The Compositiones Medicamentorum of Scribonius Largus

Jocks, Ianto Thorvald (2013) The Compositiones Medicamentorum of Scribonius Largus. MRes thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The Compositiones Medicamentorum of Scribonius Largus constitute an important but little known contribution to the history of first century CE Roman medical and pharmacological writing. This dissertation will contribute both a general introduction to Scribonius Largus and the Compositiones Medicamentorum, as well as a more detailed discussion of this text in order to stress its relevance to the study and understanding of ancient medicine, ethics, and pharmacology. Scribonius Largus emerges as a physician concerned with the professional obligations, personal morality, and sympathy as well as empathy required of the medical practitioner, and who considers ethics to be the foundation of and consequently inseparable from medicine. With regards to the more medical and pharmacological side of the Compositiones, it will be shown that in comparison to the theoretical and philosophical approaches to disease and treatment that dominate the medical discourse of his time, Scribonius Largus was a much more practice-focused author with little concern for discussions of the aetiology of disease, although indications can be found that Scribonius was familiar with and is influenced in certain ways by the dominant schools of medicine of his times, particularly methodism and empiricism. Furthermore, it will be argued that despite containing cases where the approach to treatment might be considered superstitious, the Compositiones constitute a remarkably rational text with a quantitative and evidence-focused approach to pharmacology and therapeutics. Although the Compositiones have been previously studied predominantly with respect to its epistula dedicatoria and for its illustration of medical Latin, the work will be shown to constitute a valuable source for the study of Roman medical practice. The thesis concludes with suggestions for further research beyond the present analysis.

Item Type: Thesis (MRes)
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Ancient Medicine, History of Medicine, Classics, Ancient Pharmacolgy, Medical Ethics, Latin, Latin Medical Texts, Roman Medicine
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > Classics
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Ruffell, Dr. Ian
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: Mr Ianto Jocks
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-4892
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2014 09:23
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2014 09:39
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/4892

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