Fashion in the Age of Datini

The Regime of Petro Fagarola

Author: Petro Fagarola (or Fagraola, Fagraiola, or Fagaiola)
Original Language: Latin
Place of Composition: Valencia
Date of Composition: 1315
Source of Text: British Museum, MS. Sloane 3124, ff. 74r-77r (formerly in Montpellier) transcribed in Thorndike, Lynn (1931) "Advice from a Physician to His Sons." Speculum, Vol. 6, No. 1 (January 1931), pp. 110-114
Source of Translation: S. Manning 2022, first published online
Conditions of Use: You may quote the transcription and translation online as long as you acknowledge S. Manning at Please ask permission before quoting this translation in print.

This university teacher sent advice to his sons studying in another city. Among other things, this mentions a 'swordfit' program. Students usually left for university in their early teens.

You can find an alternate translation of the paragraph on fencing in Noel Fallows (ed.), A Cultural History of Sport in the Medieval Age (Bloomsbury Academic, 2022) pp. 185, 186

Original Translation
Sequitur Regimen conditum a Petro Fagarola in artibus et in medicina magistro quod ab ipso fuit missum a civitate Valencie ad civitatem Tholosanam duobus filiis ipsius studentibus in ipsa civitate Tholosana degentibus anno domini millesimo CCCmo Xo quinto. Here follows the regime established by Petro Fagarola, master of arts and of medicine, which was sent by him in the city of Valencia to his two sons in the city of Toulouse, students living in that city of Tolouse, in the year of the Lord 1315.
Si velis cotidie aliquem locum ambulare mane et vespere fac, et, si est tempus frigidum, si potes currere, ventre vacuo curre, vel saltim festinanter ambula, ut calor naturalis vivificetur. Ignis enim cito scingitur si non commoveatur vel eventetur. Ventre tamen pleno non est currendum sed suaviter ambulandum ut cibus ad fundum descendat stomachi. If you want to walk in some place daily, stay and do your vespers (!), and, if the season is cold, if you want to run, run with an empty belly, or at least walk quickly, so that the natural warmth will be kept alive. For fire is quickly extinguished (scingitur) if it is not stirred up and aired. But with a full belly, do not run, instead go for a gentle stroll so that the meal can descend to the bottom of the stomach.
Si non potes extra hospicium excitari aut quia tempus non patitur aut quia pluviosum, assende ter vel quater gradarium festinanter et in camera bacculum ponderosum grossum ut gladium habeas et modo cum una manu modo cum alia quasi sgrimando moveas donec fere fatigis, hocque plurimum valet ad calefaciendum et fumositates per poros egrediendum et alias superfluitates consumendum. Similiter saltare exercicium est, eciam cantare est exercicium pectoris, et si hoc feceris habebis menbra sana, intellectum sanum et memoriam, et vitabis reuma. Similiter ludus pile. Omnes hii inventi sunt non pro ludo sed exercicio. Labor autem nimius est vitandus in continuo usu. If you are not able to exercise outside your residence, either because the season (tempus) does not permit it or beacuse of rain, climb three or four steps / flights of steps quickly and keep a weighty club as large as a sword, and move it sometimes with one hand, sometime with the other as if 'skirmishing' (sgrimando) until you are almost worn out, and this is very valuable for warming up the body and driving out fumes through the pores and consuming other unnecessary things. In the same way, jumping (saltare) is exercise, also singing is an exercise of the chest, and if you do this you will have healthy limbs, a healthy mind and memory, and you will avoid an excess of humours (vitabis reuma). In the same way, ball games. All these things have been established not as games but as exercise. Too much work is harmful without a break.
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