Girolamo Manfredi’s Il Perché: II. The Secretum secretorum and the book’s publishing success

Antònia Carré, Lluís Cifuentes


This article, the second part of a two-part essay on the sources and reception of Manfredi’s work, examines the relationship between the Liber de homine (Il Perché) written by Girolamo Manfredi and the pseudo-Aristotelian Secretum secretorum. It accounts for the success of the Liber de homine (Il Perché) in Italian and Iberian contexts, analysing twenty-six Italian editions produced from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century, as well as the only two existing translations, one printed in Catalan (1499) and the other in Spanish (1567, followed by four reprints in the sixteenth century). The existence of the Catalan translation was discovered in 2001 by the authors of this article. The Catalan and Spanish translations do not depend upon each other; moreover, the printed editions exemplify the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century circulation of medical texts in vernacular languages.


early printing; Liber de homine (Il Perché); Girolamo Manfredi; medicine; physiognomy; Ps.-Aristotle; regimen sanitatis; Secretum secretorum; vernacularisation

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