The Medicina Plinii: Latin Text, Translation, and Commentary, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Medicina Plinii

Latin Text, Translation, and Commentary, 1st Edition

By Yvette Hunt


302 pages

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Hardback: 9781138934825
pub: 2019-10-07
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This book presents the first ever English translation of the Medicina Plinii, one of the most influential books of applied medicine and self-medication in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages.

The work, which predates AD 400, was created as a quick reference work for travellers, and became and remained highly influential, as witnessed by frequent references to it and by various later adaptations. Only the rise of scientific medicine and pharmacology led to its demise and confinement in a small corner of specialist studies. It presents more than 1,150 healing methods and recipes mainly adapted from the encyclopedic Natural History of Pliny the Elder, arranged from the patient’s head to foot in order that readers could quickly find treatments for their diseases. The Medicina Plinii is of dual interest to present-day scholarship: The book is a monument for the practical application of classical knowledge which has recently found lively interest in the history of science and medicine. At the same time the Medicina Plinii provides a fascinating insight into the realities of the world of Late Antiquity, and into the anxieties of the people living in the vast Roman empire.

This book will be of particular interest to scholars and advanced students in the History of Science and Medicine, along with a wider audience interested in medicine, and in life in the Roman world.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. The Medicina Plinii: Text and Translation 3. Commentary

About the Author

Yvette Hunt is Honorary Research Fellow within the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at The University of Queensland. She completed her PhD there in 2013. Among her research interests are ancient medicine and toxicology and their reception in the medieval period, ancient magic, and public entertainment in the Roman period along with the policies which regulated it. In the field of ancient medicine, Yvette has previously published a paper addressing the reception of Dioscorides: "Bang for his buck: Dioscorides as a gift of the tenth-century Byzantine court", in Byzantine Culture in Translation, (edited by Amelia Brown and Bronwen Neil).

About the Series

Scientific Writings from the Ancient and Medieval World

Scientific texts provide our main source for understanding the history of science in the ancient and medieval world. The aim of this series is to provide clear and accurate English translations of key scientific texts accompanied by up-to-date commentaries dealing with both textual and scientific aspects of the works and accessible contextual introductions setting the works within the broader history of ancient science. In doing so, the series makes these works accessible to scholars and students in a variety of disciplines including history of science, the sciences, and history (including Classics, Assyriology, East Asian Studies, Near Eastern Studies and Indology).

Texts will be included from all branches of early science including astronomy, mathematics, medicine, biology, and physics, and which are written in a range of ancient languages including Akkadian, Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit. Thus, the series is of use both in the teaching of history and the history of science and for researchers on ancient science. In addition, the series provides a venue for the publication of original research on early scientific texts, in particular through the commentaries.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General