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(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)


(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 …


(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…


(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.


(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…


(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)


(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…

Venereal diseases

(398 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] In the absence of unambiguous diagnostic evidence it is difficult to reconstruct the ancient history of VD. Less harmful infections such as herpes genitalis (Hippocr. De mulierum affectibus 1,90 = 8,214-8 L.) and chlamydia [2. 220] are well attested, the two major VD of modern times, gonorrhoea and syphilis, can be detected in surviving material only with difficulty. Gonorrhoea, a Greek word coinage presumably from the Hellenistic period, describes any form of excessive production of fluid in a man. It…

Artorius, M.

(136 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] Doctor, and follower of Asclepiades of Bithynia (Caelius Aurelianus Morb. acut. 3,113), was in Philippi with Octavian where a dream saved the life of the future emperor (Plut. Antonius 22; Brutus 47; Val. Max. 1,7,2; Vell. Pat. 2,70,1). He was honoured by the Athenians (IG II/III2 4116), probably on the occasion of a journey to Delos (IDélos 4116), and died around 27 BC in a shipwreck (Hieron. Chron. Olymp. 127). A. believed that rabies first attacked the brain and that it spread to the stomach and caused hiccups, unquenchab…


(82 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[English version] Griech. Arzt und Philosoph, Lehrer des Galenos, lebte um 150 n. Chr. in Kleinasien (Gal. 19,58, CMG V 10,2,2, 287). Als langjähriger Schüler des Quintus (Gal. 18A, 575) und Anhänger des Hippokrates interpretierte er zumindest einige ihrer Lehren in stoischerem Sinne, z. B. aus dem Bereich der Psychologie, in der er dem Stoiker Simias folgte (Gal. 19,58; 18b, 654]. Die Hippokratesdeutung, die ihm in der Galenausgabe von Kühn bei Gal. 16,484 zugeschrieben wird, ist eine Renaissancefälschung. Nutton, Vivian (London)


(696 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[English version] A. Geschichte Die E. sind eine griech. Ärzteschule, gegr. um 250 v.Chr. von Philinos von Kos, einem Schüler des Herophilos (Ps.-Galen Introductio; Gal. 14,683). Nach Celsus (De med. pr. 10) wurde sie hingegen etwas später von Serapion von Alexandria begründet. Nach einigen Doxographen war der Gründer Akron von Akragas (um 430 v.Chr.; fr. 5-7 Deichgräber). In den medizinischen Doxographien wird sie als eine der drei Hauptströmungen in der griech. Medizin noch zur Zeit des Isidorus v…


(375 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[English version] (πυρετός, febris) bezeichnet eigentlich ein Symptom, eine erhöhte Körpertemperatur, doch wird der Begriff von allen ant. medizinischen Autoren häufig zur Bezeichnung einer Krankheit oder einer Krankheitsklasse verwendet. Im mod. diagnostischen Sprachgebrauch deckt der Begriff eine Reihe von Zuständen ab, so daß die Identifizierung jedes antiken “F.” ohne weitere Untergliederung von F.-Arten oder ohne sonstige Symptombeschreibung zum Scheitern verurteilt ist. Solche Identifizierung…


(231 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[English version] (Φυλότιμος) von Kos. Arzt und Jahresbeamter ( mónarchos) von Kos in der ersten H. des 3. Jh. v.Chr.; zusammen mit Herophilos [1] war er Schüler des Praxagoras und wurde eine der klass. Autoritäten der griech. Medizin (vgl. Gal. de examinando medico 5,2), auch wenn seine Schriften h. nur noch in Fr. greifbar sind. Er verfolgte anatomische Interessen, legte den Sitz der Seele in das Herz und hielt das Gehirn für eine bloße und überflüssige Ausdehnung des Rückenmarks (Gal. de usu partium 8…


(92 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[English version] (“Geburtshelferin”, “Hebamme”). Geburtshilfe wurde gewöhnlich von Frauen geleistet, lag jedoch nicht ausschließlich in ihren Händen. So berichtet eine parische Inschr. von zwei männlichen Geburtshelfern (IG 12,5,199), außerdem richten sich die erh. geburtshilflichen Schriften an ein männliches Publikum. I. als Berufsbezeichnung taucht auf zwei röm. Inschr. aus dem 3. bzw. 4. Jh. n.Chr. auf (CIL 6,9477f.); in ersterer wird Valeria Verecunda die ‘erste i. in ihrer Gegend’ gen., ein Epitheton, das eher auf die Qualität ihrer Arbeit als auf ei…


(286 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[English version] (lat. contagio, “Ansteckung”). Krankheitsübertragung von einer Person auf eine andere auf direktem oder indirektem Wege. Mit K. verbindet sich die Vorstellung der Befleckung; im Judentum z.B. gilt, daß Menschen, die an bestimmten Krankheiten (wie Lepra) leiden, oder etwa menstruierende Frauen gemieden werden müssen (Kathartik). Die angeführten Gründe lassen sich entweder in hygienischem oder rel. Sinne verstehen. Ähnliche Empfehlungen sind auch aus dem alten Babylonien und Grieche…

Hippokratischer Eid

(632 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London) RWG
[English version] Die Belege für einen Gebrauch des H. E. in der Spätant. sind uneindeutig. Gregor von Nazianz (or. 7,10) berichtet, sein Bruder Caesarius habe als Medizinstudent in Alexandreia den Eid nicht abgelegt, womit impliziert ist, daß andere ihn sehr wohl geschworen haben. Doch findet sich für die byz. und muslimische Welt kein Nachweis für eine offizielle Verbindlichkeit, den Schwur zu leisten, auch wenn der Eid wohlbekannt war. In der Praxis trat er hinter dem galenischen Konzept zurück…
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