Alfanus I

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Saint Alfanus I or Alfano I (died 1085) was the Archbishop of Salerno from 1058 to his death. He was famed as a translator, writer, theologian, and medical doctor in the eleventh century. He was a physician before he became archbishop, one of the earliest great doctors of the Schola Medica Salernitana.

As a translator, Alfanus was well-versed in both Latin and Arabic and he translated many manuscripts from the latter into the former. His interest in medicine and the translation of Arabic treatises on the subject led him to invite Constantine the African from Carthage (in what is now Tunisia) to Salerno to assist him. Constantine brought with a library of Arabic medical texts which he commenced to translate into Latin.

In 1076, Robert Guiscard laid the foundations for the new Salerno Cathedral. In Alfanus' later days as archbishop, he sheltered the exiled reformer, Pope Gregory VII, who died in Salerno.

References[edit]

  • "Alfano di Salerno 1015/20-1085" (in italian). 
  • Anselmo Lentini: Sul viaggio costantinopolitano di Gisulfo di Salerno con l'arcivescovo Alfano. In: Atti del III Congresso di studi sull'Alto Medioevo (Benevento-Montevergine-Salerno-Amalfi, 14-18 ottobre 1956), Spoleto 1959, S. 437-443.
  • Leah Shopkov: Artikel 'Alphanus of Salerno'. In: In: Dictionary of the Middle Ages, 1982, Tl. 1, S. 218-219.