Arnaldo Da Villanova medieval physician (1235-1311). A first approach

Abstract

Arnaldo de Villanova, was a Catalan Physician, born in Villanova de Grau, a suburb of Valencia – Spain about 1235. He died off the coast of Genoa in 1311 during a sea voyage departing from Messina in Sicily, during a diplomatic mission by Pope Clement V in Avignon on orders by the King of Sicily. He was a so famous and clever scientist of the thirteenth century, to give his name to the Universitary Hospital of Montpellier – France.

His interests ranged from theology, to politics, medicine, and anymore alchemy. He was an adviser and physician of Kings of Aragon, like Peter III the Great (1276-1285) and James II the Right (1285-1327), of Robert of Angiò (1309-1343) of Naples, and of Popes, like Innocenzo V (1276), Bonifacio VIII (1294-1303), Benedetto XI (1303-1304), Clemente V (1305-1314), and of the King of Sicily Federico II of Aragon (1296-1337).

For the Pope Bonifacio VIII, suffering from renal colic due to “kidney stones”, he prescribed Hydrotherapy with “Fiuggi Thermal water”, that was specially transported for him from its source to Rome and Anagni, in “jars wrapped in coarse carpets or wool fabrics”, to better maintain the source temperature. In addition in July of 1301, he also produced an astrological seal (Talisman) made of gold “loaded of virtues”, obtained exposing the seal to the power of the Sun, in those days in the Leo Constellation. This seal was worn by the Pope in an hernial belt of leather to support the kidney, probably to improve his nephroptosis.

Arnaldo produced this seal according to what was described in the book “Picatrix – The goal of the wise” of the Arabic astronomer and alchemist “Abū l-Qāsim Maslama b.- Ahmad al-Majriti”, known with the pseudonym “Ghayat al hakim” died in Cordova about 1008.

Ten years later, after his mysterious death at sea on a Sicilian royal ship, his body was not buried at sea, but was reported in Sicily and buried in the Federician Castle of Montalbano of Elicona at the end of Peloritans Mountains near Milazzo, about 90 km from Messina, where he loved to stay and to write.

Key words: Alchemy, Arnaldo da Villanova, Bonifacio VIII, Fiuggi thermal water, Ghayat al Hakim, Gold Seal, Montalbano di Elicona, Picatrix

 

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