Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Didactic Letters Prefacing Marcellus' On Drugs As Evidence For The Expertise And Reputation Of Doctors In The Late Roman Empire

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

Didactic letters feature quite prominently in the Latin medical corpus, either as prefaces to collections of pharmaceutical recipes or as theoretical treatises in their own right. The focus in this article is on the group of eight letters prefacing the huge recipe collection which constitutes Marcellus's On Drugs, published early in the fifth century AD. The fact that the state could not regulate medical practice put the onus on the public to distinguish between good and bad doctors, and in this book Galen sets out criteria to enable laymen to make this distinction. The fact that there were different levels of healers from professional doctors to educated laymen to country folk with their traditional remedies obviously have implications for the level of knowledge and expertise that can be expected; this study limits to doctors who had some kind of education and were doctors by profession.

Keywords: Didactic letters; doctors; fifth century AD; Galen; Marcellus's On Drugs



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Hippocrates and Medical Education — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation