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Alcamenes

(438 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London) | Neudecker, Richard (Rome)
(Ἀλκαμένης; Alkaménēs). [German version] [1] of Abydus Greek physician Greek physician of the 5th and 4th cents. BC. According to Aristotle or his student Meno, A. blamed illnesses on the residue of undigested food: presumably, it rises to the head where it accumulates only to be distributed throughout the body as a harmful substance (Anon. Londiniensis 7,42). A. assumed a position contrary to the opinions of Euryphon of Cnidus, who ascertained that the head is less involved in the origin of illnesses. It is not certain whether A. was his student.  Anonymus Londiniensis Nutton, Vivian (…

Metrodorus

(1,340 words)

Author(s): Bodnár, István (Budapest) | von Bredow, Iris (Bietigheim-Bissingen) | Dorandi, Tiziano (Paris) | Günther, Linda-Marie (Munich) | Hidber, Thomas (Berne) | Et al.
(Μητρόδωρος/ Metródōros). [German version] [1] M. of Chios Democritan philosopher, 5th/4th cent. BC Democritan philosopher ( Democritus [1]) of the 5th-4th cent. BC who recognised Fullness and Emptiness, Being and Non-Being as the first principles. This orthodoxy, however, does not go beyond the fundamental theoretical views of Atomism: M. is said to have had his own views in other matters (70 A 3 DK). M. propounds the uncreatedness of the universe (τὸ πᾶν) in the Eleatic manner ( Eleatic School) because a c…

Anatomy

(1,960 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] A. Egypt and ancient Orient Anatomy in the sense of a systematically gained body of knowledge on the basis of dissections appears to have been a Greek invention. We do know that Babylonian (and later also Etruscan) hepatoscopy entailed the removal of an animal liver, but aside from the relatively differentiated terminology for this organ and the assignment of certain emotions to the main organs, Babylonian texts are silent about the topic of anatomy [17]. The beginnings of anatomical r…

Mantias

(261 words)

Author(s): Engels, Johannes (Cologne) | Nutton, Vivian (London)
(Μαντίας; Mantías). [German version] [1] Athenian strategos, 360/359 BC Son of Mantitheus of Thoricus In 377/76 BC tamias of the shipyards (IG II2 1622,435f). In 360/359 BC Athenian strategos of a naval division and auxiliary troops sent to assist the Macedonian claimant Argaeus against Philip II. By delaying in Methone, he was co-responsible for Argaeus's defeat (Diod. Sic. 16,2,6 and 16,3,5; in c. 358/7). Details about his family are distorted by diabolḗ (‘slander, calumny’) in Demosthenes (Or. 39 and 40). For his trierarchies cf. IG II2 1604,10 and 46 as well as 1609,61f. Engels, Joh…

Timotheus

(2,915 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London) | Robbins, Emmet (Toronto) | Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg) | Schmitz, Winfried (Bielefeld) | Neudecker, Richard (Rome) | Et al.
(Τιμόθεος; Timótheos). [German version] [1] T. of Metapontum Greek physician, c. 400 BC Greek physician, fl. c. 400 BC. According to the Anonymus Londiniensis (8,8), T. believed that disease was the result of the blockage of passages through which residues would have been excreted. Residues that have risen up from the entire body are forced to remain in the head until they are transformed into a saline, acrid fluid. They then break out and cause a wide variety of disease, whose character is determined by the place or places to which they flow.. Humoral theory Nutton, Vivian (London) …

Aristoxenus

(833 words)

Author(s): Zaminer, Frieder (Berlin) | Nutton, Vivian (London)
(Ἀριστόξενος; Aristóxenos). [German version] [1] Musician, Musical theoretician, philosopher, biographer, from Tarentum from Tarentum, musician, musical theorist, philosopher, biographer, known as μουσικός. According to Suda son of Mnesias or of the musician Spintharus, pupil of his father, of a certain Lamprus of Erythrae, of the Pythagorean Xenophilus and finally of Aristotle. In Mantinea A. turned to philosophy. Claims to have heard in Corinth the story of Damon and Phintias from the tyrant Dionysius II …

Antidotarium

(264 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] The term originally designated treatises about antidotes, for instance Gal. de antidotis, 14,1-209 (trans. and comment. by [1, cf. 6]) and Philomenus (ed. by [2]), but, in medieval Latin, it referred to all writings about composite medications. It is unclear when exactly the shift in meaning occurred, since most collections of medications in late antiquity show neither titles not authors. The earliest documentation of the title is found in a MS from the 11th cent., which, however,…

Hospital

(590 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[English version] In Late Antiquity, a hospital was a place within an environment of religious character, where one cared for people in need including old and sick ones. In the early MA, along the great routes of pilgrimage, chains of small inns developed. Many Benedictine monasteries had their own hospital wards, which may also have catered for the needs of a large part of the public. As of the 11th cent., hospitals were constructed in cities, again under the influence of eastern Mediterranean cu…

Abas

(302 words)

Author(s): Schachter, Albert (Montreal) | Nutton, Vivian (London)
(Ἄβας). [German version] [1] Figure from Myth of the Peloponnese and central Greece Myth of the Peloponnese and central Greece: a) Argus. Son of Lynceus and Hypermestra. By Aglaea, daughter of Mantineus, father of the twins Acrisius and Proetus (Apollod. 2,24; Hes. fr. 129 M-W; cf. Paus. 2,16,2; 10,35,1) and Idomene, mother of Bias and Melampus by Amythaon (Apollod. 2,24). Lynceus gave A. the shield, consecrated by Danaus to Hera, and for whose festival he had established the agon ἄσπις ἐν Ἄργει (Hyg. Fab. 1…

Menecrates

(1,116 words)

Author(s): Nesselrath, Heinz-Günther (Göttingen) | Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg) | Nutton, Vivian (London) | Meister, Klaus (Berlin) | Mehl, Andreas (Halle/Saale) | Et al.
(Μενεκράτης; Menekrátes). [German version] [1] Attic comic poet, 5th cent. BC Attic comic poet of the 5th cent. BC. Two titles of his plays have survived, Ἑρμιονεύς/ Hermioneús (or Ἑρμιόνη/ Hermiónē?) and Μανέκτωρ/ Manéktōr (probably ‘Manes as Hector) [1. test. 1], as well as an anapaestic tetrameter (fr. 1) from the latter. It is uncertain whether Menecrates was once victorious at the Dionysia [1. test. *2]. Nesselrath, Heinz-Günther (Göttingen) Bibliography 1 PCG VII, 1989, 1-2. [German version] [2] Tragic poet, 5th cent. BC Greek tragic poet, victor at the Great Dionysia in…

Epidemic diseases

(1,056 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] I. Prehistory and early history Epidemic diseases (ED), or in the broadest sense, diseases that attack a large number of living beings simultaneously have been documented archaeologically since the middle of the Bronze Age, that is, since c. 2800 BC. Their appearance has been linked to population growth and the resulting ease with which disease can spread from animals to humans and from person to person [9. 251]. In Egypt, smallpox appears to have been known since c. 1250 BC, although papyri with medicinal content do not refer to this or any other compara…

Anonymus Londiniensis

(480 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] The papyrus inventory no. 137 of the British Library in London is the most important surviving medical papyrus. It was written towards the turn of the 1st to the 2nd cent. and is divided into three parts: columns 1-4,17 contain a list of definitions that concern the páthē of body and soul (cf. the discussion in Gal. Meth. med. 1); columns 4,21-20,50, present different views about the causes of diseases; columns 21,1-39,32 deal with physiology. The text as well as many internal characteristics indicate that these chapters, thou…

Diphilus

(1,242 words)

Author(s): Schmitz, Winfried (Bielefeld) | Badian, Ernst (Cambridge, MA) | Di Marco, Massimo (Fondi Latina) | Nesselrath, Heinz-Günther (Göttingen) | Nutton, Vivian (London)
(Δίφιλος; Díphilos). [German version] [1] Athenian operator of a silver mine c. 330 BC Athenian operator of a silver mine. In 330 BC, he was charged by Lycurgus with illegally mining the mesokrineís (pillars), which served both as markers to separate the various leases within the mine but also as safety props, and sentenced to death. His assets of 160 talents were confiscated and distributed amongst the citizens (Ps.-Plut. Mor. 843D).  Mining Schmitz, Winfried (Bielefeld) Bibliography J. Engels, Studien zur polit. Biographie des Hypereides, 21993, 224-237 M. H. Hansen, Demography…

Pleistonicus

(351 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] (Πλειστόνικος; Pleistónikos). Doctor fl. c. 270 BC; he was a pupil of Praxagoras of Cos (Celsus, De medicina, proem. 20) and one of the 'classics' of Greek medicine in the so-called Dogmatic tradition (Dogmatists [2]; Gal. Methodus medendi 2,5; Gal. De examinando medico 5,2). It is difficult to assess his individuality, as, according to tradition- i.e. fundamentally in Galen - his views are transmitted as being in agreement with those of Praxagoras or other Dogmatists. Like his master…

Zopyrus

(988 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) | Baumbach, Manuel (Zürich) | Heinze, Theodor (Geneva) | Weißenberger, Michael (Greifswald) | Meister, Klaus (Berlin) | Et al.
(Ζώπυρος; Zṓpyros). [German version] [1] Persian, took part in the capture of Babylon Prominent Persian, son of Megabyzus [1], who according to Hdt. 3,153ff. had the gates of rebelling Babylon opened to Darius [1] I by using a ruse (self-mutilation and pretending to be a victim of the Great King). For this deceptive manoeuvre (Polyaenus, Strat. 7,13; referring to King Cyrus: Frontin. Str. 3,3,4) Z. allegedly received from Darius the satrapy of Babylonia for life and tribute-free, but he was killed when the B…

Glaucias

(360 words)

Author(s): Neudecker, Richard (Rome) | Badian, Ernst (Cambridge, MA) | Nutton, Vivian (London)
(Γλαυκίας; Glaukías). [German version] [1] Bronze sculptor from Aegina Bronze sculptor from Aegina. According to Pausanias, he created statues of the boxers Glaucus, Philo and Theagenes in Olympia, whose victories or honours occurred in the 1st quarter of the 5th cent. BC. According to the description, they were depicted in motion, some of them at shadow-boxing; small bronze statues give at least an idea of this. He created a monument for Gelon of Syracuse after his chariot victory in 488 BC; parts of the base with inscriptions are preserved. Neudecker, Richard (Rome) Bibliography Overb…

Iatrosophistes

(216 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] Originally meaning a teacher of medicine (esp. in Alexandria), iatrosophistes could later refer to any experienced practitioner ( medicus sapientissimus, Corpus Glossatorum Latinorum 3,600,32 Goetz), either in orthodox medicine (e.g.  Agnellus, In Galeni De sectis commentarium 33) or in the magical arts of healing (Ps.-Callisthenes, Vita Alexandri 1,3) [1]. Contrary to the emendation by von Arnim in Dion. Chrys. 33,6, the term was probably not coined before the late 4th cent. AD (Epiphanius, Adversu…

Phanostrate

(79 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] (Φανοστράτη; Phanostrátē). Greek-Athenian midwife and doctor, depicted on Attic grave stelae from the end of the 4th cent. BC (IG II/III2 6873; Clairmont, 2. 890). The inclusion of the professional title midwife suggests a certain degree of specialisation in medicine and shows at the same time that women were able to work as doctors and earn a considerable income, as is suggested by the quality and individual designs of the stone mason’s craftsmanship. Nutton, Vivian (London)

Melancholy

(534 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] (μέλαινα χολή/ mélaina cholḗ, ‘black bile’). The fourth humour in the tradition of Hippocratic medicine represented by De natura hominis, ch. 4, and later by Rufus of Ephesus and Galen. It was predominant in autumn, associated with the element earth, and cold and dry. It was viewed as the antithesis of blood, having many deadly properties [1]. According to Galen (De atra bile 5,104-148 K.) in its purest form it was highly destructive to everything it touched, and had its origin in the spleen. Not ev…

Phlebotomy

(371 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] In Babylonian, Egyptian and also Greek medicine, blood-letting was part of standard medical practice. This procedure was carried out either by directly opening a vein, by scarification or by using a cupping vessel. Considering how often the latter are depicted on monuments connected with physicians, cupping may have been the most common method [1]. Two notions seem to have favoured phlebotomy: on the one hand, it supposedly prevented the stagnating of the blood and its transformat…
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