Sevillana Medicina: que trata el modo conservativo y curativo de los que habitan en la muy insigne ciudad de sevilla, la cual sirve y aprovecha par a cualquier otro lugar de estos reinos



Juan de Aviñón

author biography Juan de Aviñón, a Jew converted to Christianity, “whom we must consider as a Sevillian doctor” according to Javier Lasso de la Vega y Cortezo, was born in Avignon and moved to Seville, where, supposedly, he lived from 1353 until at least 1381, in the company of the Archbishop of this diocese, D. Pedro Barroso, from whom he was a personal physician. The Sevillian humanist doctor Nicolás Monardes considered him a “sage in medicine” and praise and printed his book, Sevillana Medicina, that was not published in the author’s lifetime, but almost 200 years after being written as a gratification to the city of Seville.

Editor: Sevilla, Imprenta de Enrique Rasco
Year of edition: 1885

Sevillana Medicina was first published in 1545 due to the efforts and the translation of the Sevillian doctor Nicolás Monardes. The exact date when the manuscript was written is not clear, but, presumably, Juan de Aviñón wrote it during his stay in Seville in the XIV century.

Inscribed in the Hippocratic environmentalist tradition, the book aims to teach how to keep healthy. As Monardes puts it, while it doesn’t make humans immortal, it allows, within the limits of each one life, one to live with more health and fewer diseases.

The work is divided into 69 chapters from which different aspects of how to preserve the health of Sevillians are approached. 

In addition to medical topics – the diseases; the blood; the reproduction; the exercise; etc. – and environmental aspects – the air; the water, etc. – a detailed analysis of food – fruits, vegetables, cereals, meat, fish, milk, cheese, wine, etc. – is included. 

The author of the prologue to the 1885 edition considers that “among other merits [of Sevillana Medicina] is that of being one of the first [books] of Medical Topography that was written in Europe”.


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