Guglielmo da Varignana

Guglielmo da Varignana, also Gulielmus Varignana (1270-1339) was a professor of medicine and philosopher from Bologna. He is best known for his medicinal tractate Sublime secrets of medicine to cure various diseases, which he wrote at the court of Mladen II Šubić of Bribir in 1319.


He was a son of Bartholomew da Varignana born in 1270[1] and is named as a pupil of Taddeo Alderotti.[2] Guglielmo is first recorded as professor of medicine, who was forced to flee his native Bologna[3] as a Ghibelline in 1318, subsequently becoming a personal physician and advisor to Ban of Croatia Mladen II Šubić.[4] At the same time, he contributed to curing residents of Zadar. There he wrote his first work Secreta sublimia ad varios curandos morbos (Sublime secrets of medicine to cure various diseases)[5][6] in 1319, under the orders of Mladen.[4][7] In 1320, he is sent as a diplomat to Venice to negotiate terms regarding the city of Šibenik. After the fall of Mladen at 1322 Battle of Bliska, he offered his services to the Republic of Ragusa, signing a two year contract, which had proved fruitless. After his political opponents were defeated in Bologna, he withdraws there, remaining until his death in 1339.[4]


1520 Venetian print edition of Secreta sublimia

The following medicinal works were written by him:[8]

  • De febrium dispositione tractatus duo.
  • Practica Canonica Ioannis Michaelis Savonaro; Johannes Michael.
  • Secreta sublimia ad varios curandos morbos
  • Ad omnium interiorum & exteriorum partium morbos remediorum praesidia

In 1519, his Secreta sublimia was published in print for the first time and achieved great popularity.[9]

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