Gentile da Foligno

Gentile da Foligno (Latin gentilis Fulgineus, G. Fulginas, G. de Fulgineo, G. de Gentilibus, epithet Speculator; * 1280/1290 in Foligno; ? † June 18, 1348 in Perugia ) was an Italian physician and natural philosopher. He was the most famous physician of the 14th century. Its importance in the Middle Ages may be exceeded only by Taddeo Alderotti.


Gentile was the son of a doctor from wealthy family in Foligno. About the beginning of his studies is not known, but one has suspected that he had been a pupil of Taddeo Alderotti (Bologna), Pietro d' Abano (Padua) or Dino del Garbo, in the latter he held in early 1320 in Siena. 1322 to October 1324 he was Professor of Medicine in Siena, from December 1324 then for at least two years in Perugia, where since 1308 a General Studies was established. For the period 1327-1338 one can suspect him in Perugia and at times perhaps in Padua, but it lacks the historical evidence for this period, first from 1338 until his death in the Great Plague of 1348 then again detectable as Professor in Perugia, where he brought it with houses and lands in Perugia and Foligno prestige and prosperity.


Like many physicians of his time belonged to a Gentile highly cultured milieu that has sometimes been referred to as humanistic or protohumanistisch. He was interested in literature, citing, inter alia, often from Apuleius, stood in your personal relationship with the poet Cino da Pistoia and states in his commentary on Avicenna, have also written poems himself in the vernacular. But most of all he possessed, according to the general orientation of medicine at the northern Italian universities of his time, a keen interest in the Aristotelian philosophy and natural philosophy that was here rezipiert particularly under the influence of the works of Averroes and Avicenna. He had no personal knowledge of Arabic, Hebrew or Greek, but was familiar with the available Latin translations and has placed in his writings importance to embed their own doctrine in the context of peer-reviewed in detail views of his predecessors.

His main research work which he edited since about 1315 until his death, is the commentary on the Canon of Avicenna, whose five books he was the first medieval commentator almost completely, has commented at all relevant to the university teaching parts. The comment or parts of it are preserved in 49 manuscripts of the 14th and 15th century, 1476-1523, he was eleven times printed in whole or in part. Gentile also wrote comments to Hippocrates and Galen, as well as numerous Quaestiones and minor writings, which were later printed under the collective name Questiones et Tractatus extravagant.