Peter of Apono

Peter of Apono

Peter of Apono, born in 1250, at Apono, near Padua, was a philosopher, mathematician, astrologer, and a physician who practiced in Paris with great success and accumulated considerable wealth. But his wealth and achievements were annulled by accusation of sorcery that was brought against him.

It was claimed that he had received instruction in seven liberal arts from seven spirits that he kept in crystal vessels. Also, it was said that he possessed a curious but useful faculty of having money that he spent return to his own purse.

His downfall was brought about by an act of revenge for which he was called to account by the Inquisition. His neighbor possessed a spring of excellent water in his garden, from which he allowed Peter of Apono to drink at will. For some unknown reason the permission was withdrawn, and Peter, with the assistance of the Devil, caused the water to leave the garden and flow uselessly in a distant street.

The good physician died before the trial was over, which infuriated the inquisitors so that they ordered the buried body to be dug up and burned. This indignity to Peter’s memory was averted by some of his friends who secretly had the remains removed from the burying ground where they laid. The inquisitors thereupon satisfied their animosity by burning him in effigy. A.G.H.

Sources: 2, 219; 81, 321.