Biography of Guidi Guido
Guido Guidi, who is usually known under his Latin name of Vidus Vidius, was born in Florence. His father was a physician, his mother a daughter of the painter Domenico Ghirlandajo (1449-1495). Guidi first practiced medicine in his native town. In 1842, due to his reputation, king François I of France called him to a professorship in medicine at the Collège de France in Paris, where he was also made first personal physician to his benefactor.
In 1847, following the King’s death, duke Cosmo I (1519-1574) of Tuscany invited him to become professor of philosophy and medicine at Pisa, where he was in high favour with the princes, who bestowed honours upon him. After his death in 1569 his body was taken to Florence and buried in the church Annunziata.
Guidi’s main contributions were to anatomy. It is difficult, however, to ascertain any new discoveries to him, as all of his anatomical works were published posthumously by his nephew Guidi, and it is obvious that these works also contain discoveries made by Vesalius and Fallopius.
In his lifetime Guidi enjoyed a great reputation. Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571), who made his acquaintance in Paris, says of him: “Molto prima io doveva ricordare dalla guadagnata amicizia del più virtuoso, del più amorevole, e del più domestico uomo dabbene, ch’io conoscessi mai al mondo. Questo si fu Messer Guido Guidi, excellente medico e dottore e nobil cittadino Fiorentino."
- Chirurgia è Graeco in Latinum conversa.
Paris, Petrus Galterius, 1544.
When Guidi came to Paris, he brought with him a copy of a tenth-century Greek surgical manuscript as a gift for the French monarch. Under the patronage of the King, Guidi was able to complete his Latin translation and commentary on the manuscript and published the present work. In large part the book is a compilation of what was then known about treating wounds and fractures, particularly those conditions resulting from war wounds. Most of the book is devoted to Hippocrates' writings on ulcers, fistulas, and head wounds with Guidi's commentaries and observations, and Galen's commentaries on Hippocrates' works on fractures and joints. Also included are Galen's work on bandages as well as Oribasius' De laqueis and De machinamentis. It is thought that many of the sketches for the more than 200 woodcuts in the book came from the drawings of the Italian mannerist Francesco Primaticcio (1504-1570) who copied and partially redrew the Greek manuscript. This book is often considered to be the finest textbook of surgery to be printed in the sixteenth century, and the various instruments, bandages, orthopaedic machinery, and surgical procedures are beautifully illustrated.
- De anatome corporis humani libri vii. Venetiis, apud Juntas, 1611. Biographical etc.
- Vidus Vidius (1508–69). Medical History, April 1957, 1(2): 186-188.
- August Hirsch (1817-1894), publisher:
Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Ärzte aller Zeiten und Völker.
2nd edition. Berlin, Urban & Schwarzenberg, 1929.
First published in 6 volumes 1884-1888. 3rd edition, München 1962.
- Jeremy M. Norman, editor:
Morton’s Medical Bibliography. An annotated Check-list of Texts Illustrating the History of Medicine (Garrison and Morton).
Fifth edition. Scolar Press, 1991.
- R. S. Tubbs, E. G. Salter:
Vidius Vidius (Guido Guidi): 1509-1569. Neurosurgery, July 2006, 59 (1): 201-213.