Apono, Peter

, a physician and astrologer, was born in 1250, at the village of Abano near Padua, of which the Latin name is Aponus, and hence he is frequently called Petrus de Apono, or Aponensis. He is also sometimes called Petrus de Padua. When young, he went, with a view to study Greek, to Constantinople, or according to others, to some of the islands belonging to the Venetian republic. Having afterwards a desire to study medicine and mathematics, he returned, and spent some years at Padua, and at Paris, where he was admitted to the degree of doctor of philosophy and medicine. He was, however, recalled to Padua, and a professorship of medicine founded for him. He attained great reputation as a physician, and is said to have been very exorbitant in his fees. We are not told what his demands were in the place of his residence, but it is affirmed that he would not attend the sick in any other place under 150 florins a day; and when he was sent for by pope Honorius IV. he demanded 400 ducats for each day’s attendance. But these reports are thought to have been exaggerated, as perhaps are many other particulars handed down to us, such as his abhorrence of milk, which was so great, that he fainted if he saw any person drink it.

His works shew that he had read every thing which appeared before his time, on the subject of medicine, but unfortunately he mixes, with a great deal of real knowledge, all the reveries of judicial astrology, and caused the dome of the public school at Padua to be painted with above four hundred astrological figures, and when destroyed by a fire in 1420, they were replaced by the | celebrated Giotto. His attachment to astrological pursuits, and a superior acquaintance with natural philosophy and mathematics, procured him the character of a magician, and he was accused of heresy. This accusation, of which he had cleared himself at Paris, was twice renewed at Padua, by the faculty and others who were jealous of his reputation, and it was said he owed his extraordinary skill to seven familiar spirits whom he kept inclosed in a bottle. By means of some powerful friends, he escaped the inquisition on one occasion, and was about to have been tried a second time, but died before the process was finished, in 1316. In spite of the profession, which he made before witnesses, when dying, of his adherence to the catholic faith, and which he likewise solemnly expressed in his will, the inquisition found him guilty of heresy, and ordered the magistrates of Padua to take his body up, and burn it. A female servant, however, on hearing this order, contrived, in the night, to have the body removed to another church. The inquisitors would have proceeded against the persons concerned in this affair, but were at length satisfied with burning the deceased in effigy. A century afterwards, his fellow-citizens placed a bust to his memory in the public palace. His principal works were, 1. “Conciliator dirTerentiarum philosophorum etpnecipue niedicorum,Venice, 14-71, a work often reprinted, and which procured him the title of Conciliator. He often quotes Averroes, and was the first Italian who studied his works. 2. “De Venenis, eorumque remediis,” also often reprinted, but now very scarce. 3. “Expositio problematum Aristotelis,Mantua, 1475, 4to, of which there have been many editions. 4. “La Fisionomie du conciliator Pierre de Apono,Padua, 1474, 8vo, and in Latin, “Decisiones physionomicae,1548, 8vo. In the imperial library of Paris, is a manuscript on the same subject, which he wrote during his residence in that city. 5. “Hippocratis de rnedicorum astrologia libellus,” from the Greek into Latin, Venice, 1485, 4to. G. “Qucestiones de febribus,Padua, 1482, a manuscript in the imperial library. 7. “Textus Mesues noviter emendatus, &c.Venice, 1505, 8vo. 8, “Astrolabium plenum in tabulis ascendeus, continens qualibet hora atque minuta aequationes domorum cceli,Venice, 1502, 4to. 9. “Geomantia,Venice, 1549, 8vo. 10. “Dionocides digestus alphabetico ordine,Lyons, 1512, 4to. 11. “Galeni tractatus | varii a Petro Paduano latinitate donati,” a manuscript in the library of St. Mark, Venice. 12. A Latin translation of seven astrological treatises written by the celebrated Spanish rabbi A ben-Ezra, and usually printed with his treatise on critical days. 1


Gen. Dict. Biog. Universelle. Mnnget and —Haller in art. Abano. Saxii Oxomasticon.