Abstracts

"Astrology in the service of the crown: Bartomeu de Tresbens, physician and astrologer to King Pere the Ceremonious of Aragon", Journal of Medieval History, 44/1 (2018),  Accés a l'article complet (a Taylor and Francis). Preprint or Author’s Original Manuscript (PDF).

Bartomeu de Tresbens (fl. 1359–75) was a physician and astrologer in the service of King Pere the Ceremonious of Aragon and his son Joan, both of them keenly interested in providing patronage for astronomy-astrology. Tresbens dedicated a set of astrological treatises in Catalan to Pere. He was the author of the most outstanding body of astrological work written in the vernacular in the medieval West. However, it has scarcely been studied: only his longest treatise has been edited, though insufficiently analysed, whereas his other works remain to be researched. This paper outlines Tresbens' life and his relationship with the monarchy, and presents an overview of his works. Tresbens is revealed to be a distinguished individual whose case can help us understand the role of astrologers in medieval European courts.


"Drawing from the marrow of the authors of astrology: The sources of Bartomeu de Tresbens, Astrologer to King Pere the Ceremonious of Aragon", Boudet, Jean-Patrice - Ostorero, Martine - Paravicini Bagliani, Agostino (eds.), De Frédéric II à Rodolphe II. Astrologie, divination et magie dans les cours (XIIIe-XVIIe siècle), Florència, SISMEL- Edizioni del Galluzzo (Micrologus Library, 85), 2017, pp. 71-96.

Bartomeu de Tresbens (fl. 1359-1375), physician and astrologer of King Pere the Ceremonious of Aragon, dedicated him a set of astrological treatises in Catalan: Llibre de les nativitats («Book of nativities»), Tractat de les interrogacions («Treatise on interrogations»), Tractat de les eleccions («Treatise on elections») and Libel d’investigació de tresors («Booklet of research into treasures»). The aim of this paper is to study Tresbens’ sources, which have never been systematically analysed. Tresbens declares that he composed these works after consulting many reliable astrology books. He certainly cites many of the most prestigious Greek and Arabic astrologers, but he did not really used all the authors cited in his works. Abenragel is his main source, but he also bases on Omar, Albumasar, Alcabitius, the Centiloquium, the Liber novem iudicum and Messahala. However, Tresbens is not merely a compiler: sometimes he makes a critical use of his sources, by contradicting, correcting or completing them, and provides his own views, materials or experiences.


"El Liber experimentorum, un llibre de màgia en occità falsament atribuït a Arnau de Vilanova", Medioevo romanzo, 41/1 (2017), 188-193.

El Liber experimentorum és un breu tractat escrit en occità amb el propòsit fonamental de donar indicacions sobre els dies i les hores propícies d’acord amb els astres per a nombroses accions diverses, principalment per a operacions màgiques, moltes d’elles explícitament nigromàntiques. Es tracta d’un dels rars escrits medievals en romanç coneguts sobre màgia ritual i d’imatges que es pot considerar una obra d’autor. Tanmateix, el veritable autor sembla amagar-se sota el nom de qui es presenta com a traductor, Guillem de Perissa, mentre atribueix l’original a Arnau de Vilanova. L’origen d’aquesta atribució apòcrifa s’ha de relacionar amb la llegenda d’Arnau com a mestre d’arts ocultes.

The Liber experimentorum is a brief treatise in Occitan whose main purpose is to give indications on the days and the hours astrologically propitious for numerous different actions, mostly magical operations, many of them explicitly necromantic. It is one of the rare known medieval writings in a Romance language concerning ritual and image magic that can be considered an author’s work. However, its true author seems to be hidden under the name of the alleged translator, Guillem de Perissa, who attributes the original to Arnau de Vilanova. The origin of this attribution should be related to Arnau’s legend as a master of occult arts.


"The Liber Lune and the Liber Solis attributed to Hermes in the MS Vatican, B.A.V., Barb. lat. 3589", Cahiers de recherches médiévales et humanistes / Journal of Medieval and Humanistic Studies, 33 (2017), pp. 103-126.

The Liber Solis and the Liber Lune belong to the Hermetic Liber de imaginibus septem planetarum ex scientia Abel, a medieval collection on images of planetary image magic. This article focuses on the incomplete text of both books transmitted by MS Vatican, B.A.V., Barb. lat. 3589. An edited transcription of this text is provided in an appendix.

Le Liber Solis et le Liber Lune appartiennent à l ’ouvrage hermétique intitulé Liber de imaginibus septem ex scientia planetarum Abel, compilation médiévale sur les images planétaires magiques. Cet article étudie le texte incomplète des deux livres transmis par le ms. Vatican, B.A.V., Barb. lat. 3589. Une transcription de ce texte est fournie en annexe.


"La fi d'una llegenda: Arnau de Vilanova davant la màgia i l'astrologia", Mot so razo, 16 (2017), pp. 39-54.

Aquest article pretén revisar el pensament i la pràctica d'Arnau de Vilanova al voltant de la màgia i l'astrologia, dos aspectes que van tenir un gran pes en la formació de la visió llegendària d'Arnau que ha perviscut fins a avui. En realitat, segons es desprèn de l'estudi de la seva obra autèntica, l'actitud d'Arnau davant les arts ocultes era en la línia de la de les elits intel·lectuals del seu entorn: rebutjava la nigromància o màgia demoníaca alhora que acceptava l'existència de les propietats ocultes provinents dels astres, sobre les quals es fonamentava la màgia natural. En la seva obra i pràctica mèdiques va justificar i emprar remeis basats en aquestes propietats i va aplicar tècniques basades en l'astrologia. Tanmateix, l'anàlisi del contingut i de la tradició textual dels tractats d'astrologia mèdica atribuïts a ell demostra que són apòcrifs.


"Conversione e crociata nel profetismo di Arnau de Vilanova", Giuseppe Pantano (ed.), Arnaldo da Villanova e la Sicilia. I Convegno Internazionale in memoria di Alessandro Musco (Montalbano Elicona, 7-9 maggio 2015), Palermo, Officina di Studi Medievali (Biblioteca dell'Officina di Studi Medievali, 20), 2017, pp. 49-64.

Sebbene la conversione degli infedeli e le crociate non facciano parte dei principali argomenti del suo pensiero spirituale, Arnau de Vilanova vi accenna in diverse sue opere, scritte tra il 1292 e il 1310, nell’ambito del suo profetismo apocalittico: Allocutio super significacione nominis,Thetagramaton, De tempore adventus Antichristi, Informació espiritual, Raonament d’Avinyó, Tractatus contra passagium in partes utramarinas. Questo lavoro intende studiare l’evoluzione delle sue idee sulla conversione dei musulmani al cristianesimo e sulle crociate: nei primi scritti, Arnau colloca la conversione degli infedeli verso la metà del XIV secolo (pacifica), ma in seguito la anticipa agli inizi del medesimo secolo; per quanto riguarda le crociate passa da un iniziale rifiuto all’approvazione condizionata nelle opere più tarde. Parallelamente analizziamo qui l’intervento diplomatico di Arnau a favore della crociata in Terra Santa progettata dal re Federico III di Sicilia, non realizzata, e della spedizione di re Giacomo II d’Aragona contro l’Almeria, effettivamente compiuta tra il 1309 e il 1310. L’interesse di entrambi i sovrani a promuovere le rispettive crociate, oltre alla crociata ospedaliera del 1310, sostenuta dal papa Clemente V, può spiegare il cambiamento nella posizione di Arnau, che cercava l’appoggio di questi governanti per il suo programma di riforma socio-religiosa.

Parole chiave: Arnau de Vilanova, crociate, conversione, Islam, profetismo.

Even though the conversion of the infidels and the Crusades are not among the main topics in his spiritual thinking, Arnau de Vilanova did reflect on them in several of his works written between 1292 and 1310 related to his apocalyptic prophecies: Allocutio super significacione nominis,Thetagramaton, De tempore adventus Antichristi, Informació espiritual, Raonament d’Avinyó, Tractatus contra passagium in partes utramarinas. This study examines the evolution of his ideas around the conversion of Muslims to Christianity and the Crusades: in his earliest writings, Arnau dated the conversion of the infidels to the mid-14th century – a peaceful one– and later moved it towards the early part of that century; regarding the Crusades, he went from initial rejection to conditional approval in his later works. In parallel, the study also examines Arnau’s diplomatic actions in favour of King Federic III of Sicily’s planned Crusade to the Holy Land, which never came to fruition, and of King Jaume II of Aragon’s expedition against Almeria, which did occur between 1309 and 1310. All the sovereigns’ interest in promoting their respective Crusades, in addition to the 1310 Crusade of the Hospitallers backed by Pope Clement V, can explain Arnau’s shift in attitude, as he sought these rulers’ support for his programme of social-religious reform.

Keywords: Arnau de Vilanova, Crusades, conversion, Islam, prophecy.


"Arnau DB. Corpus digital d'Arnau de Vilanova, una risorsa online al servizio della ricerca e della divulgazione", Giuseppe Pantano (ed.), Arnaldo da Villanova e la Sicilia. I Convegno Internazionale in memoria di Alessandro Musco (Montalbano Elicona, 7-9 maggio 2015), Palermo, Officina di Studi Medievali (Biblioteca dell'Officina di Studi Medievali, 20), 2017, pp. 147-153.

Arnau DB. Corpus digitale d’Arnau de Vilanova è una risorsa digitale ancora in corso di elaborazione costituita da una pagina web e da una serie di basi di dati create con due obiettivi fondamentali: la divulgazione e il supporto alla ricerca sulla figura e l’opera del medico e riformatore spirituale Arnau de Vilanova. Al fine di rimuovere la visione distorta pur ancora presente su questo personaggio, la pagina web offre una sintesi aggiornata e rigorosa, per il momento in tre lingue (catalano, spagnolo e inglese), sulla biografia di Arnau de Vilanova nonché sul corpus degli scritti di carattere medico, religioso e alchemico che sono in circolo sotto il suo nome, sia quelli autentici sia quelli a lui attribuiti in modo apocrifo, oltre a un approccio alla sua eredità e al suo mito. D’altro canto, al fine di focalizzare e fornire gli strumenti fondamentali per la ricerca rispetto a questo autore, sono presenti cinque basi di dati, cui sarà possibile accedere dalla medesima pagina web, che raccolgono la bibliografia contemporanea su Arnau, i documenti d’archivio legati alla sua biografia, così come le opere costituenti il corpus dell’autore e i manoscritti e le edizioni moderne che le trasmettono. Tutte e cinque le basi di dati sono connesse, inoltre, a elenchi di materie e nomi di persona allo scopo di poter incrociare le informazioni che vi sono contenute.

Parole chiave: Arnau de Vilanova, medicina medievale, filosofia medievale, basi di date, umanità digitali.

Arnau DB is a digital resource still under development which consists of a website and a series of databases created with two fundamental objectives: dissemination and support research regarding the figure and works of the physician and spiritual reformer, Arnau de Vilanova. In order to combat the distorted vision of Arnau de Vilanova that still survives, the website offers an up-to-date, rigorous synthesis, so far in three languages – Catalan, Spanish and English – on the biography of Arnau de Vilanova and on the corpus of medical, religious and alchemical writings which circulated under his name, both the authentic ones and those which were apocryphally attributed to him. It also contains an examination of his legacy to posterity and his myth. Likewise, in order to gather and provide the basic tools for research into this author, five databases, which will be accessible from the website itself, contain the contemporary bibliography around Arnau, the archive documents related to his biography, and the works that comprise the corpus of Arnau, the manuscripts and early modern editions that transmit them. All five databases are also interrelated and connected with lists of subjects and authors’ names in order to cross-reference the information they contain.

Keywords: Arnau de Vilanova, medieval medicine, medieval philosophy, databases, digital humanities.


"The Melancholy of the Necromancer in Arnau de Vilanova's Epistle against Demonic Magic", Bhayro, Siam - Rider, Catherine (eds.), Demons and Illness from Antiquity to the Early-Modern Period, Leiden - Boston, Brill (Magical and Religious Literature of Late Antiquity, 5), 2017, pp. 271-290. Accés al capítol complet (PDF).

The famous physician Arnau de Vilanova (c. 1240-1311) ends his Epistola de reprobacione nigromantice ficcionis (also known as De improbacione maleficiorum) concluding that necromancers suffer a species of occult melancholy, since they believe that they practice a rational science and that they can master demons to fulfill their will. My paper discusses which are the authentic medical sources of this diagnosis, hidden under Galen's name, and its real intention.


En col·laboració amb Manuel Ramírez i Manel Garcia) "Epigraphia 3D. Un proyecto de innovación científica en la divulgación del patrimonio epigráfico de Hispania", Epigrahica. Periodico internazionale di epigrafia, 77 (2015), pp. 371-396. Accés a l'article complet (PDF).

Los avances experimentados en los últimos años en las tecnologías basadas en el procesamiento de las fotografías digitales, permite abordar proyectos de modelización 3D de inscripciones romanas, como el realizado en el Museo Arqueológico Nacional (Madrid). La utilización de esta tecnología innovadora aporta a los especialistas mejores reproducciones que la fotografía convencional, que supondrán un enriquecimiento de las bases de datos epigráficas, pero su utilidad se extiende también a la propia enseñanza de la Epigrafía.

The most recent advances in digital image processing have made 3D scanning of Roman inscriptions a reality, the project carried out in the Madrid Archeological Museum being just one clear example of this. The use of this innovative technology has furnished scholars with better epigraphic data; its applications, however, go far beyond these boundaries, extending to new ways of teaching Epigraphy itself.


"Les traduccions atribuïdes a Arnau de Vilanova en la impremta moderna", Medievalia, 18/1 (2015), 175-188. Accés a l'article complet (PDF).

Aquest treball analitza la fortuna editorial de les traduccions mèdiques atribuïdes a Arnau de Vilanova durant l'edat moderna (1476-1608), tant les autèntiques —De rigore et tremore et iectigatione et spasmo de Galè, De viribus cordis d'Avicenna— com les que actualment es consideren apòcrifes —De lege d'Hipòcrates, De physicis ligaturis de Costa ben Luca. No solament s'hi revisen les diverses edicions de cadascuna d'elles, gairebé sempre dins de grans recopilacions mèdiques, sinó que es pretenen situar dins el context dels corrents intel·lectuals de la medicina coetània.

The translations attributed to Arnau de Vilanova in the Early Modern Print.

This paper analyzes the editorial fortune of the medical translations attributed to Arnau de Vilanova in the Early Modern Times (1476-1608), both authentic —Galen's De rigore et tremore et iectigatione et spasmo, Avicenna's De viribus cordis— and those today considered apocryphal —Hippocrates's De lege, Costa ben Luca's De physicis ligaturis. 'e editions of each translation, usually printed in large medical compilations, not only are r viewed, but also are intended to be placed in the context of the intellectual currents of contemporary medicine.


"The manuscript of a medieval necromancer: Magic in Occitan and Latin in ms. Vaticano, BAV, Barb. lat. 3589", Revue d'histoire des textes, n. s., 9 (2014), pp. 221-272. ISBN: 978-2-503-54985-9 (Brepols). Accés a a l'article complet (PDF) a Brepols.

MS Vatican BAV, Barb. Lat. 3589 has been known to scholars since the 19th century but so far has not been studied thoroughly. This article aims to investigate its contents and its composition not only by identifying the writings contained therein and their sources, as far as possible, but also by searching clues left by its compiler while copying it in order to understand his profile and his manner of working. Upon examination this codex has proved to be an outstanding document for the study of medieval magic for a large number of reasons. It reveals previously unnoticed works, including one as remarkable as the Libre de puritats, and it is a rare sample of necromancy in a Romance language – Occitan – together with its interaction with Latin. It also constitutes a new witness, although incomplete, of writings about occult arts known through other Latin manuscripts, in particular Liber septem planetarum ex scientia Abel, De officiis spirituum and perhaps Liber Veneris. In addition, the codex shows evidence of the use in the Middle Ages of fundamental manuals of magic such as Liber Razielis and Picatrix, whose medieval circulation is not well known. Further it is a source to find out titles of many lost works and even to learn about their contents. Finally it allows us to approach the way an early 15th-century necromancer formed his own collection of magic books and resources.

Le manuscrit d'un nigromancien médiévale: Magie en occitan et latin dans le ms. Vatican BAV, Barb. Lat. 3589

Le manuscrit Vaticano, BAV, Barb. lat. 3589 est connu des chercheurs depuis le XIXe siècle, mais jusqu'à présent n’avait pas été étudié en profondeur. Cet article se propose d’analyser son contenu et sa composition, non seulement en identifiant les écrits qui y sont conservés et leurs sources, dans la mesure du possible, mais aussi en recherchant des indices laissés par son compilateur pendant le processus de copie, afin de comprendre sa personnalité et sa manière de travailler. Un examen de ce codex montre qu’il constitue un document exceptionnel pour l'étude de la magie médiévale, pour un grand nombre de raisons. Il révèle des oeuvres jusque-là passées inaperçues, notamment le remarquable Libre de puritats, et il est l’un des rares témoignages de nécromancie dans une langue romane (l’occitan) en interaction avec le latin. En outre, il constitue un nouveau témoignage, bien qu’incomplet, d’écrits consacrés aux arts occultes connus par d’autres manuscrits latins, en particulier, le Liber septem planetarum ex scientia Abel, le De officiis spirituum et peut-être le Liber Veneris. En outre, le manuscrit offre des preuves de l’utilisation au Moyen Âge de manuels fondamentaux de magie, comme le Liber Razielis et le Picatrix, dont la circulation médiévale n’est pas bien connue. De plus, il offre des renseignements sur les titres de nombreuses oeuvres perdues et même sur leur contenu. Enfin, il nous permet de connaître la manière dont un nécromancien du début du XVe siècle a formé sa propre collection de livres et de ressources magiques.


"Aristoteles imperfectus. Natural Divination, Dream and Prophecy in the Latin Middle Ages (1210–1310)", Alexander Fidora (ed.), Die mantischen Künste und die Epistemologie prognostischer Wissenschaften im Mittelalter, Colònia - Weimar - Viena, Boehlau Verlag (Beihefte zum Archiv für Kulturgeschichte, 74), 2013, pp. 23-59. This study aims to examine the concept of natural divination both in dreams and in waking, according to the different approaches developed by eminent Latin thinkers of the thirteenth century after the reception of the “new Aristotle” and Arabic Aristotelianism. The concept of natural divination was spread in these textual corpora which had recently been translated or were still being translated. As a consequence, it became a controversial idea in a key period in which the boundaries between the sacred and the natural, between the spheres of religious and profane learning, were being redefining towards an increasing naturalization of the worldview. This particular issue can be considered a case study of how the naturalistic approach of Aristotle and Arabic Aristotelianism was assimilated and reconciled with the Christian faith. Divination and prophecy allow us to explore the boundaries between natural, divine and demoniac worlds in the late Middle Ages. Therefore, it is understandable that natural divination was discussed not only in works on natural philosophy but also in theological writings on account of the interest in discerning divine prophecy and natural prophecy. Some theologians also question the boundaries of both these prophecies with necromantic divination. The causality attributed to each of these prophetic experiences is also the basis for the considerations regarding their epistemological validity, their place in the system of sciences and the factors that condition the reception of knowledge about the future.


"The Legend of Arnau de Vilanova, from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern Times", Micrologus: Natura, Scienze e Società Medievali, 21, 2013, pp. 411–444.

Although the contemporary research has managed to reveal his historical figure, the legend of the physician and religious reformer Arnau de Vilanova (c. 1240-1311) has not vanished yet. This article reviews Arnau's biographical accounts or allusions to him made by medieval and early modern authors in order to explore how his myth was created and developed from his lifetime to the Early Modern Ages. Arnau's medieval legends as a necromancer, alchemist and prophet converged into an archetypical image of him as a physician-magician and polymath according to the Renaissance ideal. Each one of the three medieval traditions seems to have been born separately. However, the religious nonconformism of the historical Arnau and the image of him which was transmitted by the detractors of his spiritual thought apparently had an outstanding role in their origin.


"Màgia medieval en occità i llatí: el Libre de puritats i els altres escrits del còdex Barberiniano Latino 3589", Alberni, Anna - Badia, Lola - Cifuentes, Lluís - Fidora, Alexander (eds.), El saber i les llengües vernacles a l'època de Llull i Eiximenis: estudis ICREA sobre vernacularització = Knowledge and Vernacular Languages in the Age of Llull and Eiximenis: ICREA Studies on Vernacularization, Barcelona, Publicacions de l'Abadia de Montserrat (Textos i estudis de cultura catalana, 170), 2012, pp. 201-216.

This paper aims to embark on the systematic analysis of the content of the Codex Barberiniano Latino 3589 in the Vatican —which has to date only been studied very superficially—, focusing on the largest component work, the Libre de puritats.The manuscript contains a series of anonymous texts on ritual and astral magic, some in Latin but most in Occitan, not in Catalan as had been previously thought. It is divided into three parts. The first (ff. 2r-28v) and second (ff. 29r-51v), according to all the signs, belong to the same treatise on Solomonic magic in Occitan, the Libre de puritats, while the third (ff. 52r-83v) is a collection of extracts, experiments and short treatises in Latin and Occitan, many of which are incomplete or lack a title, and which belong to several different traditions of magic: Solomonic, hermetic, astrological, etc. There are essentially two hands in the manuscript: the first less careful hand copied the first and third parts, and the second copied the remainder with a greater degree of accuracy. Despite the variety in content, it appears that the volume was not put together arbitrarily, but is a collection of writings for personal use, of interest to the first copyist. This scribe comes across as an expert in literature on magic: he knows some Hebrew and he includes texts that he requires and omits a considerable number of passages that he already has. Furthermore he made use of a partial copy of the Libre de puritats copied by the second hand. From internal references, we can conclude that the Libre de puritats originally had three sections: the first (ff. 3r-28v) deals with how to control angels and other spirits through Semiforas and psalms recited in pertinent astrological conditions, with the support of rites, fumigations and animal sacrifices; the second, which centres on an explanation of Teberiadi's treatise Art de caractas (ff. 29r-51v), is structured around ten tables with values given for characters and letters, which represent all the elements in the universe and are also of use in operations to invoke angels at astrologically significant times; as for the third part, we are told that it is an explanation of the Art of Images attributed to Hermes but it has not survived in the manuscript, and was probably lost along with the missing folios. The study of the remaining parts in this paper is accompanied by a parallel analysis of the main sources, which concludes that the work is based on the Latin version of the Liber Razielis and on several of the annexed treatises also in Latin that were added on the initiative of Alfonso X. Finally, it is worth highlighting that the Libre de puritats is one of the rare extant examples of the vernacularization of medieval spiritualist magic. It is notable for the breadth of its scope, for the way in which texts from a variety of highly technical sources have been reworked and for its combination of theory and practice.

Aquest treball pretén iniciar l’anàlisi sistemàtica del contingut del còdex vaticà Barberiniano Latino 3589 –fins ara estudiat molt superficialment–, centrant-se en l’obra que n’ocupa la major part: el Libre de puritats.
El manuscrit conté un seguit de textos de màgia ritual i astral anònims, alguns en llatí però la majoria en occità –no pas en català com s’havia dit fins ara. De les tres parts fonamentals que s’hi distingeixen la primera (ff. 2r-28v) i la segona (ff. 29r-51v), d’acord amb tots els indicis, pertanyen a un mateix tractat de màgia salomònica en occità, el Libre de puritats, mentre que la tercera (ff. 52r-83v) recopila un seguit d’extractes, experiments i petits tractats en llatí i en occità, molts d’ells incomplets o sense títol, pertanyents a diverses tradicions màgiques –salomònica, hermètica, astrològica... El còdex està escrit fonamentalment a dues mans: la primera mà descurada que copia la primera i tercera part, i una segona mà que transcriu la segona part, amb un format força més acurat. Malgrat el seu contingut variat, no sembla un volum reunit de manera arbitrària sinó un recull per a ús propi, que respon als interessos del primer copista. Aquest es revela com un expert de la literatura màgica: té coneixements d’hebreu i va recopilant-hi els escrits que li falten alhora que omet un gran nombre de passatges i obres que ja posseeix. D’altra banda hauria aprofitat una còpia parcial del Libre de les puritats realitzada per la segona mà.
A partir de les referències internes es conclou que el Libre de puritats constava originalment de tres seccions: la primera (ff. 3r-28v) cerca controlar els àngels i altres esperits a partir dels Semiforas i de salms recitats en les condicions astrològiques pertinents, amb el suport de ritus, fumigacions i sacrificis d’animals; la segona, orientada a explicar el tractat titulat Art de caractas de Teberiadi (ff. 29r-51v), s’estructura sobre l’eix de deu taules amb el valor dels caràcters i les lletres, que representen tots els elements de l’univers i que també serveixen en les operacions per invocar els àngels en el moment astrològicament significatiu; pel que fa a la tercera se’ns anuncia que ha d’explicar l’Art de ymages atribuïda a Hermes, però no s’ha transmès en el còdex i probablement s’ha perdut amb els fulls que hi manquen. L’estudi del contingut de les parts conservades realitzat en aquest treball va paral·lel amb l’anàlisi de les seves fonts principals, a partir de la qual es conclou que l’obra parteix de la versió llatina del Liber Razielis i de diversos dels tractats annexos també en llatí que s’hi afegiren per iniciativa d’Alfons X.
Finalment val la pena destacar que el Libre de puritats és una de les rares mostres conservades de vernacularització de la màgia espiritualista medieval, amb una extensió molt notable i que reflecteix una capacitat de reelaborar textos de diverses fonts amb un elevat grau de tecnificació i de combinar la teoria amb la pràctica.


"Dissipabitur secta Mahometi. Croada i profecia en Arnau de Vilanova", José Martínez Gázquez - Óscar De la Cruz Palma - Cándida Ferrero Hernández (eds.), Estudios de Latín Medieval Hispánico. Actas del V Congreso Internacional de Latín Medieval Hispánico (Barcelona, 7-10 de septiembre de 2009), Firenze, SISMEL · Edizioni del Galluzzo (Millennio Medievale, 92), 2011, ISBN 978-88-8450429-6. Accés a la comunicació completa (PDF).

Arnau de Vilanova's position on the crusades, in the frame of his apocalyptic prophetism, evolved from their rejection to a conditioned approval throughout a process influenced by the projects of crusade of both king of Aragon and king of Sicily, whose projects he took part in as a negotiator.

La posició d'Arnau de Vilanova davant les croades, dins l'esquema del seu profetisme apocalíptic, va evolucionar des del rebuig inicial fins a una acceptació condicionada al llarg d'un procés influït pels projectes de croada tant del rei d'Aragó com del rei de Sicília, projectes en els quals va intervenir com a negociador.


"Magia y ciencia en la Baja Edad Media: la construcción de los límites entre la magia natural y la nigromancia (c. 1230 - c. 1310)", Clío & Crimen, 8 (2011), 15-72. Accés a l'article complet (PDF).

This paper aims to analyze the concept developed by the leading intellectuals of the 13th and the early 14th century concerning natural magic –licit as it is based on the occult properties of astrological origin– and necromancy –illicit because it is founded upon the invocation of spirits–, as well the criteria used by them to draw the boundaries between both kinds of magic. From the view expressed by each of the authors regarding the different magical resources it is intended to detect the agreements and divergences among them when they are trying to discriminate what is considered legitimate from what is not.

El presente trabajo pretende analizar la concepción que los intelectuales más destacados del siglo XIII e inicios del XIV desarrollan acerca de la magia natural y de la nigromancia –la una lícita en tanto que se basa en las propiedades ocultas de origen astrológico, la otra ilícita porque se fundamenta en la invocación a los espíritus–, así como los criterios a los que recurren para trazar la frontera entre ambas. A partir del juicio que expresa cada uno de los autores ante los diversos recursos mágicos se buscan los puntos de acuerdo y las divergencias entre ellos en la discriminación entre lo legítimo y lo ilegítimo."


"Arnau de Vilanova en la Reforma protestant", Faventia, 31 (2009), 201-212. Accés a l'article complet (PDF).

Per primera vegada s’estudia la recepció de l’obra espiritual d’Arnau de Vilanova en el món editorial de la Reforma protestant. Mentre que el corpus mèdic i alquímic atribuït a Arnau  tingué una amplíssima difusió en la impremta moderna, només un escrit espiritual fou editat: la Interpretatio de visionibus in somniïs. Aquesta presència es deu al teòleg luterà Flacius Illyricus, que inclogué una notícia d’Arnau en el seu Catalogus testium veritatis (Basilea 1556), i després imprimí la Interpretatio en l’apèndix d’aquest llibre (1562). S’hi segueix la fortuna editorial d’aquests materials arnaldians en totes les edicions successives del Catalogus en llatí, alemany i neerlandès, així com en les de les Lectiones memorabiles de Johann Wolff. A més, s’hi analitza l’interès de Flacius per Arnau (la crítica a l’Església com un precedent de la Reforma), les fonts per a la seva notícia d’Arnau (Eimeric) i si és possible rastrejar el manuscrit origen del text.
Paraules clau: Matthias Flacius, Reforma protestant, impremta moderna, Arnau de Vilanova.

Arnau de Vilanova in the Protestant Reformation
Approach to the reception of Arnau de Vilanova’s religious work in the editorial world related to the Protestant Reformation, specially through Matthias Flacius Illyricus.
Key words: Matthias Flacius, Protestant Reformation, modern printing, Arnau de Vilanova.


"Proprietas. Las propiedades ocultas según Arnau de Vilanova", Traditio. Studies in ancient and medieval thought, History, and religion, 63 (2008), pp. 327-360, ISSN: 0362-1529 (Fordham University, New York, EUA). Accés a a l'article complet (PDF) a JSTOR i a Project Muse.

This article comprehensively approaches the concept of hidden properties or proprietas from several medical writings of Arnau de Vilanova. He defines them as properties imbued in natural or artificial beings by the stars at the time of their creation. They can only be known by experience and cannot be predicted by reason. They are the basis of the so-called natural magic. Arnau’s sources for the conception of such phenomenon (Avicenna, Galen and Luca ben Costa), the therapeutic uses given by this author to them, and also their role in his pharmacological theory and epistemological framework are studied here. All this allows us to evaluate the actual weight of natural magic in Arnau’s medicine, which grew over time but it was always quite small, although it has been overestimated by the traditional view of Arnau.

El artículo presenta una aproximación completa al concepto de propiedades ocultas o proprietas a partir de los diversos escritos médicos de Arnau de Vilanova que tratan de ellas. Las define como unas propiedades imbuidas en los seres naturales o artificiales por los astros en el momento de su creación. Sólo pueden ser conocidas por la experiencia y no pueden ser previstas por la razón. Son la base de la llamada magia natural. Se estudian las fuentes para la concepción arnaldiana de este fenómeno (Avicena, Costa bien Luca y Galeno), los usos terapéuticos que les atribuía Arnau, su papel en la teoría farmacológica y en el marco epistemológico arnaldiana. Todo ello permite evaluar el peso real de la magia natural en la medicina de Arnau, que creció con el tiempo pero que fue siempre bastante minoritario, a pesar de haber sido sobrevalorado en la visión tradicional de este importante médico medieval.

L'article presenta una aproximació completa al concepte de propietats ocultes o proprietas a partir dels diversos escrits mèdics d’Arnau de Vilanova que tracten d’elles. Les defineix com unes propietats imbuïdes en els éssers naturals o artificials pels astres en el moment de la seva creació. Només poden ser conegudes per l’experiència i no poden ser previstes per la raó. Són la base de l’anomenada màgia natural. S’hi estudien les fonts per a la concepció arnaldiana d’aquest fenomen (Avicenna, Costa ben Luca i Galè), els usos terapèutics que els atribuïa Arnau, el seu paper en la teoria farmacològica i en el marc epistemològic arnaldians. Tot plegat permet avaluar el pes real de la màgia natural en la medicina d’Arnau, que va créixer amb el temps però que va ser sempre força minoritari, malgrat haver estat sobrevalorat en la visió tradicional d’aquest important metge medieval.


"La tradition médicale d'Arnaud de Villeneuve, du manuscrit à l'imprimé", Médiévales: Langue, Textes, Histoire, 52 (2007), 75-88. Accés al text complet.

Les éditions générales d'Arnaud de Villeneuve publiées au XVIe siècle donnent l'occasion d'une réflexion autour de ses relations avec la tradition manuscrite. Apparemment, le travail de son éditeur scientifique, Tommaso Murchi, visa à compiler, essentiellement à partir de quelques manuscrits, toute l'œuvre ayant trait à la médecine qu'il pensait être écrite par Arnaud, mais avec un biais vers les arts occultes qui le conduisit à inclure quelques rares écrits alchimiques. De toute façon, les textes rassemblés ne proviennent pas tous de manuscrits, et au moins trois parmi les plus longs proviennent d'incunables. D'autre part, l'intervention éditoriale dans les textes se révèle inégale et peu systématique, ce qui rend nécessaire une évaluation particulière de leur utilité lorsque l'on entreprend l'édition critique de chacune des œuvres arnaldiennes. En définitive, les éditions arnaldiennes permettent de voir que le passage du manuscrit à l'imprimé n'a pas signifié une rupture immédiate, mais plutôt une évolution qui a affecté le travail autour du texte et les intérêts intellectuels qui lui étaient liés.

The Medical Tradition of Arnau de Vilanova from Manuscript to Printed Book. The general editions of Arnau de Vilanova published in the 16th century give us the opportunity to reflect about their relationship with the manuscript tradition. Apparently the work of their editor, Tommaso Murchi, was oriented to compiling, basically from some codices, the whole work of medical subject that he presumed to be written by Arnau, but with a bias towards the occult arts that led him to include a few alchemical writings. Anyway not all the texts collected in the general editions come from manuscripts but at least three of the longest stem from incunabula. On the other hand the editorial intervention in the texts was unequal and little systematic. Therefore a particular appraisal about their utility is needed as the critical edition of each Arnaldian work is undertaken. At last in the Arnaldian editions it is possible to see that the passage from the manuscript to the print did not mean an immediate breach but rather an evolution that affected the work about the text and the intellectual interests related to it.

Keywords: Arnau de Vilanova, early press, manuscript, medical writings, textual criticism
Mots-clés: Arnaud de Villeneuve, critique textuelle, débuts de l’imprimerie, écrits médicaux, imprimerie, manuscrit


"Medicina i astrologia en el corpus arnaldià”, Dynamis, 26 (2006), pp. 15-38. ISSN: 0211-9536 (Editorial Universidad de Granada). Accés a l'article complet (PDF).

The role of astrology in Arnau de Vilanova’s medical work is revisited with special attention to the problems of authorship posed by the astrological writings of Arnau’s corpus and to their hypothetical chronology.

Keywords: Arnau de Vilanova, medical astrology, authorship.

1.—Astrology in the works of Arnau de Vilanova. 2.—The astrological seals. 3.— Writings on seals. 4.—Jewish circles. 5.—Authorship of De
Iudicis Astonomie. 6.—A time for astrology?

Es revisa el paper de l’astrologia en l’obra mèdica d’Arnau de Vilanova amb una atenció especial envers els problemes d’autoria que plantegen els escrits astrològics del corpus arnaldià i envers la hipotètica delimitació cronològica d’aquest recurs.
Paraules clau: Arnau de Vilanova, astrologia mèdica, autoria.

1.—L’astrologia en l’obra d’Arnau de Vilanova. 2.—Els segells astrològics. 3—Escrits sobre segells. 4.—Els medis jueus. 5.—Autoria del De Iudiciis astronomie. 6.—Un temps per a l’astrologia?


"Vides modernes d'Arnau de Vilanova", Faventia, 28/1-2 (2006), 137-145. Accés a l'article complet (PDF).

Aproximació a algunes biografies d’Arnau de Vilanova escrites en l’edat moderna com un mitjà per a conèixer la pervivència de la seva figura i la recepció del corpus mèdic i alquímic arnaldià.
Paraules clau: medicina, alquímia, impremta moderna, llatí modern, Arnau de Vilanova.

Approach to some biographies of Arnau de Vilanova written in Modern Age as a way to know his survival and the reception of the medical and alchemical corpus attributed to him.
Key words: medicine, alchemy, modern printing, modern Latin, Arnau de Vilanova.


"El Regimen quartane atribuït a Arnau de Vilanova", Faventia, 27/1 (2005), 97-112. Accés a l'article complet (PDF).

Presentació i edició crítica del Regimen quartane, un breu escrit atribuït a Arnau de Vilanova que dóna un tractament mèdic contra la febre quartana.
Paraules clau: medicina medieval, llatí medieval, Arnau de Vilanova.

Presentation and critical edition of the Regimen quartane, a brief writing attributed to Arnau de Vilanova that gives a medical treatment against the quartan fever.
Key words: medieval medicine, medieval Latin, Arnau de Vilanova.


"El autor del Contra calculum y de otros tres tratados médicos: Arnau de Vilanova o Galvano da Levanto?", Sudhoffs Archiv, 87/1 (2003), 32-68. Accés a l'article complet (PDF) a JSTOR.

Algunos manuscritos, así como las ediciones renacentistas de la obra médica de Arnau de Vilanova (desde la tercera edición) contienen cuatro mongrafías sobre enfermedades específicas: Regimen contra catarrum, De tremore cordis, De epilentia y Tractatus contra calculum. Se había aceptado más o menos su autenticidad en el marco de la discusión sobre la "cuestión arnaldiana", el debate acerca de los numerosos problemas de autoría que afectan a numerosos escritos atribuidos a Arnau. Este artículo se replantea la autoría de los textos mencionados bajo un nuevo aspecto, su posible autoría por parte del médico genovés Galvano da Levanto (muerto en 1312). Los tres primeros son, en realidad, simplemente una versión abreviada de las tres obras de Galvano Remedium salutare contra catarrum, Carisma sanativum tremoris cordis, Liber Salvatoris contra morbum caducum: en su versión abreviada se han omitido esencialmente los capítulos relativos a los aspectos generales de la medicina, así como los que relacionan las enfermedades físicas con cuestiones morales. En el caso del De epilentia el texto abreviado de Galvano aparece combinado en los manuscritos e impresos con otros escritos menores sobre la epilepsia. Alguno de ellos podría ser una obra auténtica de Arnau.
Por otra parte , todos los indicios llevan a la conclusión de que Contra calculum es el mismo Liber Manus Dei contra calculosum languorem dedicado por Galvano al Papa Bonifacio VIII con motivo de su enfermedad de cálculos biliares. Aunque no se conoce ninguna copia manuscrita atribuida a  Galvano, hay un número considerable de criterios que señalan unánimemente al genovés como autor de esta obra. También lo confirma la autoría de Galvano demostrada respecto a las otras tres monografías aquí estudiadas. Estos criterios son la consistencia de la tradición manuscrita, el entrecruzamiento de citas en estos cuatro textos y otros de Galvano, los paralelismos de pasajes y contenidos, la coincidencia de un estilo muy característico, ideas, estructuras y fuentes y de la mezcla dentro de las mismas obras de temas y expresiones teológicos y médicos. El Contra calculum también se muestra coherente con el intento de reconstrucción de la carrera de Galvano que se traza aquí, en el que al parecer tenía un papel crucial para obtener el apoyo del Papa.

Einige Handschrifte, wie auch die Renaissance-Gesamtausgaben, des Medizinwerkes von Arnau de Vilanova (von der dritten Ausgabe an) enthalten vier Abhandlungen über  spezifische Krankheiten: Regimen contra catarrum, De tremore cordis, De epilentia, Tractatus contra calculum. Ihre Authentizität innerhalb der Debatte über die sogenannte “Arnaldische Frage” wurde mehr oder weniger angenommen, Debatte über die zahlreichen Probleme hinsichtlich der Autorschaft, die das unfangreiche Arnau zugeschriebene Werk begleiten. Dieser Artikel interessiert für die Autorschaft der erwähnten Texte unter dem neuen Aspekt, den die Kodex des Arztes aus Genua Galvano da Levanto (1312 gestorben), einführen. Bei den drei ersten handelt es sich in Wirklichkeit nur um eine Abkürzung der drei Werke von Galvano Remedium salutare contra catarrum, Carisma sanativum tremoris cordis, Liber Salvatoris contra morbum caducum, wobei im wesentlichen die Kapitel über allgemeine Aspekte der Medizin weggelassen wurden, sowie diejenigen über Krankheiten, die mit geistigen Leiden behandelt wurden. Im Falle von De epilentia wird der verkürzte Text in den Handschriften und im Druck mit anderen kleineren Schriften über die Epilepsie kombiniert. Einer davon könnte ein authentisches Werk von Arnau sein.
Andererseits führen alle Anzeichen zu der schlussfolgerung, dass Contra calculum derselbe ist wie dem dem Papst Bonifaz VIII anlässlich seiner Gallenstein-Krankheit gewidmeten Liber Manus Dei contra calculosum languorem. Obwohl keine handschriftliche Galvano zugeschriebene Kopie bekannt ist, besteht eine beträchtliche Anzahl von Kriterien, die einstimmig auf den Genuesen als Autor dieses Werkes hinweisen. Gleichzeitig bestätigen sie seine Autorschaft der drei anderen hier  umstrittenen Abhandlungen. Diese Kriterien sind die Konsistenz der handschriftlichen Tradition, die Überschneidung von bestimmten Zitaten in diesen vier Texten und einigen anderen unzweifelhaft Galvano zugeschriebenen, die Übereinstimmung in den verschiedenen Texten von einem sehr charakteristischen Stil, von buchstäblichen Stellen, von zahlreichen gemeinsamen Ideen, Strukturen und Quellen, sowie von der Mischung innerhalb der gleichen Werke ärzticher und theologischer Themen und Ausdrücken. Der Contra calculum erscheint auch kohärent mit der hier versuchten Rekonstruktion der Laufbahn von Galvano, wobei er offenbar einen entscheidenden Platz besass, um die Unterstützung des Papstes zu bekommen.


"Entorn de la tradició textual de la Practica summaria d'Arnau de Vilanova", Dynamis, 24 (2004), pp. 269-280. ISSN: 0211-9536 (Editorial Universidad de Granada). Accés a l'article complet (PDF).

This paper presents the first systematic analysis of the textual tradition of the Practica summaria attributed to Arnau de Vilanova. Its textual tradition, together with the evidence expounded previously by other scholars, confirms Arnau’s authorship of this work.

Aquest treball presenta la primera anàlisi sistemàtica de la tradició textual de la Practica summaria atribuïda a Arnau de Vilanova. La tradició textual d’aquesta obra, juntament amb els indicis i raons exposats anteriorment per altres estudiosos, permet confirmar-ne l’autoria arnaldiana.
Paraules clau: Arnau de Vilanova, manuscrits medievals, medicina pràctica.
Keywords: Arnau de Vilanova, medieval manuscripts, practical medicine.


"The consilia attributed to Arnau de Vilanova", Early science and medicine, 7/4 (2002), 311-356. Accés a l'article a JSTOR.

Four of the works attributed to Arnau de Vilanova may be considered consilia, which is the name of the genre of texts that expound medical treatments for illnesses suffered by specific individuals. In this paper, I first address the problem of their authenticity within the framework of the so-called "Arnaldian question". The evidence presented here confirms that Arnau de Vilanova was the author of the Regimen podagre and the Epistola ad Bremundum Montisferrarii, while the question regarding the authorship of the Regimen quartane and the Cura febris ethice remains unresolved. This article furthermore documents the degree to which the actual cures prescribed by the physician in the consilia agreed with the doctrinal works of the Galenic tradition. It is explained how medieval university-trained physician had to compete with other practitioners and how they tried to outrival them by applying the doctrines of learned medicine to the individual cases at hand.


"Regimen quartane atribuït a Arnau de Vilanova, un consilium polèmic", Batlló Ortiz, Josep - Bernat López, Pasqual - Puig Aguilar, Roser (eds.), Actes de la VI Trobada d'Història de la Ciència i de la Tècnica (Vic, 27, 28 i 29 d'octubre de 2000), Barcelona, Societat Catalana d'Història de la Ciència i de la Tècnica, filial de l'Institut d'Estudis Catalans, 2002, pp. 319-325. Accés a la comunicació completa (Google books).

Paraules clau: consilium, Arnau de Vilanova, febre quartana, sanadors sense llicència

The Regimen quartane attributed to Arnau de Vilanova: a polemical consilium

Summary: Among the medical consilia attributed to the Catalan physician Arnau de Vilanova (c. 1240-1311) there is the Regimen quartane, in which the author indicates an individualized treatment for a sufferer from quartan fever with the characteristic means of medieval galenism: bleeding, medicines and diet. It also includes a theoretical line of argument in defense of the therapeutics prescribed by him, because the author holds harsh polemics with other practitioners, probably unlicensed, in order to convince the adressee of this consilium to follow his own advice and to reject that of his rivals.

Key words: consilium, Arnau de Vilanova, quartan fever, unlicensed practitioners


"Nota sobre alguns ictiònims d'origen occità en textos mèdics d'Arnau de Vilanova i d'altres autors medievals", Estudis Romànics, 24 (2002), pp. 103-108. Accés a l'article complet (PDF).

Alguns noms de peixos i crustacis presents en el Regimen quartane i en el Regimen podagre, atribuïts a Arnau de Vilanova, així com en el Regimen sanitatis dels quatre mestres de la universitat de Montpeller i a la Tabula que medicum informant de Stephanus Arlandi, són mots occitans llatinitzats, el significat i l’origen dels quals s’intenta estudiar aquí en relació amb la probable procedència comuna de tots aquests escrits de la facultat de medicina de Montpeller.

Paraules clau: ictiònims, occità, llatí medieval, Arnau de Vilanova

Some names of fish and crustaceans present in the Regimen quartane and in the Regimen podagre, attributed to Arnau de Vilanova, as well as in the
Regimen sanitatis by the four masters of the university of Montpellier, and to the Tabula que medicum informant by Stephanus Arlandi, are Latinised words from Occitan words, whose meaning and origin are studied here vis-à-vis the probable common origin of all these texts from the School of Medicine of Montpellier.

Key words: Fish terms, Occitan, Medieval Latin, Arnau de Vilanova

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