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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…

Corpus Medicorum

(178 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[English version] This research project was begun in 1901 at the suggestion of the Danish scholar Johan Ludvig Heiberg and with the assistance of the Saxon and Danish Academies of Science and the Puschmann Foundation was established in the Berlin Academy of Sciences. Its self-defined task was the editing of all extant ancient medical authors, initially under the directorship of Hermann Diels. Diels' catalogue of manuscripts by Greek physicians (1906), together with a supplement (1907), remains to …

Alexipharmaka

(207 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] (ἀλεξιφάρμακα; alexiphármaka). ‘Medications that protect from poisons’. The search for effective antidotes is as old as the poisons themselves.  Theophrastus ( c. 380-288/5 BC) already presented discussions of a few antidotes (fr. 360, 361 Fortenbaugh), but a more serious investigation into poisons seems to have begun in Alexandria with  Herophilus and  Erasistratus (around 280 BC) and was continued by Apollodorus and Nicander of Colophon (2nd cent. BC), whose Theriaka and Alexipharmaka are the oldest surviving treatises on the topic. Alexipharmaka can be us…

Hippocratism

(604 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[English version] Even though in Byzantium and the medieval Christian Occident Hippocrates was seen as the founder of medicine and given legendary status, his teachings, as compiled in the Corpus Hippocraticum, were studied only on a very narrow textual basis, and the few available texts were known only through Galen's interpretation or from the lemmata of the Galenic commentaries on Hippocrates. In the Western medicine of the Middle Ages, pseudonymous treatises were at least as influential as those contained in the modern edition of Hippocrates' texts, with the exception of the Aphor…

Mental illness

(976 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] A. Near Eastern Mental illnesses (MI) are described in both Jewish and Babylonian texts. Sometimes physical signs are indicated, as in epilepsy, sometimes behaviours are described as in 1 Sam 16:14-16; 21:13-15, but all MI are ascribed to the intervention of God, or, in texts from 500 BC onwards, of a variety of demons [1]. Treatment might be limited to confinement (Jer 29:26-8) or exorcism, including music, but the Jewish ‘Therapeutae’ took an approach that involved the entire lifes…

Transmission of disease

(307 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] Latin contagio, ‘infection’, refers to the transmission of disease (TD) from person to person, directly or through an intermediary. TD is associated with the idea of pollution: Judaism, for instance, holds that people suffering from certain diseases (such as leprosy) or menstruating women must be avoided (Purification). The stated reasons were either hygienic or religious. Similar precepts are known from ancient Babylon and Greece as well. The observation that those in close contac…

Aelius Promotus

(91 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] A., of Alexandria, worked during the first half of the second cent. as doctor and writer. He wrote about medicines and sympathetic remedies [1; 2]. The manuscripts also count among the writings of A. a treatise about toxicology [3], the core of which originated in A.'s time and which was apparently one of the main sources for  Aetius [3] of Amida, even if it shows signs of revisions in the meantime. Nutton, Vivian (London) Bibliography 1 E. Rohde, KS vol.1, 1901, 380-410 2 M. Wellmann, in: SBAW 1908, 772-777 3 S. Ihm, 1995.

Erasistratus

(1,039 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
(Ερασίστρατος; Erasístratos) [German version] A. Life Physician, born in the 4th-3rd cent. BC at Iulis on Ceos; the son of Cleombrotus, physician to Seleucus I, and Cretoxene; brother and nephew to other physicians (fr. 1-8 Garofalo). Information on his education is contradictory, but, if we ignore Eusebius when he tells us that E. attained the zenith of his career in 258 BC, a link with Theophrastus and the Peripatos appears possible [7]. The professional practice of his father and E.'s own associati…

Ionicus

(90 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] of Sardis. Teacher and physician, who worked around AD 390. The son of a physician and a pupil of Zeno of Cyprus, he was well respected, particularly regarding his services to practical therapy, pharmacology, the art of bandaging, and surgery. In addition, he was a philosopher with particular gifts in medical prognostication as well as in fortunetelling (Eunapius, Vitae Philosophorum 499). Furthermore, he is reported to have distinguished himself as a well-known orator and poet, even though none of his works have survived. Nutton, Vivian (London)

Epilepsy

(357 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] From 1050 BC onwards we find careful descriptions of epilepsy and its various manifestations in Babylonian texts [1]. There, epilepsy is linked to gods, spirits, or demons. The belief in a religious cause of epilepsy and the corresponding treatment of it through religious, magical, and folk-medicinal methods can be traced throughout all of antiquity and across cultural borders. In c. 400 BC, the Hippocratic author of De morbo sacro propagated a purely somatic interpretation of epilepsy , wherein he suspected that changes in the balance of bodily fluids we…

Hippokratismus

(550 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London) RWG
[English version] Obwohl Hippokrates in Byzanz und im christl. Abendland des MA als Begründer der Medizin galt und geradezu zur Legende erhoben wurde, beschäftigte man sich mit den im Corpus Hippocraticum vertretenen Lehren nur auf schmalster Textbasis, wobei man die wenigen Texte entweder nur in der Deutung Galens oder aus den Lemmata der galenischen Hippokrateskommentare kannte. Im MA waren in der westl. Medizin pseudonyme Abhandlungen mindestens ebenso einflußreich wie die Abhandlungen, die unsere heutige Hippokratesausgabe enthält. Ausnahmen bilden die Aphorismen, das Pr…

Erotianos

(297 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[English version] Griech. Grammatiker, Mitte oder Ende des 1. Jh. n.Chr., Verfasser eines Glossars hippokratischer Wörter, das er Andromachos [4 oder 5], einem Arzt am kaiserlichen Hof in Rom, widmete [2; 3]. Der überlieferte alphabetische Aufbau des Glossars stammt nicht von E., da er in seinem Vorwort (9), ausdrücklich betont, er habe die Wörter in der Folge ihres Vorkommens in ca. 37 hippokratischen Schriften erklärt, die sich ihrerseits klassifizieren ließen in 1) semiotische, 2) physiologisch…

Philagrios

(114 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[English version] (Φιλάγριος). Arzt aus Epeiros, wirkte im 3. bis 4. Jh.n.Chr., praktizierte in Thessalonike; Verf. von mehr als 70 B.: Abh. über Diätetik, Gicht, Wassersucht und Tollwut sowie ein Hippokrates-Komm. [1]. Von späteren, v.a. arabischen Autoren wird er häufig mit seinen therapeutischen Verfahren bei Leber- und Milzkrankheiten zitiert. Was seinen theoretischen Hintergrund betrifft, so folgt er oftmals Galenos, doch legt er besonderen Wert auf das Pneuma (Pneumatiker) als koordinierende Kraft im Organismus. Sein Name wird häufig in Filaretus entstellt (z.B. fr…

Krankenhaus

(539 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London) RWG
[English version] In der Spätant. war das K. ein Ort innerhalb eines rel. geprägten Umfeldes, an dem man sich um Notleidende einschließlich alter und kranker Menschen kümmerte. Im Früh-MA entstanden entlang der großen Pilgerrouten Ketten kleinerer Herbergen. Viele Benediktinerklöster verfügten über eigene Krankenstationen, die auch den Bedürfnissen einer breiteren Öffentlichkeit gedient haben mögen. Vom 11. Jh. an wurden K. unter dem erneuten Einfluß des östl. Mittelmeerraums - allerdings ohne Bin…
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