Arnaldus de Villa Nova

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Generic portrait of Arnald[us] de villa noua, woodcut from the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493

Arnaldus de Villa Nova (also called Arnau de Vilanova, Arnaldus Villanovanus, Arnaud de Ville-Neuve or Arnaldus de Villanueva, c. 1235–1313) was an alchemist, astrologer and physician.

He was born in a city of the kingdom of Aragon, Villanueva de Jiloca or Valencia, and is said to have studied chemistry, medicine, physics, and also Arabic philosophy. After living at the court of Aragon and teaching for many years in the Montpellier School of Medicine, he went to Paris, where he gained a considerable reputation; but he incurred the enmity of ecclesiastics and was forced to flee, finally finding asylum in Sicily. About 1313 he was summoned to Avignon by Pope Clement V, who was ill, but he died on the voyage off the coast of Genoa.[1]

He is credited with translating a number of medical texts from Arabic, including works by Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Qusta ibn Luqa (Costa ben Luca), and Galen.[2] Many alchemical writings, including Thesaurus Thesaurorum or Rosarius Philosophorum, Novum Lumen, and Flos Florum, are also ascribed to him, but they are of very doubtful authenticity. Collected editions of them were published at Lyon in 1504 and 1532 (with a biography by Symphorianus Campegius), at Basel in 1585, at Frankfurt in 1603, and at Lyon in 1686. Villa Nova is credited with using a camera obscura to project live performances for entertainment.[3][4] He is also the reputed author of various medical works, including Breviarium Practicae.

Arnaldus de Villanova

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fernando Salmón (2010). Robert E. Bjork, ed. The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-19-866262-4. 
  2. ^ D. Campbell, Arabian Medicine and Its Influence on the Middle Ages, p. 5.
  3. ^ Burns, Paul. "The History of the Discovery of Cinematography". Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  4. ^ Smith, Roger. "A Look Into Camera Obscuras". Retrieved 4 January 2014. 


See J. B. Haureau in the Histoire litteraire de la France (1881), vol. 28; E. Lalande, Arnaud de Villeneuve, sa vie et ses oeuvres (Paris, 1896). A list of writings is given by J. Ferguson in his Bibliotheca Chemica (1906). See also U. Chevalier, Repertoire des sources hist., &c., Bio-bibliographie (Paris, 1903).

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Works of Arnaldus: