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Training (medical)

(600 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] Although most healers in Antiquity learned their trade from their fathers or as autodidacts, some also went to study with a master (e.g. Pap. Lond. 43, 2nd cent. BC), or travelled to medical strongholds to receive training. Remains of these teaching centres are to be found in Babylonia [1] and in Egypt, where the ‘House of Life’ in Sais, rebuilt by Darius c. 510 BC, may have served as such a centre and scriptorium [2]. If, in the Greek world, the Hippocratic tradition (Hippocrates) emphasized the superiority of healers trained at Cos, Cnidus …

Surgery

(1,412 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] A. Egyptian The high prestige widely accorded to Egyptian medical practitioners for their surgical skills (Hdt. 3,129), was well-earned. Skeletal finds show the successful treatment of bone fractures, esp. in the arms, and rare cases of trepanation. However, there is no reliable indication of surgical intervention in body cavities [1; 2]. The great diversity of knives, spoons, saws and needles reflects a highly-developed specialism, rooted in wide-ranging medical practice. Early pap…

Iatromaia

(95 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] (‘birth-helper’, ‘midwife’). Midwifery was usually practiced by women but was not exclusively in their hands. A Parian inscription, for example, records two male birth-helpers (IG 12,5,199) and the preserved treatises on midwifery address a male readership. Iatromaia as an occupational name appears in two Roman inscriptions of the 3rd and 4th cents. AD (CIL 6,9477f.); in one, a Valeria Verecunda is named as the ‘first iatromaia in her region’, an epithet that seems to refer to the quality of her work rather than a position in a collegium.  Midwife Nutton, Vivian (Lon…

Hospital

(2,037 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] A. Definition Hospital in the sense of public institutions for the medical care of exclusively sick people are not encountered before the 4th cent. AD, and even then the majority of terms used (Greek xenṓn, xenodocheîon, ptōcheîon, gerontokomeíon, Latin xenon, xenodochium, ptochium, gerontocomium, valetudinarium; ‘guesthouse’, ‘pilgrims' hostel’, ‘poorhouse’, ‘old people's home’, ‘hospital’) point to a diversity of functions, target groups and services that partly overlap with each other. Private houses for sick members o…

Gesius

(298 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] or Gessios, from Petra (Steph. Byz. s.v. Γέα/ Géa), physician and teacher, end of the 5th/early 6th cent. AD, close friend of Aeneas [3] (Epist. 19; 20) and Procopius of Gaza (Epist. 38; 58; 123; 134). He studied medicine under the Jew Domnos (Suda s.v. Γέσιος/ Gésios) in Alexandria, where he practised as   iatrosophistḗs (teacher of medicine). Although opposed to Christianity, he was baptized at the instigation of the emperor Zeno but retained a cynically negative attitude towards his new religion. He protected th…

Mnesitheus

(118 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] (Μνησίθεος; Mnēsítheos). Athenian doctor, fl. 350 BC. His tomb was seen by Paus. (1,37,4). He was wealthy enough to erect statues and was one of the dedicators of the beautiful ex-voto inscription to Asclepius IG II2 1449. He is frequently associated with Dieuches [1]; he wrote extensively about dietetics including diets for children, and is counted amongst the more important Dogmatic physicians (Dogmatists) [1]. Galen ascribes to him a logical classification of illnesses that follows Plato's method (fr. 10,11 Bert…

Eryximachus

(89 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] (Ερυξίμαχος; Eryxímachos) Son of  Acumenus, Athenian doctor and Asclepiad, 5th cent. BC. As a friend of the sophist Hippias (Pl. Prt. 315A) and of Phaedrus (Pl. Phdr. 268A; Symp. 177A), he plays an important part in Plato's Symposium, in which he delivers a long speech in honour of Eros (185E-188E). His slightly pedantic manner earns him only the good-natured laughter of the invited guests but contemporary parallels to his linking of natural philosophy and medicine can be found in the Corpus Hippocraticum. Nutton, Vivian (London)

Medicine

(5,440 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
Nutton, Vivian (London) [German version] A. Introduction (CT) The history of Classical medicine developed in different ways in the three cultures of Byzantium, Islam (Arabic medicine, Arabic-Islamic Cultural Sphere) and Latin Christianity. The first two shared a heritage of late-Antique Galenism, which was far less pervasive in Western Europe and Northern Africa than in the Greek world and among the Syriac Christians of the Near East. From the 11th cent. onwards, Western Europe rediscovered Galenism lar…

Melancholy

(1,547 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London) | Blamberger, Günter
Nutton, Vivian (London) [German version] I. Medicine (CT) In the 5th cent. AD, the originally Galenic notion (Galenism) that melancholy was a temperament ruled by black bile, one of the four main humours, irreversibly merged with the older notion of a specific illness by that name. In that way, black bile had come to be seen as the most dangerous bodily fluid, and melancholics seemed more than ever afflicted with all kinds of diseases. Isidorus [9] Etymologiae X 176, derived the term malus from an excess of black bile, which caused melancholics to avoid human company and mad…

Ne(i)leus

(207 words)

Author(s): Käppel, Lutz (Kiel) | Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] [1] Founder of Miletos (Νειλεύς/ Neileús; Νηλεύς/ Nēleús; Νείλεως/ Neíleōs). Mythical founder of the city of Miletus [2]; from Pylos; son of the Attic king Codrus, brother of Medon [5]; since he is second to his brother in the succession, he leaves Attica with a group of Athenians und Ionians from Pylos, settles the Ionian cities in Asia Minor, founds Miletus and the Milesian dynasty of rulers. His son Aepytus founds Priene (Hellanicus FGrH 125 F 10; Hdt. 9,97; Callim. Iambi fr. 191,76; Str. 14,1,3; Paus. 7,2,1ff). Käppel, Lutz (Kiel) [German version] [2] Greek surgeon a…

Stertinius

(262 words)

Author(s): Schmitt, Tassilo (Bielefeld) | Nutton, Vivian (London)
Three bearers  of the Italic gens name S. are known from the late Republic. [German version] [1] S., L. Held a pro-consular imperium over Hispania Ulterior By popular vote a pro-consular imperium over Hispania Ulterior was transferred to him for 199 BC (Liv. 31,50,10-11 and [1]), and he returned in 196 with such great booty that he was able to have three arches built in Rome (Liv. 33,27,3-4); In 196 he was a member of a commission to re-organize Greece (Pol. 18,48,2 and [2]). Schmitt, Tassilo (Bielefeld) [German version] [2] S., C. Praetor of Sardinia in 188 BC Praetor of Sardinia in 188 BC …

Dieuches

(444 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London) | Hidber, Thomas (Berne)
(Διεύχης; Dieúchēs). [German version] [1] Physician and author of medical texts Physician and author of medical texts in the 4th and possibly even the early 3rd cent. BC. He viewed the human body from the perspective of the four elementary qualities (Gal. 10,452), approved of bloodletting (11,163) and was positively disposed towards anatomy (11,795). He became particularly respected for his methods of treatment (Gal. 10,28; 11,795), especially because of greater care in prescribing dangerous medication (Or…

Cleophantus

(273 words)

Author(s): Beck, Hans (Cologne) | Nutton, Vivian (London)
(Κλεόφαντος; Kleóphantos). [German version] [1] Son of Themistocles and Archippe Son of  Themistocles and Archippe (Plut. Themistocles 32; Pl. Men. 93d-e), was honoured with civic rights in Lampsacus (ATL III,111-3). Davies 6669,VI. Beck, Hans (Cologne) [German version] [2] Greek physician, 3rd cent. BC Greek doctor, active c. 270-250 BC, brother of  Erasistratus, pupil of  Chrysippus [3] of Cnidus and founder of a medical school (Gal., 17A 603 K.). He wrote a paper on the medical prescription of wine, which provided the model for a similar…

Themison

(339 words)

Author(s): Beck, Hans (Cologne) | Nutton, Vivian (London)
(Θεμίσων; Themísōn). [German version] [1] Tyrant from Eretria [1], 4th cent. BC Tyrant of Eretria [1], who occupied Oropus in 366 BC with some of the town’s exiles. The people controlling the operation were based in Thebes, and assistance also came from there in order to fend off an Athenian counter-attack. After an arbitration tribunal the pólis went to the Thebans, who maintained T.’s regime (Diod. Sic. 15,76,1; Dem. Or. 18,99; Xen. Hell. 7,4,1). Beck, Hans (Cologne) Bibliography J. Buckler, The Theban Hegemony, 1980, 193 f. [German version] [2] Th. from Laodicea Greek doctor, …

Philistion

(546 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London) | Furley, William D. (Heidelberg)
(Φιλιστίων; Philistíōn). [German version] [1] P. of Locri Greek physician, 4th cent. BC Physician from Locri in Italy, active around 364 BC. He is said by Plato's 2nd letter to have been the personal physician of Dionysius [2] II at Syracuse in that year. However, a fragment of the comic poet Epicrates [4] (Ath. 2,59c) has been plausibly interpreted to mean that he arrived at Athens soon after this. He wrote about dietetics, pharmacology and surgery. The Anonymus Londiniensis (20,25ff. = fragment 4 Wellmann)…

Alcon

(290 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Nutton, Vivian (London)
(Ἄλκων; Álkōn). [German version] [1] Figure of Greek myth: son of Erechtheus Son of Erechtheus, who fled to Chalcis. Father of Chalciope (Proxenus FGrH 425 F 2), or son of the Euboean hero Abas (Ephorus F 33). He sends his son Phalerus, who in Phalerum is venerated as a hero, along on an Argonaut journey (Apoll. Rhod. 1,95; Hyg. Fab. 14); according to Orph. Arg. 144 Phaleros comes instead from Mysia and founds the Thessalian city of Gyrton. Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) [German version] [2] Figure of Greek myth: son of Hippocoon of Amyklai Son of Hippocoon of Amyclae (Apollod. 3,124), kille…

Archagathus

(345 words)

Author(s): Meister, Klaus (Berlin) | Nutton, Vivian (London)
(Ἀρχάγαθος; Archágathos). [German version] [1] Son of Agathocles [2] (end of the 4th cent. BC) Before his return to Sicily in 308/7 BC  Agathocles [2] gave the command of the African troops to his eldest son A. despite his poor military ability. Since the latter fragmented the invasion army, the Carthaginians soon achieved significant successes and encircled A. in Tunes (Diod. Sic. 20,57-61). Even Agathocles could not reverse the situation in Africa after his return and fled to Sicily while abandoning the army. Therefore, embittered soldiers killed A. (Diod. Sic. 20,68). Meister, Klau…

Dogmatists

(632 words)

Author(s): Frede, Michael (Oxford) | Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] [1] Philosophers Originally a sceptical expression to designate those who adopt as their own a view ( dógma; cf. S. Emp. P.H. 1,13) ─ especially a philosophical or scientific view ─ which, in sceptical thinking, cannot be justified let alone proven (S. Emp. P.H. 1,3). Also applied by the Pyrrhonians in an extended sense to those Academicians who adopted views such as that nothing can be known (cf. the ἰδίως/ idíōs in S. Emp., ibid.). Because of the close link between empiricism and Scepticism in medicine, the term ‘Dogmatists’ was often also applied…

Onasander

(561 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
(Ονάσανδρος; Onásandros). [German version] [1] Physician on Cos, c. 250 BC Public physician of Cos in c. 250 BC. As a resident of Cos without citizens' rights, he apprenticed with a public physician ( archiatrós ) in Halasarna, became his assistant and followed him to Cos when he was chosen public doctor there. There he opened his own practice but continued to treat his old patients from Halasarna, at times for nothing. The inscription documenting his career is one of the most informative ones about physicians to survive from antiquity. Nutton, Vivian (London) Bibliography  R. Herzog, Dec…

Epaenetus

(233 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London) | Binder, Gerhard (Bochum)
(Επαίνετος; Epaínetos) [German version] [1] Medicinal plant expert Medicinal plant expert and author of toxicological works, who lived between the 1st cent. BC and the 3rd cent. AD. His views on the dangerous characteristics of wolfbane, hemlock, opium, mandrake, henbane, poisonous mushrooms, black chamaeleon (a plant whose leaves can change colour), of bull's blood, of litharge and of lumpsucker as well as his remedies against these poisons are reported in detail in Ps.-Aelius Promotus' De venenis (ed. princeps, S. Ihm, 1995).  Medicine;  Toxicology Nutton, Vivian (London) …
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