Arnau de Vilanova is one of the great names in mediaeval alchemy because of both his legendary fame and the number and importance of the alchemical works falling under his authorship. Indeed, the corpus alquímic attributed to him in the Middle Ages was composed of around 20 texts, one of the two most extensive ones along with the corpus that has spuriously been attributed to Raimon Llull . So did Arnau truly experiment with and write about alchemy?


Illustration: A mediaeval miniature transformed into a early modern engraving. The four great alchemists: Geber, Arnau, Rhazes and Hermes, in a mediaeval miniature of The Ordinall of Alchemy de Thomas Norton (MS British Library Add. 10302, c. 1477) and in an engraving printed in Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum by Elias Ashmole, London, 1652, p. 44.