Review of the “Chirurgia” of Giovanni de Vigo: Estimate of His Position in the History of Surgery
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Giovanni de Vigo, who was born in at Rapallo, Italy, lived in the early Renaissance period (1450–1525). In 1503, De Vigo became the personal surgeon to Pope Julius II. He wrote a surgical book, “Practica Copiosa in Arte Chirurgia,” which was completed in 1514 and published in Latin. It was translated into English by Richard Traheron and printed by Edward Whytchurch in 1543. Vigo’s “Chirurgia” consists of nine books ranging from a consideration of anatomy necessary for a surgeon, to sections on abscesses, wounds, ulcers, benign and malignant tumors, fractures and dislocations, pharmaceuticals, ointments and plasters, as well as sections on dentistry, exercise, diet, syphilis, among others. De Vigo introduces a novel approach for treating mandible dislocations and describes a trephine he invented, as well as a number of new instruments. Examination of his surgical piece demonstrates that he had a broad spectrum of knowledge in surgery based in part on the ancient Greek and Arabic medical literature but mainly on his personal experience. Giovanni de Vigo contributed significantly to the revival of medicine in the sixteenth century, and he can be considered as a bridge between Greek medicine of antiquity, Arabic medicine, and the Renaissance.
KeywordsMalignant Tumor Broad Spectrum Personal Experience Syphilis Medical Literature
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