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date: 20 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter treats the Latin pharmaceutical work of Scribonius Largus. His recipe book incorporates not merely the “simples” of pharmacology in the first century ce, but also contains numerous complex, multi-ingredient recipes—organized “by diseases” from head to heel. Two smaller portions of the work prescribe antidotes against poisons and bites from venomous animals, and surgical remedies to help heal fractures, wounds, and the like. The work has affinities with the near-contemporary works of Cornelius Celsus and Pliny the Elder. Scribonius writes to defend and demonstrate the healthful and helpful use of drugs and to promote adherence to high standards of medical practice. Scribonius’ generosity in citing names allows us to place him in his sociocultural and medical context; he traveled with Claudius to Britain in 43 ce. To illustrate the intricately complicated multistage, multisubstance prescriptions in the work, one is translated and annotated, a recipe for a diuretic.

Keywords: Ambrosius of Puteoli, Apuleius Celsus, Paccius Antiochus, Terentius Valens, Tryphon of Gortyn

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