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Reading, Studying And Using The Hippocratic Catalogues Of Recipes

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Chapter Summary

This chapter attempts to determine how and by whom the Hippocratic collections of recipes were read, studied and used. It is important to note from the outset that literacy is not a monolithic skill: writing and reading, the two constitutive skills of literacy, are distinct. The chapter considers the format of the catalogues of recipes; how they were presented materially in antiquity and how this may give us information on the context in which the written recipes were read and used. The author explains that, although knowledge of materia medica and how to accommodate ingredients was necessary to understand the recipes, the reader did not need to be skilled in all aspects of drug preparation. The chapter examines the possible tasks which the reader might have delegated to his assistants or patients by studying the feminine participles used in the gynaecological treatises.

Keywords: feminine participle; gynaecological treatise; Hippocratic catalogue of recipes



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