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Oral Transmission Of Medical Knowledge And Written Recipes

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Chapter Summary

This chapter introduces the works of Jacques Jouanna and Hermann Grensemann scholars and explains that compendiast/stemmatic models, models that are exclusively based on the philological analysis of texts, are inadequate for understanding the history of ancient pharmacology, an art that was transmitted both in writing and orally. The author follows Ann Ellis Hanson in suggesting that the Hippocratic catalogues of recipes have drawn upon both written and oral sources. It describes the formal characteristics of the Hippocratic recipes and catalogues of recipes and examines the linguistic features of the written recipes, using recent linguistic studies on recipes as text types. Grensemann, Jouanna and Ihm approached ancient medical texts as philologists: they study texts and their transmission and have relatively little interest in the practice of medicine in ancient Greece. Hippocratic recipes can be found in two settings: embedded in nosological descriptions or in catalogues of recipes.

Keywords: ancient pharmacology; compendiast/stemmatic model; Hippocratic recipes; oral sources



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