian textbooks. In this historical article the sections of Cerrahiyyetu'l-Haniyye pertinent to ophthalmology are critically reviewed, including a selection of the coloured drawings.