Regimen of Health
Arnau de Vilanova (also seen as Arnaldus de Villanova, circa 1238‒1311) was a Christian descended from a family that settled in Valencia immediately after its reconquest by James I of Aragon (known as the Conqueror, 1208‒76). He studied medicine in Montpellier (1260) and worked as a royal doctor in Valencia and Barcelona at the courts of Pedro III, Alfonso III, and James II of Aragon. In addition to being involved in the political and religious questions of his time, he was probably the most important physician in Europe during the Middle Ages. He was the author of major medical works, including the one presented here, Regimen Sanitatis ad regum Aragonum, Medicinalium introductionum speculum (Regimen of health for the kings of Aragon: mirror of the introduction of medicines), as well as of treatises on general pathology and other medical topics. He was known as the "physician to kings and popes." He was also a linguist who had mastered Hebrew, Arabic, and possibly Greek, languages from France and Italy, as well as his working languages, Latin and Valencian. Written in 1308, Regimen Sanitatis was for three centuries one of the most well-regarded medical works in the Latin Christian world. It was also a key text in preventive medicine, in which is presented a set of recommendations on health and safety, nutrition, medicinal plants, and other therapeutic means. The importance of the work is attested to by its wide circulation throughout Europe during the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and in subsequent centuries. Written in poetic form, the book consists of 364 original verses, to which additional strophes were added at a later stage.
Bernardinus de Vitalibus, Venice
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- Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, “Arnau DB. Corpus digital d’Arnau de Vilanova.” http://grupsderecerca.uab.cat/arnau/en.
Last updated: September 5, 2017