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Barbers and Surgeons in the medical marketplace of the Fifteenth-century Corleone


The article analyses the role of surgeons and barbers in the fifteenth-century Corleone, royal town in the hinterland of Sicily with a pretty rich economy based on agriculture and sheep-breeding. The documents reveal a rich and complex medical marketplace were the barbers went into partnership with other barbers or with surgeons. Furthermore, surgeons and barbers invested in the real estate market, traded wine, wheat and animals, had slaves. In Corleone there were also barber-surgeons from Naro, Palermo, Caltabellotta and renowned surgeons of Polizzi, with whom barbers of Corleone could train. In the notorial acts the same person could be qualified as magister, barber and surgeon, however according to the patients the skill of the practioner was more important than his qualification.