Researchers in Italy have exhumed the remains of Giovanni de’ Medici, a famous mercenary soldier who lived during the Renaissance, in order to learn more about his death and the surgeries that were performed upon him.
Although he had acquired a reputation for invincibility, Giovanni of the Black Bands (1498-1526) died at only 28 after being hit by a cannon ball in a battle in Lombardy on Nov. 25, 1526. He was fighting the Imperialist troops marching to the sack of Rome.
As the ball crashed the right leg above the knee, the condottiero was taken to the palace of marquis Luigi Alessandro Gonzaga in Mantua. Gangrene soon set in, and Gonzaga’s surgeon Maestro Abramo decided to intervene by partly amputating the leg.
According to a report by the poet Pietro Aretino, Giovanni’s close friend and eyewitness to the event, 10 men were summoned to hold down the warrior during the surgery.
Story: Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery News | Photo: Discovery News