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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…


(109 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] Greek physician, head of an Erasistratean school in Smyrna, early 1st cent. BC (Str. 12,8,20); he wrote on  dietetics (Plin. HN 14,130; 20,35; 27,31), embryology (Tert. De anima 25) and toothache (Plin. HN 12,40). He was the inventor of a famous black plaster that ‘helped with all types of wounds’ (Gal. 13,787). Galen, who recorded four different recipes for this medication (13,780; 787; 810; 812) and cites the four authors ( Andromachus [5] the Younger,  Heras,  Heraclides [27] a…

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…


(78 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[English version] (Crinas) aus Marseille (Massalia), Arzt, der zu Neros Lebzeiten nach Rom kam (Plin. nat. 29,9). Er erwarb sich hohes Ansehen, als er die Astronomie mit der Medizin verband, indem er die Diätpläne für seine Patienten nach dem Lauf der Sterne ausrichtete. Als er starb, hinterließ er 10 Millionen Sesterzen, nachdem er einmal bereits die gleiche Summe aufgewandt hatte, um die Befestigungswälle und andere Anlagen in seiner Geburtsstadt wieder instandsetzen zu lassen. Nutton, Vivian (London)

Artorius, M.

(131 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[English version] Arzt und Anhänger des Asklepiades von Bithynien (Caelius Aurelius morb. acut. 3,113), war mit Octavian in Philippi, wo ein Traum dem zukünftigen Kaiser das Leben rettete (Plut. Antonius 22; Brutus 47; Val. Max. 1,7,2; Vell. 2,70,1). Er wurde, wohl anläßlich einer Reise nach Delos (IDélos 4116), von den Athenern geehrt (IG II/III2 4116) und starb um 27 v.Chr. bei einem Schiffbruch (Hieron. chron. Olymp. 127). A. glaubte, daß Tollwut das Gehirn zuerst angreife, daß sie auf den Magen übergreife und Schlucken verursache, unstillbaren…


(1,107 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London)
[English version] I. Griechenland Die griech. Medizin hebt sich von der ägypt. oder babylon. entscheidend dadurch ab, daß sie der D. im weiten Sinn einer Eß-, Trink-, Bewegungs- und Badekultur innerhalb der Therapeutik eine zentrale Stellung einräumt [2. 395-402; 3]. Urspr. bedeutete D. die Verabreichung von aufeinander abgestimmten Nahrungsmitteln in flüssiger, breiiger oder fester Form je nach Grad der Erkrankung (Hippokr. de medicina vetere 5 [4. 241-257]). Um die Mitte des 5. Jh.v.Chr. wuchs sie…

Arabische Medizin

(1,939 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London) RWG
Nutton, Vivian (London) RWG [English version] A. Grundlagen (RWG) Spätestens um 500 n.Chr. basierte die griech. Medizin auf Galen (Galenismus). Konkurrierende medizinische Theorien waren kaum mehr in Umlauf, und sogar pragmatisch orientierte Ärzte wie Alexander von Tralleis lehnten galenische Theoreme nicht vollkommen ab. In Alexandreia selbst und auch sonst im byz. Reich, wo man der alexandrinischen Trad. folgte, z.B. in Ravenna, gab es ein Curriculum, das aus galenischen Texten, den sog. 16 Büchern Summaria Alexandrinorum sowie hippokratischen Texten bestand, die in…


(375 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London) RWG
[English version] Klass., auf den hippokratisch-galenischen Theoremen eines Säftegleichgewichts beruhende diätetische Vorstellungen spielten bis ins 20. Jh. hinein in der Medizin eine bedeutende Rolle (Säftelehre). In der Arabischen Medizin gilt, daß alle Nahrungsmittel Kräfte enthalten, die, einmal über die Nahrung aufgenommen, die Gesundheit des Körpers zum Guten wie zum Schlechten beeinflussen können. Daher gehörte es zu den Aufgaben des Arztes, Lebensordnungen für den Gesundheits- wie für den …
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