Giovanni da Vigo

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Giovanni da Vigo (1450–1525) was an Italian physician and surgeon.

His treatise Of Wounds in General is one of the earliest discussions of the treatment of wounds caused by firearms. He assumes that the victims of such wounds are poisoned by gunpowder and recommends treatment with boiling oil in order to counteract the poison.

Ambroise Paré in 1536, as surgeon to colonel-general Mareschal de Montjean discovered that such treatment was counter-productive and recommends different treatments. He declared

beyond my hope, I found those upon whom I had put the digestive medicament feeling little pain, and their wounds without inflammation or swelling, having rested fairly well throughout the night; the others to whom I had applied the said boiling oil, I found feverish, with great pain and swelling about their wounds. Then I resolved with myself never more to burn thus cruelly poor men wounded with gunshot."[1]


  • An English translation by Bartholomew Traheron entitled ‘The moste Excellent Workes of Chirurgerye made and set forthe by maister John Vigon, heed chirurgien of our tyme in Italie was published in 1543.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ William Carew Hazlitt, "Vigo, Giovanni". In: Third and Final Series of Bibliographical Collections and Notes on Early English Literature: 1474-1700. 1887

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