Girolamo Manfredi’s Il Perché: I. The Problemata and its medieval tradition

Antònia Carré, Lluís Cifuentes


This article is the first part of a two-part essay on the sources and reception of the Liber de homine (Il Perché) by Girolamo Manfredi, a famous doctor, astrologer and professor of the University of Bologna who died in 1493. Consisting of a regimen sanitatis together with a treatise on physiognomy, the Liber de homine (Il Perché) was composed in 1474 in Italian and intended for a specific audience: the elites of urban society and medical practitioners not trained in universities. Notably, Manfredi was the first author within the problemata genre to use a vernacular language. In both parts of this essay, Manfredi’s treatise will be analysed in the context of the vernacularisation of knowledge and the medicalisation of European society in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. This first article will examine its relationship with the ancient genre of Natural Questions, particularly the pseudo-Aristotelian Problemata.


Liber de homine (Il Perché); Girolamo Manfredi; medicine; physiognomy; Problemata; Ps.-Aristotle; regimen sanitatis; vernacularisation

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