Medieval medicine gave great importance to the planets as influences in disease. The influence of the stars began at birth and influenced complexion. The continuous flow of celestial forces could change the course of disease.

The position of the planets was important in choosing the moment in which to begin cures or carry out a bloodletting. In "Regimen against the Plague", Siegmund Albich (1347-1427) invites readers not to think about the plague because that was sure to cause its appearance.

During the Middle Ages, the prevailing popular attitude in medicine was dictated by S. Ambrogio who declared " the garnishments of the medicine are contrary to celestial science, contemplation and prayers".

The epidemics assisted religious hysteria, including flagellating processions, in the deep conviction that to obtain healing only required calming divine anger. An erudite Italian physician, Petrus d'Abano, 1246 or 1250 - 1316 or 1320?, denied the existence of spirits and ascribed all miracles to natural causes. Brought before from the Inquisition in 1306 as a heretic, a magician, and an atheist, he defended himself and was absolved.

Petrus was accused a second time but, while the trial was preparing, he died. He was condemned "post mortem" and his body was disinterred and burned. A colleague hid the remains of his body after cremation and the Inquisition burned his effigy in the public square of Padua.

His important works were:

Compilatio physonomiae, Lucidator dubitabilium astrologiae, De imaginibus and Conciliator differentiarum philosophrum et praecipue medicorum, this last excellent work was an attempt to reconcile Arab medicine and Greek natural philosophy.

Abstract text

Prof. Camillo O. Di Cicco, M.D.

16th Congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, Vienna, Au.