Peter of Abano is not only the most
renowned figure of the spa town, but also one of the most conspicuous
ambassadors of medieval Veneto. While all experts agree on 1315 as the
date of his death, there is no agreement on his date of birth. Most
scholars believe it was in 1257, others anticipate it to be 1250.
Therefore, for the majority of scholars, 2007 represents the 750th
anniversary of the birth of Peter of Abano.
Why celebrate this anniversary? Because Peter of Abano is a particularly
complex and fascinating figure. He was a Professor of medicine,
philosophy and astronomy, first at the University of Paris and since
1307 at the University of Padua. On the subject of the history of ideas,
he contributed with his translations works, to the diffusion of
knowledge of texts written by Greek and Arabic authors, languages he
acquired during his stay in Constantinople.
In fact, according to the unanimous opinion of scholars, Petrus
Aponensis is a central figure in the history of medieval science, as he
provided an impressive acceleration to the latent trend in the
Aristotelian medieval tradition, giving priority to scientific research
(in particular to the pre-Galileian) over philosophical speculation.
Furthermore, the fortune of this academic has always been linked to the
trivial aspects of his work: there are many incunabula and cinquecentina
published throughout Europe which diffused his writings, but his most
prevailing work is his treaty of poisons, which certainly does not
constitute his most important one. Similarly, research of printed works
published around the world in recent years, as well as a web search in
different language sites show a deep interest from esoteric authors and
associations, particularly those related to magic.
The Municipality of Abano Terme, by initiative of its Civic Library,
intends to commemorate the figure of Peter of Abano with a high-level
scientific conference in
order to restore the importance of this academic and to gather the
latest studies published on specialized magazines, after almost
twenty-five years from the last international conference held in his
- Councilor for Culture