Alfano I (Archbishop of Salerno)


Alfano I (Archbishop of Salerno)

Saint Alfano I (also "Alfanus" or "Alpuhans"; died 1085) was the Archbishop of Salerno from 1058 to his death. He was famed as a translator, writer, theologian, and medical doctor in the eleventh century. He was a physician before he became archbishop, one of the earliest great doctors of the Schola Medica Salernitana.

As a translator, he was well-versed in both Latin and Arabic and he translated many manuscripts from the latter into the former. His interest in medicine and his translation of Arabic treatises on the subject led him to invite Constantine the African to Salerno to assist in the translation of the vast medical corpus that existed in Arabic. The great Greek Christian doctor from Tunisia brought with him to Salerno a library of Islamic medical textsFact|date=September 2007 with the capacity to revolutionize medical theory and practice, which he commenced to translate into Latin, to make them available.

In 1076, Robert Guiscard laid the foundations for the new Salerno Cathedral. In Alfano's later days as archbishop, he sheltered the exiled reformer, Pope Gregory VII, who died in Salerno.


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