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17 Greek Medicine in Scribonius Largus’ Compositiones

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Chapter Summary

Roman scientific and technical literature, considered in all its genres and forms, is a continuation and development of Hellenistic literature, so it would be more proper to refer to science of the Graeco-Roman period. From the second century B.C, the art of medicine in Rome was Greek in its doctrines, its language, its practitioners: suffice it to mention Asclepiades, Themison of Laodicea, Dioscorides, Thessalus of Tralles, Archigenes, Soranus, and so many others who spent some or all of their professional careers in Rome. The chapter examines the work of Scribonius Largus in order to throw light on certain features of Methodist doctrine. A strong empirical bent is apparent in the Book of Recipes (Compositiones), where there is a pronounced emphasis on the personal verification of remedies. The chapter gives some examples of what emerged from the text, discoveries made possible by the nuovi excerpta identified by Fischer and studied by Fischer/Sconocchia.

Keywords: Graeco-Roman period; Greek medicine; Fischer; nuovi excerpta; Scribonius Largus' Compositiones



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