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A. Calvet -- Villanova treatises
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Rafal T. Prinke
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 Posted: Wed Mar 28th, 2012 10:09 am
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Last year a volume by Antoine Calvet was published:

CALVET Antoine
Les Oeuvres alchimiques attribuées a Arnaud de Villeneuve
(Textes et travaux de Chrysopoeia)
Archè Milan, 2011 (728 pp.)


I understand it contains editions and translations of the texts in the Villanova Corpus and is the crowning of Calvet's many years of research.

Has anyone seen/read it or does have a copy? I would be interested to know if any of the texts attributed to Villanova are considered by Calvet to be genuine.

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Wed Mar 28th, 2012 02:37 pm
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Rafal T. Prinke wrote:

Last year a volume by Antoine Calvet was published:

CALVET Antoine
Les Oeuvres alchimiques attribuées a Arnaud de Villeneuve
(Textes et travaux de Chrysopoeia)
Archè Milan, 2011 (728 pp.)


I understand it contains editions and translations of the texts in the Villanova Corpus and is the crowning of Calvet's many years of research.

Has anyone seen/read it or does have a copy? I would be interested to know if any of the texts attributed to Villanova are considered by Calvet to be genuine.


I can't find any reviews of the book anywhere, but I imagine his position hasn't changed since he wrote:

"... dans la masse des textes qui lui sont attribués, un petit groupe forme un ensemble cohérent centré sur l'idée que le mercure alchimique composé des quatre Éléments constitue la pierre philosophale (lapis in similitudine et tactu). On s'accorde à penser qu'autour d'un noyau comprenant le Rosaire des philosophes (Rosarium philosophorum ou Thesaurus thesaurorum), les Questions au pape Boniface VIII (Quaestiones tam essentiales quam accidentales), la Lettre à Boniface VIII (Practica ad quendam Papam), la Lettre au Roi de Naples (Epistola super alchimia ad Regem Neapolitanum) et la Fleur des fleurs (Flos florum), tous écrits au début du XIV° siècle, en Catalogne ou en Sicile, et adressés à des personnages contemporains et amis, d'autres textes moins fiables ont été fabriqués plus tardivement par des auteurs se plaçant sous l'autorité d'Arnaud et glosant ses idées principales."

(in J.-Fr. Mattéi dir., Les oeuvres philosophiques, PUF, t. I, p. 401-402.)

If the blurb is anything to go by then the book seems to contain an extensive discussion of the authenticity of the various texts as well as the texts and translations:

"C'est à une étude approfondie de l'authenticité et de la signification de ce corpus alchimique que s'attache Antoine Calvet dans le présent ouvrage. Quels sont les textes qui circulèrent sous le nom d'Arnaud? Celui-ci fut-il vraiment l'auteur de certains d'entre eux, notamment de ceux où se combinent alchimie, prophétie et quête de la médecine universelle? Quelle est l'originalité de ces traités alchimiques par rapport à ceux attribués à Roger Bacon et à Albert le Grand? Dans quelle mesure la place que quelques-uns accordent à l'exégèse biblique ouvrit-elle la voie aux interprétations allégoriques et aux spéculations métaphysiques qui prévalurent à la Renaissance?"

Seems good value at £50 for over 700 pages:

http://www.editionsarche.com/PBSCProduct.asp?ItmID=8761761

Attached Image (viewed 650 times):

41EdlDw1plL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

Rafal T. Prinke
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 Posted: Fri Mar 30th, 2012 01:36 pm
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Thank you, Paul. If I understand the fragment you quoted, he just lists the titles which he considers to be the nucleus of the later corpus -- but does not state if any of them were in his opinion authored by Arnaud. In other words, is this corpus like that of Ramon Lull with no connection to its nominal author (Lull was a declared enemy of alchemy, or so they say).

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Fri Mar 30th, 2012 01:59 pm
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Rafal T. Prinke wrote:
Thank you, Paul. If I understand the fragment you quoted, he just lists the titles which he considers to be the nucleus of the later corpus -- but does not state if any of them were in his opinion authored by Arnaud. In other words, is this corpus like that of Ramon Lull with no connection to its nominal author (Lull was a declared enemy of alchemy, or so they say).



Hi Rafal,

Judging by this Calvet paper available here (see especially section 15ff):

http://medievales.revues.org/2003

the answer would seem to be yes - Calvet seems to feel that alchemical works were attributed promiscuously to Arnaud in the same way as they were to Llull. Calvet does however seem to tiptoe round the subject somewhat. I do not think he is a textual scholar like F. Secret.

Rafal T. Prinke
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 Posted: Fri Jul 13th, 2012 08:13 pm
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I have eventually bought the book and struggle through the French. On p. 136 he states that he used to support the hypotheses that the original Rosarius was actually written by Arnald but it was "his personal impression" and now he thinks it cannot be linked to the real Arnald. On the next pages, however, he suggests the real author of the Rosarius is depicted on fol. 3 of the manuscript Turin EIV 22 as handing the book to Robert of Naples (Anjou). The figure of a "monk or frater" is identified by a coat-of-arms displaying (if my reading is correct): or, three bells azure ("un écu contenant trois cloches d'azur, disposées en triangle, sur émail d'or"). One instance of it that I have found is the arms of the village of Maleville in the South of France. Unfortunately, while there is a rather poor reproduction of fol. 3v of that manuscript, the fol. 3r with the image is not included. I wonder if it was published elsewhere or is available somewhere? Calvet gives a reference to "Blue, Rosso & Oro" by Massabo Ricci et al (1998) which is a catalogue of heraldic devices in medieval MSS but it is not clear if there is a reproduction.

Attached Image (viewed 481 times):

meleville.jpg

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Sat Jul 14th, 2012 04:34 am
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Rafal T. Prinke wrote:
I have eventually bought the book and struggle through the French. On p. 136 he states that he used to support the hypotheses that the original Rosarius was actually written by Arnald but it was "his personal impression" and now he thinks it cannot be linked to the real Arnald. On the next pages, however, he suggests the real author of the Rosarius is depicted on fol. 3 of the manuscript Turin EIV 22 as handing the book to Robert of Naples (Anjou). The figure of a "monk or frater" is identified by a coat-of-arms displaying (if my reading is correct): or, three bells azure ("un écu contenant trois cloches d'azur, disposées en triangle, sur émail d'or"). One instance of it that I have found is the arms of the village of Maleville in the South of France. Unfortunately, while there is a rather poor reproduction of fol. 3v of that manuscript, the fol. 3r with the image is not included. I wonder if it was published elsewhere or is available somewhere? Calvet gives a reference to "Blue, Rosso & Oro" by Massabo Ricci et al (1998) which is a catalogue of heraldic devices in medieval MSS but it is not clear if there is a reproduction.




Intriguing! There's a village called Villeneuve located just north-west of Maleville:

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villeneuve_(Aveyron)

...but it's not the Villeneuve that Arnald is usually associated with, which is Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone in the Hérault. His place of birth does not seem to be known for certain.

I see the coat of arms is similar to the alternative arms of a 13th century Bishop of Perigueux, Pierre III de Saint-Astier:

http://www.genepatev.com/familles/s/s00002.htm

Last edited on Sat Jul 14th, 2012 10:52 am by Paul Ferguson

Rafal T. Prinke
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 Posted: Sat Jul 14th, 2012 11:03 am
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Thanks Paul. I have found a very small picture (appended) on the well known alchemy site: http://herve.delboy.perso.sfr.fr/sommaire_rosaire.html

The coat of arms can indeed be seen with three items in the "or" (to use the heraldic language) field but the resolution is too small to be sure if these are blue bells. But it means that perhaps a better reproduction was published somewhere or is available on line. It would be indeed exciting to link the real author to Maleville and Villeneuve nearby but without seeing this evidence first it may be just losing time :-)

BTW: The same webpage has the series of miniatures from the Florence manuscript which I guess was supposed to display Ramon Lull but here they are in the context of Arnald. I remember a number of years ago someone reported here (or on the earlier Adam's discussion list) the manuscript was actually available online but when I tried to see it (I registered etc.), I could not find it.

Attached Image (viewed 667 times):

rosarius.jpg

Carl Lavoie
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 Posted: Sat Jul 14th, 2012 06:20 pm
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.
The provenance of the manuscript is given. It probably could be tracked down.

(une page du Rosaire attribué à Arnauld de Villeneuve, Biblioteca Naz. Univ., Ms E IV 22)

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Sun Jul 15th, 2012 02:11 am
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Surely the presence of a coat of arms would indicate ownership/patronage rather than authorship? What makes Calvet think it provides a clue to the authorship?

Rafal T. Prinke
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 Posted: Sun Jul 15th, 2012 09:03 am
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Carl -- the MS is in the library in Turin, so obviously it could be reached there. I just thought it may be available in print or online somewhere, as ordering a colour reproduction might be quite expensive.

Rafal T. Prinke
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 Posted: Sun Jul 15th, 2012 09:14 am
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Paul -- he does not explain but I think he might be correct. The Rosarius is dedicated to king Robert of Naples and the miniature shows a monks (according to Calvet, as the picture above is too small to see that) giving a book to a king. Thus the king must be Robert but the coat-of-arms is not his. He was from the Anjou-Naples (Capetian) dynasty so would have a variation of fleur-de-lis. So the arms may be related either to the original author or some go-between who ordered the manuscript to be produced and then presented it to the king. It is hard to say without examining the details of that page. Anyway, by the time this MS was made (it it dated to 1380-1400), Robert was long dead (d. 1343) -- that is why Calvet assumes this is a copy of an earlier version, perhaps the original.

Rafal T. Prinke
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 Posted: Sun Jul 15th, 2012 09:21 am
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I have just found out the same image (exactly the same) is on Adam's site (bottom of the page): http://www.alchemywebsite.com/virtual_museum/rosarium_side_gallery_sources.html


Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Sun Jul 15th, 2012 12:50 pm
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Rafal T. Prinke wrote:
Paul -- he does not explain but I think he might be correct. The Rosarius is dedicated to king Robert of Naples and the miniature shows a monks (according to Calvet, as the picture above is too small to see that) giving a book to a king. Thus the king must be Robert but the coat-of-arms is not his. He was from the Anjou-Naples (Capetian) dynasty so would have a variation of fleur-de-lis. So the arms may be related either to the original author or some go-between who ordered the manuscript to be produced and then presented it to the king. It is hard to say without examining the details of that page. Anyway, by the time this MS was made (it it dated to 1380-1400), Robert was long dead (d. 1343) -- that is why Calvet assumes this is a copy of an earlier version, perhaps the original.


The plate on the following page has a coat of arms in which one of the quarterings is very similar to the one we're discussing:

http://www.iagiforum.info/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1253

From Pavia, 17th century. May not be relevant but I thought I'd mention it given the Italian connection. If anyone has access to an Italian armorial then this should be something like 'd'oro, a tre campane d'azzurro'.

Last edited on Mon Jul 16th, 2012 05:04 am by Paul Ferguson

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Sun Jul 15th, 2012 12:50 pm
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Rafal T. Prinke wrote:
Paul -- he does not explain but I think he might be correct. The Rosarius is dedicated to king Robert of Naples and the miniature shows a monks (according to Calvet, as the picture above is too small to see that) giving a book to a king. Thus the king must be Robert but the coat-of-arms is not his. He was from the Anjou-Naples (Capetian) dynasty so would have a variation of fleur-de-lis. So the arms may be related either to the original author or some go-between who ordered the manuscript to be produced and then presented it to the king. It is hard to say without examining the details of that page. Anyway, by the time this MS was made (it it dated to 1380-1400), Robert was long dead (d. 1343) -- that is why Calvet assumes this is a copy of an earlier version, perhaps the original.


[duplicate posting deleted]

Last edited on Sun Jul 15th, 2012 12:53 pm by Paul Ferguson

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Sun Jul 15th, 2012 12:54 pm
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Rafal T. Prinke wrote:
Paul -- he does not explain but I think he might be correct. The Rosarius is dedicated to king Robert of Naples and the miniature shows a monks (according to Calvet, as the picture above is too small to see that) giving a book to a king. Thus the king must be Robert but the coat-of-arms is not his. He was from the Anjou-Naples (Capetian) dynasty so would have a variation of fleur-de-lis. So the arms may be related either to the original author or some go-between who ordered the manuscript to be produced and then presented it to the king. It is hard to say without examining the details of that page. Anyway, by the time this MS was made (it it dated to 1380-1400), Robert was long dead (d. 1343) -- that is why Calvet assumes this is a copy of an earlier version, perhaps the original.


Yes here are the arms of the House of Anjou-Naples.

Attached Image (viewed 676 times):

Armoiries_Anjou_Calabre.png


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