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 Dragon And The Magico-Medical Sphere

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

Further manifestations of the dragon in the realm of prophylaxis and cure are found in epic narratives. The Kitab al-diryaq ("Book of the Theriac") concerns the preparation of the theriac, a medicinal remedy celebrated in antiquity that was considered efficacious against the poison of snakebites or the bites of other wild beasts dealing with the effects of snakebites. An Arabic text ascribed to Hermes Trismegistos on the venom of serpents and other poisonous creatures, translated and compiled from the Greek most probably in the ninth century and in circulation throughout the medieval period, reveals the association between toxicology and the Hermetic notions of sympathies. Belief in the healing properties of a magic serpent stone is ancient and widespread and refers to a precious stone located either in the head of the dragon or in its mouth, that is, one that would be expectorated by the ophidian creature.

Keywords: dragon; Kitab al-diryaq; prophylaxis; serpents; venom



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:
    The Dragon in Medieval East Christian and Islamic Art — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation