Arnaldo of Villanova°

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ARNALDO OF VILLANOVA ° (1240–1311), Spanish theologian, physician, and diplomat. Arnaldo taught medicine in Naples, Montpellier, and Paris. He studied Hebrew and Arabic, as well as talmudic and rabbinical literature under the guidance of Raymond *Martini. Although he aroused official anger by criticizing the superstitious and demonological elements in Christianity, Arnaldo followed common prejudice by ostracizing his Jewish colleagues. He attacked leading ecclesiastics for consulting Jewish physicians, and forbade laymen to do so. He proposed that the Jews should be offered the choice of conversion or exile. Jewish scholars, on their part, showed an unflagging interest in Arnaldo's scientific work and writings. More of his works were translated into Hebrew than of any other Christian physician in the Middle Ages. Several of these translations are extant in manuscript. One was translated under the title Hanhagat ha-Beri'ut ("Ways to Health") by Israel Kaslari in 1327; and another entitled Ha-Parabolot (345 medical aphorisms) by Abraham Avigdor in 1378. The original Latin text of Arnaldo's book on the use of drugs in digestive diseases was lost but the work survived in Hebrew translation (by Avigdor in 1381 and Todros b. Moses Yom Tov in 1394).


Baer, Spain, index; M. Menéndez y Pelayo, Historia de los heterodoxos españoles, 1 (1956), 539–76; H. Friedenwald, Jews in Medicine (1967), index.