Fienus, Thomas

, a physician of eminence, was born at Antwerp, March 28, 1567. His father, who was a physician at Antwerp, and who died at Dort in 1585, was the author of a treatise entitled “Commentarius de flatibus humanum corpus infestantibus,Antwerp, 1582. His son, Thomas, studied medicine at Leyden, and afterwards at Bologna, which he visited in 1590. On his return to his native country his talents were soon made known, and in 1593 he was invited to Louvaine, in order to fill one of the vacant professorships of medicine in that university, in which he took the degree of doctor about the end of that year. After seven years of residence, he was appointed physician to Maximilian, duke and afterwards elector of Bavaria; but this he resigned at the end of one | year, and returned to Louvaine, where the archduke Albert immediately increased his salary to a thousand ducats, in order to secure his services, and here he remained until his death, March 15, 1631, at the college of Breughel, of which he had been for a long time president. Besides being an able Greek and mathematical scholar, he was regarded as an intelligent and able physician; and had fewequals among his contemporaries in natural history and surgery. His works, which contributed greatly to advance his reputation, were, 1. “De Cauteriis libri quinque,” Louvaine, 1598. 2. “Libri Chirurgici XII., de praecipuis Artis Chirurgicre controversiis,” Francfort, 1602, which passed through many editions. 3. “De viribus Imaginationis Tractatus,” Louvaine, 1608.*


In this work on the power of floatation, Fienus relates a story of an hypocondriac, whose delusions represeated his body so large, that he thought it impossible for him to get out of his room. The physician, fancying there could be no better way of rectifying his imagination than by letting him see that the thing could be done, ordered him to be carried out by force, Great was the struggle: and the patient no sooner saw himself at the outside of the door, than he fell into the same agonies of pain, as if his bones had been all broken by being forced through a passage too little for him; and died immediately after. Fienus does not relate this upon his own knowledge, but he does not seem in the least to question the reality of the fact.

4. “De Cometa anni 1618,Antwerp, 1619, against opinions of Copernicus respecting the motion of the earth. 5. “De vi formatrice foetus liber, in quo ostenditur animam rationalem infundi tertia die,” ibid. 1620. This work was attacked with considerable success, by Louis du Gardin, a professor of Douay, and Fienus replied in, 6. “De formatrice foetus adversus Ludovicum du Gardin, &c.” Louvaine, 1624. His opinion was also impugned by Santa Cruz, the physician of Philip IV. which produced, 7. “Pro sua de anijnatione fcetds tertia die opinione Apologia, adversus Antonium Ponce Santa Cruz, Regis Hispaniarmn Medicum Cubicularem, &c.” Louvaine, 1629. 8. “Semiotice, sive de signis medicis Tractatus,Leyden, 1664. 1

Niceron, vols. II. and X. —Moreri. —Foppen Bibl. Belg.Rees’s Cyclopædia from —Eloy.