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Humoral theory

(722 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] The idea that physical health was connected with bodily fluids was widespread. Mucus is already mentioned in ancient Egyptian medicine, and also in Babylonian medicine particular attention was paid to the quantity and colour of bodily fluids. The Greeks regarded   ichṓr of the gods, blood (α(̃ιμα; haîma) in humans and sap (χυμός; chymós) in plants as the bearers of life. These fluids (χυμοί/ chymoí, Latin humores) could also become dangerous in excess. Two humours, phlegm (φλέγμα; phlégma) and bile (χόλος; chólos or χολή; cholḗ), are already represented as hazard…

Eustochius

(53 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] Evodus (Εὐστόχιος; Eustóchios) from Alexandria. He encountered  Plotinus towards the end of the latter's life ( c. AD 269), who converted him to philosophy. E. also acted as Plotinus' physician, accompanied him on his last journey, and was with him when he died (Porphyrius V. Plot. 7). Nutton, Vivian (London)

Hippocratic Oath

(704 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[English version] Documentary evidence for a use of the HO in Late Antiquity is ambiguous. Gregory of Nazianzus (Greg. Naz. Or. 7,10) reported that his brother Caesarius did not have to swear the oath as a medical student in Alexandria, thus implying that others probably had to. However, there is no record for the Byzantine or Muslim world to confirm any official obligation to swear this oath, even though it was evidently well-known. In practice, it was superseded by the Galenic concept equating e…

Leprosy

(396 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] also ‘Hansen's Disease’. A chronic disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae affecting the peripheral nerves, and often also the skin. Palaeopathological finds prove its existence in the Mediterranean area only for the Hellenistic period [1], but texts from Babylon, Egypt and Israel from c. 800 BC onwards describe disfiguring skin diseases, among which could be included leprosy, even though the descriptions probably refer to psoriasis. The biblical name of the disease ṣaraʿat, in the Middle Ages wrongly translated as leprosy, referred to a disease whic…

Dietetics

(1,163 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] I. Greece Greek medicine is fundamentally different from Egyptian and Babylonian medicine because it allots dietetics in the broader sense of a regime of eating, drinking, exercise and bathing, a key role within therapeutics [2. 395-402; 3]. Originally, dietetics referred to the administering of balanced foods in liquid, pasty or solid form, depending on the degree of illness (Hippocr. De medicina vetere 5 [4. 241-257]). However, about the mid 5th cent. BC it expanded well beyond a …

Anonymus de herbis

(74 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] Several MSS of Dioscorides contain an anonymous poem of 215 hexameter verses about the qualities of herbs, which was written probably in the 3rd cent. in highly stylized Greek. It refers back to Nicander, Dioscorides and Andromachus [4, the Elder] According to [1], the poetic language shows similarities with the Orphica (newest edition: [1; cf. 2]). Nutton, Vivian (London) Bibliography 1 E. Heitsch, in: AAWG 1964, 23-38 2 NGAW 1963, 2, 44-49.

Olympus

(2,377 words)

Author(s): Kramolisch, Herwig (Eppelheim) | Meyer, Ernst (Zürich) | Scherf, Johannes (Tübingen) | Lohmann, Hans (Bochum) | Lafond, Yves (Bochum) | Et al.
(Ὄλυμπος/Ólympos). Geography: [1-13]. People: [14-15]. [German version] [1] Home of the ›Olympian‹ gods, highest mountain in Greece (Latin Olympus) (Latin Olympus). Kramolisch, Herwig (Eppelheim) Meyer, Ernst (Zürich) [German version] I. Geography The highest mountain in Greece, regarded as the home of the 'Olympian' gods (twelve (Olympian) gods). Its altitude, overlooking all of its surroundings, creates a powerful impression, as do its massive size and density and its dramatic ascent, especially at the east and west, which …

Largius Designatianus

(98 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] Medical writer, 4th cent. AD, author of a Latin paraphrase of a Greek letter to (an undefined) king Antigonus that is passed down under the name of Hippocrates [6] and that contained a dietetic plan and advice on treating diseases of the head, chest, belly and kidneys. This paraphrase is extant in the introduction to a medical treatise of Marcellus Empiricus, where it is preceded by a letter of L. to his sons. Both texts probably belonged to the introduction to a medical work by L. that is lost today. Nutton, Vivian (London)

Heraclitus I (Gk)

(1,845 words)

Author(s): Betegh, Gábor (Budapest) | Robbins, Emmet (Toronto) | Albiani, Maria Grazia (Bologna) | Bäbler, Balbina (Göttingen) | Fornaro, Sotera (Sassari) | Et al.
(Ἡράκλειτος; Hērákleitos). [German version] [1] H. of Ephesus Ionian philosopher, c. 500 BC Son of Bloson, outstanding personality within Ionian philosophy. Betegh, Gábor (Budapest) [German version] A. The person H.'s main period of activity is estimated to have been about 503-500 BC (Diog. Laert. 9,1). He belonged to a leading family in the public life of Ephesus. The doxographic tradition records several anecdotes of H.'s arrogance and contempt for his fellow citizens and humanity in general, which are mostly based on fragments of H. Betegh, Gábor (Budapest) [German version] B. La…

Claudius

(10,704 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Will, Wolfgang (Bonn) | Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne) | Eck, Werner (Cologne) | Birley, A. R. (Düsseldorf) | Et al.
Name of a Roman lineage (Sabine Clausus, with the vernacular variant of   Clodius , esp. in the 1st cent. BC). The Claudii supposedly immigrated to Rome from the Sabine city of Regillum at the beginning of the republic in 504 BC under their ancestor Att(i)us Clausus ( Appius) and were immediately accepted into the circle of patrician families (Liv. 2,16,4-6), which explains why the early members received the invented epithets of Inregillensis C. [I 5-6] and Sabinus C. [I 31-32], [1. 155f.]. The praenomen Appius came to signify the family. Named after them was the Tribus Claudi…

Iacobus Psychrestus

(108 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] Physician, the son of Hesychius of Damascus, changed his residence in the early 6th cent. AD in order to join his father's medical practice in Constantinople. He treated emperor Leo, whereupon he became a   comes and   archiatros (Chron. pasch. 8254a; Malalas, Chronographia 370 Dindorf; Photius, Bibliotheca 344A). As a pagan philosopher who was honoured in Athens and Constantinople with statues, he ordered the rich to help the poor. The latter he incidentally treated without charging a fee. His nic…

Galenism

(389 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[English version] Whereas between about AD 500 and 1100,  Galen was almost unknown in Western Europe, the orthodox  medicine of the Byzantine and Muslim world was substantially based on his concepts that were increasingly systemized and put into a logical order, with a particular focus on their theoretical content.  Galen's monotheism and teleology commended his works also to an environment dominated by religion. From the 12th …

Salpe

(75 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] (Σάλπη/ Sálpē). Midwife of the Hellenistic era, whose medical and cosmetic recipes were quoted by Plinius [1] in his Historia naturalis (Plin. HN 28,38; 28,66; 28,82; 28,262; 32,135; 32,140). Athenaeus [3] (Ath. 322a) knows a S. as the author of παίγνια/ paígnia (‘light poems’), but it is problematic to consider the two identical [1]. Nutton, Vivian (London) Bibliography 1 D. Bain, Salpe's ΠΑΙΓΝΙΑ; Athenaeus 322a and Plin. H. N. 28,38, in: C…

Agathocles

(1,543 words)

Author(s): Meier, Mischa (Bielefeld) | Meister, Klaus (Berlin) | Badian, Ernst (Cambridge, MA) | Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Karttunen, Klaus (Helsinki) | Et al.
(Ἀγαθοκλῆς; Agathoklês) [German version] [1] of Athens Archon 357/56 BC Archon 357/56 BC (Dem. Or. 47,44; Diod. Sic. 16,9). Meier, Mischa (Bielefeld) [German version] [2] Tyrant King of Syracuse (316-288 BC) Later king of Syracuse, born 361/0 BC in Thermae in Sicily. Son of Carcinus, who had been banned from Rhegium, and who under  Timoleon had received citizenship in Syracuse and had a pottery manufactory. A. had an adventurous youth,…

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)…

Fever

(438 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] (πυρετός/ pyretós, Lat. febris) strictly refers to a symptom only, i.e. a raise in body temperature, but all ancient medical authors frequently use this term to refer to a specific illness or class of illness. In modern diagnostic usage, the term covers a variety of conditions; thus the identification of any ancient ‘fever’ without any further sub-classification or other description of symptoms is bound to fail. Such aids to identification could consist of observations regarding the periodicity of fever attacks, as in the

Rufus

(1,595 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Eck, Werner (Cologne) | Nutton, Vivian (London) | Weißenberger, Michael (Greifswald) | Simons, Roswitha (Düsseldorf)
Common Roman cognomen ('red-haired', 'redhead', Quint. Inst. 1,4,25). Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) [German version] [1] [- - -]us R. Proconsul of Pontus-Bithynia with an impressive monument in Rome Proconsul of Pontus-Bithynia, probably in the final period of the Republic or the first years of Augustus. An impressive monument was erected for him in Rome by more than six cities of the province (CIL VI 1508 = 41054; cf. IGUR 71). Eck, Werner (Cologne) Bibliography W. Eck, CIL VI 1508 (Moretti IGUR 71) und die Gestaltung senatorischer Ehrenmonumente, in: Chiron 14, 1984, 201-217  PIR2 R 179. [German version] [2] Consular in the 1st cent. AD, examined the finances of Smyrna Consular who, according to Philostr. VS 1,19, had to examine the finances of the city of Smyrna under Nero (or Nerva -- the transmission is ambiguous). Later governor in Germania, where is said to have passed a sentence on the philosopher Nicetes [2] of Smyrna, with whom he was in conflict. The story sounds suspect; a definite identification is not possible. PIR2 R 183. Eck, Werner (Cologne) [German version] [3] Consular, exiled by Domitian Consular who, according to Philostr. VA 7,33, was a friend of Apollonius [14], and who was exiled to an island by Domitian because of a conspiracy. An identification is not possible. PIR2 R 184. Eck, Werner (Cologne) [German version] [4] Cavalry officer of Herodes [1] the Great Cavalry officer of Herodes [1] the Great, who, after the latter's death, came to the aid of the Romans trapped in Jerusalem. PIR…

Crinas

(73 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)

Moschion

(705 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg) | Stanzel, Karl-Heinz (Tübingen) | Nutton, Vivian (London) | Hidber, Thomas (Berne) | Piccione, Rosa Maria
(Μοσχίων/ Moschíōn). [German version] [1] Tragedian, 3rd cent. BC Athenian tragedian, probably 2nd half of 3rd cent. BC, known almost s…

Democedes

(260 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] (Δημοκήδης; Dēmokḗdēs) of Croton. Greek physician, lived about 500 BC and according to Hdt. 3,125 was the best physician of his age. He was the son of Calliphon and practised in Croton before going to Aegina. After a year the town of Aegina employed him for one talent as the community's physician but a year later he moved to Athens for a higher salary and finally into the service of Polycrates of Samos who paid two talents. After Polycr…
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