First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…

Marsiglio (Marsilius), a prince of the noble house of Carrara. After he had undertaken the lordship of Padua and reigned for many years, not as a tyrant, but as a father, he stood in such fear of Can Grande della Scala’s (Magni Canis Scaligeri) power and might that he willingly surrendered the lordship to him. But when Can Grande died in the following year, Marsiglio returned to Padua, resumed the lordship and reigned ten years. He was a very kind man, of lordly manners, conduct and bearing, and endowed with many virtues. He died without male heirs, leaving his entire inheritance to a relative, Ubertino.[Carrara or Carrares, a powerful family of Lombard origin, ruled Padua in the 14th century. They took their name from the village of Carrara near Padua. In the wars between Guelphs and Ghibellines, the Carraresi at first took the latter side, but subsequently went over to the Guelphs. This brought them into conflict with Ezzelino da Romano, who besieged Jacopo da Carrara in his castle of Agna; and while attempting to escape Jacopo was drowned. Another Jacopo in 1312 led the Paduans against Can Grande della Scala, lord of Verona, and though taken prisoner, managed to negotiate a peace in 1318. To put an end to the perpetual civil strife, the Paduans elected him their lord; but, at his death (1324), his nephew and heir, Marsiglio, was forced to give Padua over to Can Grande and was appointed its governor. When Can Grande died in 1329, and was succeeded by his nephew, Martino, Marsiglio negotiated with the Venetians in 1336, and, in 1337, secretly introduced Venetian troops into Padua, and regained the lordship. He died in 1338, and was succeeded by his relative Ubertino, a typical medieval tyrant.]

In the Year of the Lord 1310 several families at Venice, coveting the lordship, revolted against the duke Peter Grandenigus; but the revolt was soon silenced by the nobility; the Quirinians and their followers were driven from the city, while the most prominent instigators, together with two Florentines, were beheaded. This was the first partisan disturbance among the families of Venice. Later, during the reign of Duke John (Iohannes) Forantius, Jacobus Quirinus and Marinus Varotius attempted to incite discord among the people; and for this they were beheaded. At that time the six procurators of Saint Mark were established by the council.

Arnold of Villanova, a great philosopher, taught at Paris; and he took it upon himself to prove the coming of the Antichrist by the prophecies of Daniel and the Sibyl Erithrea; and he prophesied that the persecution of the Church would take place between the Years of the Lord 1300 and 1400, specifically in the year 1376. On this subject he wrote a book; but it was rejected and at once regarded as heretical, for many masters at Paris were antagonistic to the views expressed in it. Fearing the Inquisitor General, he secretly fled from Paris and came to Sicily. From there King Frederick of Sicily sent him to the pope; but he died at sea.

Arnold of Villanova, often called the Catalan after the district of his birth, was born near Valencia in Spain about 1235. Where he studied medicine is not definitely known; Montpellier, Salerno, Naples, Paris, and Aix, are mentioned by historians. Few men have had a more picturesque career. He taught at Montpellier, was physician to popes and kings, an alchemist and experimenter, traveled widely, was Spanish ambassador on a number of occasions, wrote on theology, was accused of heresy, but acquitted by Pope Boniface VIII, whom he is said to have cured of kidney stones. Through the pope’s contact and friendship with him, the pope himself was accused of heresy after death. Arnold died in Genoa in 1311, though some say he died in a ship wreck. His Breviarium, which deals with the diseases from “head to foot,” especially in surgery, gynecology, and poisons, was the best known and most influential work in the Middle Ages. Quaintly enough, the last two subjects are joined in one chapter, and this the author justifies by the observation that “women are chiefly poisonous animals.” In the Breviarium, he reproduces some of the prescriptions contained in the Thesaurus Pauperum (‘Treasury of the Poor’), written by Peter Hispanus, the only physician ever to become pope (see Folio CCXVI verso, John XXI), especially the famous aqua mirabilis, the ‘wonder water’ consisting of filings of silver, copper, gold, etc. in a boy’s urine. “It elevates the physician who can prepare it to the rank of a prophet.”

Arnold’s most profound work, which he dedicated in 1300 to Philip the Fair, king of France, is the Parabolae medicationis secundum instinctum veritatis aeternae (‘Illustrations of the Healing Art According to the Instinct of the Eternal Truth’). It deals to some extent with internal medicine, but more with surgical diseases. Some of his aphorisms sound distinctly modern: He who in his chosen branch educates himself not for science but for gain, becomes an “abortion.” A knowledge of names is essential to science, but no cure is ever achieved by a mere formula. That mode of treatment is best which achieves the desired end with the fewest means. An intelligent and pious physician makes every effort to cure disease with proper foods rather than with drugs.

Though a product of the age of scholasticism, he was an opponent of the scholastic method, and engaged in chemical experimentation with the alchemist Raymond Lull. Some credit him with the discovery of sulphuric, nitric, and hydrochloric acid and of oil of turpentine. He was one of the most famous alchemists, and the first to recommend distilled spirit of wine impregnated with certain herbs as a valuable remedy; and from this we may date the introduction of chemical mixtures and tinctures.

Philip, brother of King Louis (Ludovici) of France, reigned for five years after the death of King John (Johannem), Louis’ son.

Philip V (c. 1294-1322), ‘the Tall,’ king of France, second son of Philip the Fair and Jeanne of Navarre, received the country of Poitiers as an appanage, and was affianced when a year old to Jeanne, daughter and heiress of Otto IV, count of Burgundy. The marriage took place in 1307 when he was thirteen years of age. When his elder brother, Louis X, died on July 5th, 1316, leaving his second wife, Clemence of Hungary with child, Philip was appointed regent for eighteen years by the parliament of Paris, even in the event of a male heir being born. Clemence’s son lived only four days, and Philip proclaimed himself king (November 19th, 1317). The barons all did homage, except Edward II of England, and Philip’s position was secured. The war with Flanders, which had begun under Philip IV the Fair, was brought to an end on June 2nd, 1320. The revolt of the Pastoureaux who assembled at Paris in 1320 to go on a crusade was crushed by the seneschal of Carcassonne. One of the special objects of their hatred, the Jews, were also mulcted heavily by Philip, who extorted 150,000 livres from those of Paris alone. He died at Longchamp on the night January 2nd, 1322.

Philip was a lover of poetry, surrounded himself with Provencal poets and even wrote in Provencal himself, but he was also one of the most hard-working kings of the house of Capet. The insecurity of his position made him seek the support of national assemblies and of provincial estates. He published a series of ordinances organizing the royal household and affecting the financial administration, the “parlement” and the royal forests. He abolished all garrisons in the towns except those on the frontier and provided for public order by allowing the inhabitants of his towns to arm themselves under the command of captains. He tried hard to procure a unification of coinage and weights and measures, but failed owing to the opposition of the estates. Philip, as a reformer, was in many ways before his time, but his people failed to understand him, and he died under the reproach of extortion.

Pietro D’Abano (Petrus Apponus), a highly renowned physician and philosopher, and a celebrated teacher at Paris, wrote many excellent and profound works on medicine and natural philosophy. In order to understand a number of books written in Greek, he went to Constantinople to learn the Greek tongue. Having accomplished this, he translated many Greek books written by Galen into Latin. D’Abano was highly informed in all the liberal arts, and flourished in the city of Padua during the popular regime. It is said that he was a great necromancer, and demonstrated many things by the black arts.[Pietro d’Abano (1250-1316), in English Peter of Abano, was a remarkable man, a contemporary of Giotto, Dante, and Marco Polo with whom he came in contact. He was a philosopher, astronomer, mathematician, botanist, and a physician with an enormous practice. He taught medicine at Bologna and Padua, and was called a second Aristotle. He translated some of the works of Aristotle and Galen from Greek into Latin; also the astrological writings of Abraham ben Ezra into Latin; for he was a firm believer in astronomy. His most famous work is (or ) (‘Reconciler of the Differences Between Philosophers and Physicians’). Puccinotti speaks of the pestiferous Arabic seed scattered in the University of Padua and Venice by d’Abano. The Averroistic influence introduced by him remained potent for a long time. He was accused of heresy by the Church, which looked upon Averroism as heretical (see Averroes, Folio CCII recto). The Dominicans hailed him before the Inquisition, where he was tried, but acquitted. According to a legend that spread after his death, he told the students and fellow-physicians who stood about his bed when he was dying that he devoted his life especially to three noble sciences, of which one made him subtle, and that was philosophy; the second made him rich, and that was medicine; the third made him a liar, and that was astrology. Among d’Abano’s pupils at Padua were Dino del Garbo and Gentile da Foligno. Probably owing to d’Abano’s nonconformity, the University of Padua had a more liberal trend than other schools of learning in Italy. Another element was the rather skeptical attitude of Venice, the suzerain of Padua. They were more tolerant than the other Italians (“We are Venetians first, and Christians afterwards.”).]

Dino Del Garbo, a Florentine physician, being a highly educated and well informed man in medicine, at this time wrote many very useful commentaries on the books written by the ancient physicians; and on the subject of medicine he left behind him many good things.[Dino del Garbo, a Florentine physician, was a pupil of Taddeo Alderotei and Pietro d’Abano. For years he was the chief glory of Bologna, but envy and jealousy eventually drove him away. He returned to Florence, where he completed a commentary on Avicenna. He also wrote a compendium on Hippocrates on obstetrics, and a book on surgery. Later in life he retired to Sienna, and so great was his fame that many Bolognese students followed him there. Villari calls him the greatest doctor of physics and natural science, and of philosophy. His brother Tommaso del Garbo held the chair of surgery at Bologna. He died in 1327.]

Gentile da Foligno (Gentilis Fulginas), of Paris, a very wise physician, was of no less praise and renown in this period than the aforementioned Dino. This is demonstrated by his keen and laborious interpretation of the books of Avicenna, and his subtle comprehension of the words of Avicenna. In addition to such subtle interpretations he wrote much useful advice against the plague, and demonstrated many extraordinary questions from the medical tables.[Gentile da Foligno was a pupil of Taddeo Alderotti (Thaddeus of Florence). He lectured on medicine at Perugia in 1325. His contribution to contemporary literature on the Black Death (which is surprisingly limited on the medical side), was his (‘Advice Against the Plague’). He sacrificed himself for his patients during the Plague, and died of it in April 1348. While in his general writings he follows Galen, Avicenna, and Giles de Corbeil, in his against the plague he exhibits independent thought and observation. He gave sensible advice to the cities of Genoa and Perugia, drawing up directions regarding food and drink, purgation, bloodletting, medicines and disinfection.]

Matthew Silvaticus, a physician, born of noble parents at Mantua, at this time wrote an excellent book on the art of medicine, and dedicated it to King Robert of Sicily.[Matthew (Mattheus) Sylvaticus was one of the most important botanists and pharmacologists of the Middle Ages. He died at Salerno in 1342. His (‘Book of the Pandects of Medicine’; written in 1317) is a compilation from the works of earlier physicians, brought into alphabetical sequence, thus forming a dictionary of medical terms.]