Arnau de Vilanova falls within the Arab-Latin Galenism which arrived massively with the translations by Galen and the Arab medical authors that dominated late mediaeval medicine. Given this avalanche of new texts, Arnau chose to prioritise the direct recovery of Galen and the writings that he believed would enable him to understand him, as opposed to other medical currents that tilted towards the synthesis of Avicenna (Canon), Aristotle according to Averroes’ interpretation or an empirical approach. His declared anti-Averroism was related to his epistemological conception of medicine. On the other hand, one should wonder about the true importance of natural magic and astrology  in Arnau’s medicine, a real yet minor presence which has been exaggerated by Arnaldian legend.

Illustration: Purchasing at the apothecary, a miniature from the Taccuinum. Taccuinum sanitatis, Biblioteca Casanatense, Roma. Source: Wikimedia.