The Consilia Attributed To Arnau De Vilanova1

In: Early Science and Medicine
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  • 1 Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

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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.

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