Regimen speciale

As I mentioned in “A kingly rule of health,” Arnald included a chapter specially for James II on hemorrhoids, which the king suffered from.  Arnald advised the king to follow a moderate and healthy diet, staying away from foods that were too salty or sweet, since those foods could cause flare-ups.


Folio 26r. Arnald of Villanova,
Regimen sanitatis ad regem Aragonum. Spain or southern France; 14th century or c.1400. Call number 10a 210.

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Cold temperatures are best for conception

Two weeks ago, we read Giles of Rome’s advice on moderation in the diet, and this week we are examining the best time to conceive children – male and female.  In the Book II, Part I, chapter 17, Giles explains what Aristotle says in Textus poleticorum and De metheoris regarding conception.


Folio 110v-111r. Giles of Rome. De regimine regem et principum. Call no. 10a 212.

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Moderation has always been in style

Giles of Rome’s De regimine regem et principum falls under the ‘mirror for princes’ genre.  The ‘mirror for princes’ genre is advice literature, meant to instruct rulers in governance, and the morals and ethics found in good government.  This genre dates as far back as ancient Greece, and became popular in Western Europe during the high Middle Ages.  Giles of Rome’s De regimine – if we can take extant manuscripts as evidence – was seemingly more popular than any other ‘mirror for princes’, with the exception of the pseudo-Aristotle’s Secretum secretorum.


Giles of Rome, De regimine regum et principum. Italy, (Lombardy?); early 14th century. Call number 10a 212.

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