Les Fleurs de Guidon - Guy de Chauliac and Lazare Meyssonnier – 1650

Lazare Meyssonnier

Les Fleurs de Guidon



Guy de Chauliac

Guy de Chauliac

Guy de Chauliac and Lazare Meyssonnier

Lazare Meyssonnier (1602-1672)

The French title "Les Fleurs de Guidon, corrigées et augmentées De La Pratique de Chirurgie avec plusieurs Expériences et Secrets: Et de la Méthode de Consulter Pour les jeunes Chirurgiens. Extracte de Lecon de M L Meyssonnier, Conseiller et Medicin Ordinaire du Roy, Professeur et Lecteur en Chirurgie a Lyon."

Translates as:

The Flowers of Guidon corrected and augmented from the practice of surgery with several experiences and secrets, and from the method of consulting for young surgeons, extracted from the lessons of (Messieurs Lazare) Meyssonnier, Advisor and Ordinary Doctor of King, Professor and Reader in Surgery at Lyon, published in Lyon in 1650 by Pierre Annard.

The "Flowers of Guidon" refers to the pupils/students of the great French surgeon, Guy de Chauliac. This translation and abbreviated version of Chauliac's Chirurgia Magna was written for young surgeons in mind. It had seen several editions in the 17th century. In his introduction Lazare Meyssonnier states that the book "is intended to rectify all the errors and mistakes […] of other previously published versions".

Born in Mâcon in 1602, Meyssonnier graduated from University of Lyon in 1632 where he practiced first, at Hotel-Dieu under the guidance of Dr. Sarrazin. In 1642 he was appointed royal surgeon to Louis XIII. He died in 1672 in Lyon.

In addition to the abbreviated surgery text, his work includes a study on The Beauty and Health of the Human Body (Miroir de beauté et de santé corporelle), work that was republished several times and was an important text of its time. Meyssonnier was contemporary with Descartes and had some corresponded with him.


Guy de Chauliac (a.k.a. Guido or Guigo de Cauliaco (1300 – 1368)

Guy de Chauliac was the most influential physician and surgeon of the 14th century, author of Chirurgia Magna. Trained in Medicine in Toulouse, Montpellier, Paris and Bologna, he became the most influential surgeon of his time. Invited to Avignon by the Pope he became personal physician to Clement VI, Innocent VI and Urban V. His Chirugia Magna was written in 1363, five years before his death. After the printing press was introduced in 1450, his work was printed in 1493 and translated into several languages including French (the current work), English, Dutch and Italian. His work reflects the sum of those before him including, Hippocrates, Celsus, Galen and Avicenna. A traditional follower of Galenic medicine, de Chauliac never questioned the veracity of those described in his predecessors’ work. De Chauliac made errors that were partially corrected and annotated and translated into French by Laurens Joubert. A 1587 edition is in our collection.

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