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Arnaldus de Villanova

Portrait of Arnaldus de Villanova The famous scholastic doctor and scholar Arnaldus de Villanova, also from Arnaud de Villeneuve or Arnold von Villanova (1240-1311), was a professor of medicine at the university Montpellier in today Languedoc (France). He was one of the most influential and important doctors of his time and was an alchemist with a reputation as a gold maker. Popes such as Boniface VIII (1235-1303) and kings like Frederick II (1272-1337) claimed his medical services. When he traveled to Pope Clement V (around 1250-1314) on behalf of the latter, he died in a ship accident. He worked intensively on the medicinal properties of wine and its positive effects on wine health, Its strong from the Greek doctor Galen (129-216) influenced work "Liber de Vinis" deals exclusively with this topic.

He strikes particularly well spiced wines as medicine, for example ox tongue wine for the healing of the mentally ill and rosemary wine as an appetite enhancer, dentifrice, facial beautifier and hair restorer. Wine also helps against melancholy, serves as medicine for the liver, kidneys, urinary tract and veins and provides relief for hemorrhoids and cold in winter. In addition to these sometimes abstruse claims, he also gives sound advice for the winemaking, He describes how to improve fluffy, pale wines with a bad taste, explains how to remove them, warns of impure barrels and recommends correct grape maturation. He denounces wine adulteration:

Note that some wine merchants cheat that they mistakenly make sour or bitter wines appear sweet by persuading testers to eat licorice or nuts or old salty cheese beforehand. You can protect yourself by tasting the wine in the morning after rinsing your mouth and eating three or four bites of bread dipped in water, because if you try a wine with an empty or full stomach, you will find that your taste is spoiled ,

Villanova experimented at the Knights Templar winery near Perpignan in Roussillon around 1285 with brandy production. According to Arabic recipes, he distilled alcohol from wine. Incidentally, Villanova counted the "Aqua Vitae" (water of life = brandy) among the universal remedies. He found in his experiments that fermentation stopped and the addition of alcohol residual sugar is preserved in wine (see under Spriten ). In 1299 Villanova received a patent for manufacturing from the King of Mallorca. He tells of feeling much younger through daily enjoyment. That was the birth of the Vin doux naturel, Villanova also discovered the toxicity of carbon monoxide and decomposing meat. Villanova was the first to describe the representation and behavior of mineral acids towards metals. He was the author of numerous writings, such as the four-volume work “Handbuch der aller Medizin” (Breviarium practicae), as well as around 20 alchemical writings.

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