De balneis Puteolanis

De balneis Puteolanis ("On the baths of Pozzuoli") is a medieval didactic poem in Latin, attributed to Peter of Eboli, describing the thermal baths of Pozzuoli in the Campi Flegrei region of Campania. The poem has the alternative title De balneis terrae laboris.

Illumination from De balneis Puteolanis -late 13th century manuscript, MS 1474, Biblioteca Angelica in Rome

The poem in thirty-five epigrams was written in the last decade of the twelfth century, probably in 1197. It is dedicated to the emperor ("Cesaris ad laudem"), probably Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor. The author "reports every detail about more than thirty different thermal sites in the Campi Flegrei, including all therapeutic effects of their waters."[1]

The attribution to Peter of Eboli (Petrus de Ebulo) is generally made "with some certainty", although some historians associate it with the work of Sicilian physician Alcadino di Siracusa.[2]

De balneis Puteolanis was popular in its time and survives in a number of manuscript versions. It was also translated into vernacular languages and was issued in 12 editions in print, from 1457 to 1607.

Many surviving manuscript versions are especially notable for their accompanying illustrations of medieval bathing.

Many of the thermal baths described in the Pozzuoli region were destroyed in the 1538 volcanic eruption which transformed the landscape of the Campi Flegrei caldera and created Monte Nuovo.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Mezzogiorno, A; Caruso, AA; Lorio, L; Papa, M; Esposito, V (2004). "Pietro Anzolino da Eboli and the thermal therapy of renal pathologies". J Nephrol. 17 (2): 329–33. PMID 15293539.
  2. ^ Fulvio Delle Donne, "Pietro da Eboli", Enciclopedia Federiciana, Vol. II, Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana Treccani

Further readingEdit

  • Clark, Raymond J. (1989). "Peter of Eboli, De balneis puteolanis: Manuscripts from the Aragonese scriptorium in Naples". Traditio. 45: 380–389. doi:10.1017/S0362152900012800. JSTOR 27831252.
  • Hanly, Michael (1996). "An Edition of Richart Auede's French Translation of Pietro Da Eboli's De Balneis Puteolanis". Traditio. 51: 225–255. doi:10.1017/S0362152900013428. JSTOR 27831935.
  • Kauffmann, Claus Michael (1959). The Baths of Pozzuoli: A Study of the Medieval Illuminations of Peter of Eboli's Poem. Oxford: Bruno Cassirer.
  • Yegül, Fikret K. (1996). "The Thermo-Mineral Complex at Baiae and De Balneis Puteolanis". The Art Bulletin. 78 (1): 137–161. doi:10.2307/3046161. JSTOR 3046161.


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