A kingly rule of health

The Regimen sanitatis [Salernitum] falls under the genre of ‘advice literature,’ just like the Regimine regum et principum (see this earlier post).


Folio 1r.  Arnald of Villanova’s Regimen sanitatis ad regem Aragonum. 14th century (Spain or southern France). Call no. 10a 210.


Arnald of Villanova (ca. 1240 – 1311) wrote Regimen sanitatis ad regem Aragonum for James II of Aragon during the early 14th century.  The book gives dietary advice and hygiene guidelines for factors which can affect one’s health, including where the court should be set up, exercise, bathing, eating, and drinking.  It discusses preventive measures to take against illnesses, and recommends treatments for James’ current afflictions, such as hemorrhoids.

Unlike earlier versions of Regimen sanitatis (which was seemingly first written circa 1050) at Salerno, Arnald’s edition for James II is written in prose, not verse.  The work is divided into 18 different chapters, including chapters on air, exercising, bathing, eating and drinking, and hemorrhoids.  Arnald adapted the content of the chapters to the James’ individual health issues and physical condition, which is why there is a chapter on hemorrhoids (which James II suffered from) and a special additional text at the end, which is comprised mainly of recipes.



“Arnauld VILLENEUVE (Arnau of Vilanova or Arnaldus of Villanova).”  Portraits de Médecins. undated – web archived.

da Costa, Ricardo, and Matheus Corassa Silva.  “The Regime sanitatis (1308) of Arnau de Vilanova (c.1238-1311) and his prescription of good diet.”  Journal of Iberian Studies. eHumanista 34 (2016):463-480.

Giralt, Sebastià and Jaume Mensa.  Arnau DB. Corpus digital d’Arnau de Vilanova.  Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (2013).

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