CELT document T600021

An Irish Version of Gualterus de Dosibus

Introduction: Walter of Agilon (fl. 1250) and his works.

Not much is known about this author. His name has many variants: Galterius Agilus or Agilinus, Gualterus (de) Agilis or Agilinus or Agilonis or Agilon or Agulum, Agulinus, Gautier d'Agiles, Gualterus de Afguillo, Valtherus Agilo, Walter de Agilon, Walter of Agilon, Walter Agilo, Walter de Agelon, Walterus Agulinus, Walterus Agulum, Waltherus Medicus, Waltherus Salernitanus have all been used.

In Alcuin and MIRABILEWEB we find the following medical tracts, all undated, attributed to him: Compendium urinarum; Contenta urinarum; De contentis urinarum; De dosi medicinarum; De urinis; Febres (=Tractatus de febribus); Glossule super versus Egidii; Liber pulsum (=Liber de pulsibus); Modus iudicandi urinas; Summa medicinalis (=Practica medicinalis). The Compendium urinarum was edited by J. Pfeffer in 1891, and the Summa medicinalis by Diepgen in 1911. For the remaining tracts there are no editions recorded. Even the new focus of popular wisdom, Wikipedia, has as yet (December 2017) no entry on him. So when Diepgen complained, over a hundred years ago, that Walter of Agilon was neglected this still rings true.

His nationality is uncertain, and Diepgen hinted at a Spanish background, based on the name Aguilon “which is very common in that peninsula, and the mentioning of Spanish coins” (5) in the Summa, though Francesco Puccinotti in Storia della Medicina suggested that he was French. There is in fact a community of Aguilón in Zaragoza, Aragón, which settlement was established by the 12th century at latest, but no research has been done in this respect. (As Michael McVaugh has pointed out (1), due to the existence of a medieval papermill in Xàtiva (Valencia), which was part of the Kingdom of Aragón, there was a “remarkable series of royal and municipal records” made for the crown of Aragón still extant in the archives.) Walter was given the epithet “Salernus” in Clm 325, fol. 36v–38v. He is accepted to have been active between 1240 and 1250, and according to De Renzi (Collectio Salernitana, I, 293) he may have been a witness in a document written in 1272. Diepgen characterises the De Dosibus as a pharmacological tract in the arabistic manner, written before the Practica medicinalis, as it is cited there. The editors of Arnaldi de Villanova Opera medica omnia call it “simply a close paraphrase of Haly Abbas' rules in the Pantegni for compounding medicines” (29). This may be one of the reasons why it has not attracted more interest.

Diepgen names Walter's Summa as his longest and most important work, as Walter strove to provide a practical guide for treating all illnesses, diseases and ailments, including the most pertinent sections of surgery and obstetrics, at a time when the teaching of the scholastics began to gain ground in the art of healing (6). The Summa shows strong Arabic influence.

However, from an Irish perspective De Dosibus holds a lot of interest, too, firstly for the terminology that has been used, or even created, by Cormac Mac Duinnshléibhe. He participated in shaping and consolidating Irish medical, anatomical, pharmaceutical and botanical terms, being a prolific translator whose works were often copied. But there is quite a number of terms that have not yet made their way into Irish dictionaries. Terminology appearing in Sheahan's glossary on pp 147–178 was not excerpted to add entries in the Royal Irish Academy's Dictionary of the Irish Language (edited between 1913 to 1976, when it was finally published). This is evinced by the fact that De Dosibus does not appear in the sources listed there.

Secondly, it tells us a lot about the reception of medieval medical literature. De Dosibus was just another work that was copied, and copied again, be it in compendia, or in an Irish doctor's vademecum, to be studied in conjunction with similar works. Sometimes digests and extracts of longer works were added to thematically related tracts under the direction of an ollamh leighis, or professor of medicine, in a medical school, as Aoibheann Nic Dhonnchadha has observed. There is much more to be explored to find out how the Irish doctors shaped and assimilated the learning gleaned from scholastic teaching on the continent which included both medicine and natural philosophy. Since there were no universities in Ireland at the time, the medical schools had a similar function to universities on the continent and in England. Pupils from the hereditary families of healers would learn their art there for many years, serving the master as his amanuenses, and travelling with him, assisting him on his travels through the country when he was called to patients.

When cataloguing Harley 546, O'Grady stated (177) that the medical tract was written by Cormac himself, based on the colophon on f. 11, col. 2: “Táirnic ann sin libhur Galteruis do dosisib na leigheas. Cormac Mac Duinnthshléibi do cuir in thsuim so a nGaeidheilg do Diarmaid mac Domnaill hí Leighin ocus gur fhoghna dosan ocus dá cloind a tarbhaigi do comáin et rel. In cethrumhadh lá do Kl. april do críchnaighedh in forcedal so a Cluain Uamha sa bliadain darb annala don Tigerna in nuimhirsi do bliadnaib 1459.” This means Cormac translated it, but not that he wrote the manuscript text.

Among the five manuscripts Sheahan used, he found none to be the original. He concluded this from a comparison of the hand with that in London BL Arundel 333, which contains text written by Cormac, according to a colophon on folio 113b. Sheahan's stemma (32) shows the original copy O from which two intermediate copies branch off, X and X1. From X, two intermediate copies Y and Y1 derive. From Y, the existing B (=RIA 445) and H (=TCD 1326) are derived. From Y1, H2 (=TCD 1312) is derived. From X1, two intermediate copies Z and Z1 are descended. From Z, E (=TCD 1436) is derived, and from Z1, Har (=BL Harley 546).

Concerning the language, Sheahan (33) stated “the language of the fifteenth century does not differ much from that of the present.” For a study of the grammatical forms, he referred to Eleanor Knott's Bardic Poems of Tadhg Dall Ó Huiginn (1550-1591) (London 1926) and James A. Geary's doctoral dissertation An Irish version of Innocent III's De contemptu mundi, (Washington D.C. 1931). The latter contains a translation of the Latin text into Irish by William Mac Givney (Maguibhne) completed by 1443.

At Sheahan's time of writing, and before, the perception that the language of the fifteenth century was not much different from that of the “present day” seems to have been common among scholars in the field who were familiar with literature from this transitional period. An infamous example was Osborn Bergin, who deemed even a translation of the Irish Grammatical Tracts unnecessary. However, modern scholarship has abandoned those notions of oligarchic hegemonial knowledge. It is hoped that making available this edition electronically will instead contribute to a more nuanced understanding of Early Modern Irish, certainly in the genre of medical literature where a lot of work still awaits.

Beatrix Färber, School of History, University College Cork.


Walter de Agilon/Galterius Agilinus

De Dosibus Medicinarum

English translation

Edited by Shawn Sheahan

An Irish Version of Gualterus de Dosibus

De Dosibus Medicinarum

In nomine Patris et Filii et Spirtus Sancti. Amen.

MEDICINARUM QUEDAM SUNT SIMPLICES quedam composite: .i.e. some medicines are simples, others are composites. For Avicenna says that the simples are those with general or local actions, or actions resembling general actions: general actions such as heating, cooling, evacuating, drawing, and the like.

Local actions are truly manifest in…

Local actions are truly manifest in aloe socotrine relieving cancer; yarrow relieving hemorrhoids, and dandelion, i.e. scariole relieving jaundice, and the like. Actions resembling general actions as the medicine which promotes the flow of the urine, purges the abdomen, and such like. The reason why actions resembling general actions are so called is that they are the actions of things which are of general advantage to the entire body.

Take note that some of the…

Take note that some of the simples are obtained from minerals, others from plants, and others from animals. Simples obtained from minerals: emerald, sapphire, pearl, and the like are such. Simples indeed obtained from plants: leaves, seeds, roots, stems, blossoms, fruit, and grain are such. Note particularly that it is proper to use the leaves when they begin to have their proper size in full and when they survive in their own shape without change of color and without falling. It is indeed proper to gather the seeds when their size is complete, and when their natural condition and viscidity are seasoned. It is indeed proper to gather the roots when the foliage falls. It is indeed proper to gather the fruit before they fall or before they are ready to fall, when they have reached maturity, because they ought to be gathered in the prime of their strength.

The simple obtained from animals: some…

The simple obtained from animals: some of it, indeed, is obtained or usually is obtained from parts of animals, more of it from their superfluities, and more of it from their fluids. From  p.49 parts: such as the gall, livers, and parts in general. From the superfluities such as the urine and the feces. From the fluids such as the blood, the milk, and the rennet. Note particularly that in choosing the cures derived from animals that it is proper to choose the animals which have healthy strong bodies, healthy members and young age.

A composite medicine indeed, as Avicenna…

A composite medicine indeed, as Avicenna says is one compounded from simples or from other composite medicines. For that reason many composites are made from simples and from composites, as is evident from theriac1 which is made from simples and from composite medicines for the three things which enter into it are composite medicines. For that reason the composite has character from the simples and character from the entire form. 2

Note particularly Avicenna or Constantinus says…

Note particularly Avicenna or Constantinus says in the commencement of his own Antidotarius that the compounding of simples is essential, since for three causes it (a simple) does not suffice for curing every disease. The first cause is on account of the nature of the disease. The second cause is on account of the affected members. The third cause is on account of the nature of the simple. For these reasons the old physicians, when constrained by this necessity, made composite medicines from simples so that they might be able to carry out their intention in every single defect, and to compound with perfection and advantage.

The operations of a composite medicine…

The operations of a composite medicine in relation to the nature of the diseases are determined by four conditions or causes. The first of these causes: from the variability of the extent of the evil complexion. 3 The second cause: from the extent of the disease. The third cause: from the different qualities of the disease. The fourth cause: from the conflict of the different diseases.

 p.51

Let the medicines be compounded according…

Let the medicines be compounded according to the extent of the diseases of similar and dissimilar evil complexions, as is plain when a bad hot or cold complexion of the body is found together with some quantity which cannot be changed by a single simple only. For that reason it is necessary to make from different simples, used in the same proportions, a single composite medicine which can combat with the quantity of the evil complexion of the body. For example, should the body be of an immoderately high temperature of the second degree, and should no contrary cold simple of the same degree be procured let two simples be procured, i.e. a hot medicine of the first degree and a cold medicine of the third degree. When these are mixed and compounded in this way they will be cold in the second degree.

Because of the extent of the…

Because of the extent of the disease, let the medicine be compounded; for when the disease is great and dangerous it is necessary to compound two simples or more, so that when they are compounded the disease is destroyed by them. Because of the varying quality of the disease, let the medicine be compounded, for when the disease has contrary forces it is proper to compound the medicine of contrary things. For example, as is evident in the case of phlegmon4 for which is suitable a compound medicine such as a dispersive, and a cooling medicine.

Because of the conflict of the…

Because of the conflict of the different diseases, let the medicine be compounded, for when any disease has been developed from different items according to nature and quality it is necessary to expel it by a medicine which is correspondingly different as regards nature and quality. According to Constantinus, should theriac be compounded from numerous simples the reason for it is that it has the power to combat pestilential diseases and deadly poisons.

The second of the four causes, which cause is based on the affected members: governed by two circumstances let the medicine for this be compounded. First  p.53 circumstance concerns the location of the members. The second circumstance concerns their nobility.

Let the medicine indeed be compounded…

Let the medicine indeed be compounded in accordance with the remoteness of the location for it is obvious, should the affected part be far away from the stomach where the medicine is first received, it is necessary for the medicine to be compounded so that it is not very much weakened by the distance to the extent it would not be possible for it to penetrate as far as the member. For that reason eastern saffron is put into the medicines, since it causes them to penetrate swiftly and easily to the members.

Let the medicine be compounded in…

Let the medicine be compounded in accordance with the delicacy of the member for it is obvious as Galen says, if there is an ulcer on the liver, which is a noble member, that it is necessary to compound a medicine from savory dispersives and from styptics so that the virtue of the noble member is preserved by the savory things, and that the styptics might not permit the substance of the noble member to be dissolved by the dispersives.

The third of the four causes,…

The third of the four causes, which cause is based on the nature of the simple: let this be realized from eight circumstances. First of these circumstances: offensiveness of the medicine. Second: lowering of its potency. Third: to correct its harmful effect. Fourth: to strengthen its virtue. Fifth: to lower or lessen its virulence. Sixth: to preserve its own quality. Seventh: the variability of the items by which the action is accomplished. Eighth: the lack of comfort afforded by the simple itself.

As regards the offensiveness of the…

As regards the offensiveness of the medicine: let the medicine be compounded so that when its taste is offensive and when it is not possible to take it or retain it in the stomach a fragrant and savory medicine is mixed with it to destroy its offensiveness. For that reason Hippocrates said to mix wild carrot with black hellebore, and Galen said to mix anise with  p.55 scammony.

To lower high potency of the medicine, let the medicine be compounded when it is too powerful. As for example, opium which is cold in the fourth degree is compounded, so as to reduce its excessive coldness, with castoreum which is hot.

To correct the harmful effect of…

To correct the harmful effect of the medicine: let the medicine be compounded when it is contrary to the disease and when it has an evil effect on the member where the disease is located; as for instance scammony which harms the stomach and liver, so that it is necessary to mix black pepper and anise with it.

To strengthen the medicine: let the medicine be compounded when it is weak as is obvious in the case of iris being mixed with theriac, and acorus5 with agaric.

To reduce its power: let the…

To reduce its power: let the medicine be compounded; for when it is too hot, too sour, another medicine is mixed with it which reduces its heat and its piquancy, as is obvious in the case of gum arabic which is mixed with theriac.

To preserve the virtue of the medicine so that it might not become putrid: let the medicine be compounded for it is necessary for the physician to keep a time record of the medicines over a long period of time. For this reason, so that their virtues might not depart, it is necessary to mix another item with them to preserve their virtues, as is obvious from opium which is mixed with other composite medicines.

From the variability of the items…

From the variability of the items by which the action is accomplished: let the medicine be compounded, for when the physician does not find a lone simple contrary to the disease another medicine is mixed with it, because, as is evident from the plasters, it is necessary to mix wax, oil and pitch into them, so that they would more easily, or more likely adhere to the member.

 p.57

The lack of relief through the…

The lack of relief through the simple: let the medicine be compounded for when universal relief for the disease is not found in the lone simple it is necessary to compound dissimilar contrary medicines, and to make one medicine from them, as is obvious from the wounds for which a healing medicine and a flesh-growing medicine are required to be compounded, such as the medicine compounded from myrrh, incense, and the likes. So therefore, it is necessary for the rational physicians to make a composite medicine from the simples. It suffices for us what we have said about the simples.

Before we speak of the composite medicines it is necessary first of all to speak of the estimated quantity of the simples which are to be put into the composite medicines, for Constantinus says, “Since the medicine varies in its qualities, in its efficacy, and in its virtues it is necessary to include a little of some medicines, much of others and of still others a medium quantity.”

There are two principles according to…

There are two principles according to which the dosage of simples used in compounding is regulated; i.e. one concerning the simple, and the other concerning the composite medicine itself.

As regards the simple: let that be subdivided into seven cases. First of these cases the strength or weakness of the virtue of the cure. Second: greatness or littleness of its efficacy. Third: nobility or ignobility of its efficacy. Fourth: combining one medicine with another giving ease, or leaving it by itself. Fifth: location of the affected member. Sixth: evil effect of the simple. Seventh: when an item is compounded into a composite medicine which item diminishes the efficacy of the other item contained therein.

It is thus the dosage is…

It is thus the dosage is determined: according to the virtue of the simple, for should the medicine be too hot such as euphorbium is, or too cold such as opium is, it is necessary to put a little  p.59 of it into the composite medicine. Should it be weak of heat such as rhubarb is, or cold such as myrobalani citrini is, it is necessary to include much of it.

Dosage determined by the greatness or…

Dosage determined by the greatness or littleness of the efficacy: should the medicine possess great efficacy much of it should be put into the compound, as is obvious by putting iris with agaric. Should its efficacy be little, it is proper to include only a little of it in the remedy.

Dosage determined by the nobility of…

Dosage determined by the nobility of the efficacy: much more of it should be put into the medicine in that case, than when its efficacy is ignoble. Efficacy of the medicine is called noble when the principal or noble members are strengthened, as in the case of emerald in strengthening the heart and galangal in strengthening the stomach, and spodium. 6 in strengthening the liver. Therefore, it is necessary to put much of these into the composite medicine.

Dosage determined by combining the efficacies,…

Dosage determined by combining the efficacies, as is obvious when there is in the medicine a simple which has not properties except along with another medicine, it is proper to put much of that medicine in the compound; such as violet which has not properties for inflammation of the liver except together with santal and with rose. For that reason it is proper to put much of santal and of rose along with it.

Dosage of the medicine determined by…

Dosage of the medicine determined by the location of the member: let it be varied, for should the affected member be remote from the stomach it is necessary to put much of the medicine which relieves it into the compound; and should it be close to it let there be little of it put into it.

Dosage of the medicine determined by…

Dosage of the medicine determined by its evil effects: let it be varied, for should any medicine be equally good at assisting a particular member and at doing harm to other members, it is proper to put little of it in, such as in the case of camphor which does good to the liver and harm to the brain.

 p.61

Dosage determined from compounding the medicine:…

Dosage determined from compounding the medicine: let it be varied, for should there be a compound in which there are contrary ingredients, one of which ingredients diminishes the efficacy of the other, it is necessary to put much of the efficacious and little of the harmful medicine into it. These are the conditions for the dosage of the simples which are put into the composites, and it is in accordance with these conditions we prescribe what follows.

Note, that the conditions to be observed are the same in the doses of the simples and in the doses of the composites. Note also that some of the laxatives are uncompounded and others are compounded.

The laxative simples: indeed some of…

The laxative simples: indeed some of them such as scammony become weak on infusion, others such as myrobalan become concentrated, and some others such as cassia fistola become refined. For Constantinus says that every medicine which purges by its attractive force contains matter too poisonous and contrary to nature, so for this reason it is necessary for the physician when he administers it to do everything with reason and to administer it according to the virtue, season, appearance, and age; and to administer it in a safe and reasonable way so that the body may not change from its own complexion to another worse complexion, and may not die.

As for example if scammony were…

As for example if scammony were given in too large a quantity, or if it were spoiled, or if given alone, or when compounded with another medicine which heightens its sourness (géire: intensity), or if given in the summer time, it purges actively and drastically, lowers the natural temperature, leads to syncope, and constricts the cardiac valve (bel an goile: opening of stomach; cardia.) particularly should it be phlegmatic humor which dominates. However, should it be given in a moderate quantity, when itself is in a fairly good condition and corrected by anise or by mastix, or when boiled into pasty which moderates its sharpness, then it is of benefit if administered to women in. their youth, and to those dominated by  p.63 choler; then it is reasonable to administer it. Let the same be understood for the other laxatives.

Note particularly that there are some…

Note particularly that there are some of the simples such as scammony, rhubarb, and reuponticum7 which purge choler by means of their attractive force. However, when you desire to administer a medicine of scammony do it in this way: take two or three drams of scammony and pulverize it, but do not break it too fine such as the other spices, for by its subtility and adhesiveness it would penetrate to the recesses of the stomach, and in this way it would be possible for it to do harm. So administer it in the dose we are prescribing later, when it has been compounded in the manner we have told of already.

Scamonia quidem est sucus cuiusdam volubilis:Scamonea…

Scamonia quidem est sucus cuiusdam volubilis:8 i.e. scammony is the extract of a species of honeysuckle, i.e. a herb which grows to the east of the ocean. It is a species of tithymallus and its efficacy lasts for thirty years, glecio 9 i.e. choice. This is the most stable species of it, the species which is variegated as it becomes brighter, and which is very brittle or easily broken.

Nature: it is its nature to…

Nature: it is its nature to be hot and dry in the third degree. It purges choler from the remote members and from affection of the stomach and liver and from those who have a nervous nature. When being administered let it be corrected with a scruple of mastix which has been pulverized and compounded with it. Or if it be a person who has a hot complexion, let the scammony along with the powder we have spoken of, be put into a pear or raw apple, the center of which has been hollowed out, let pasty be put around it, and let it be put in an oven or to the fire to roast. Afterwards let it be taken out of the apple, dried in a dark place, and then administered. Because of the speed with which it creates dysentry, and stomach-trouble it is not proper for that reason to administer it in affections of the stomach and of the liver, unless they should be chronic. If so, let  p.65 the species which is best be chosen.

Here is a rule whereby it…

Here is a rule whereby it is not proper to administer a medicine containing scammony in case of bad hot complexion of the stomach, liver, gall, or kidneys. Dosage: its minimum dose one scruple, and its maximum dose two scruples. Note particularly, Galen says that the best species of it is the species which comes from Antioch and which has a color that tends towards being light. It is the one which is the easiest to break, the one which when broken has a color like glass. Note particularly, whether by itself or with another medicine, that it is proper to administer it in the dose we have spoken of.

Reubarbarum quidem ut quidam dicunt est…

Reubarbarum quidem ut quidam dicunt est radix cuiusdam arboris: i.e. rhubarb according to some is the root of a tree. It is found resembling a lump. Note particularly that there is a rhubarb called barbarum which is found in barbarian countries such as India and the countries east of the ocean, and another rhubarb called ponticum because it is found on an island called Pontos, or because of its pontic 10 taste. And there is another yellow species of it which is mixed with some black and which has firmness, ponticity 11, bitterness and piquancy. Nature: they all have the same nature and they are hot and dry in the second degree. They purge choler from the stomach and from the liver and are for that reason suitable in diseases of the stomach and of the liver an example of which is fever. Dosage: it suffices as maximum dose of it by itself or in a syrup up to one half ounce; and as minimum dose of it up to two drams.

Reuponticum: hot, dry, and in the…

Reuponticum: hot, dry, and in the second degree. It is very similar to rhubarb, and is best when it is heavy and round and has distinct veins. It purges choler of the stomach and liver. However, it does not stain as rhubarb does, and is suitable for disease of the stomach and liver. Should it be administered with extract of fennel it removes  p.67 obstructions of the spleen. When by itself, or with another it suffices as maximum dose of it up to one ounce or one half ounce, or as minimum dose up to two drams.

DICTO DE MEDICINIS SIMPLICIBUS attractivis purgantibus…

DICTO DE MEDICINIS SIMPLICIBUS attractivis purgantibus coleram dicendum est de medicinis simplicibus attractivis purgantibus flegma: i.e. having spoken of the uncompounded attractives which purge choler it is meet that we speak of the attractive simples such as colocynth, turpeth, agaric, hermodactylus, esola, euphorbium, and white hellebore, which purge phlegm.

Colocynthis quidem est pomum cuiusdam arboris…

Colocynthis quidem est pomum cuiusdam arboris et cetera: i.e. colocynth is a hollow apple or fruit of a tree which grows in the Orient around Jerusalem, and which has as a synonym cucurbita alaxandrina. Nature: it is hot in the third degree and dry in the second degree. Primarily it purges gross dense phlegmatic humor from the joints with acuteness by its attractive force. Secondarily, it purges melancholia from the brain . Because of that it is suitable for ailments of the head such as melancholia, epilepsy, and the likes. Since it causes, when it is administered, great discomfort to the stomach, vomiting, and syncope, it is proper for that reason to correct it, before it is administered, by a scruple of pulverized tragacanth compounded with it. Let it not be administered in hot weather and let it not be mixed with another powerful laxative. Dosage: its maximum dose singly or together with another medicine one dram; and its minimum dose up to one and one half scruples. It is best when it has an abundance of bright uniform pith.

Turpethum quedem est radix cue ultra…

Turpethum quedem est radix cue ultra mare reperitar: i.e. turpeth is a root found east of the ocean. It is choicest when it is intermediate between thick and thin, when it is bright and gummy at the tops, and easy to break. When placed in the mouth it hurts the tongue. So that it might not  p.69 penetrate to the stomach and the liver it is proper to correct its malignancy by rubbing it first in oil of rose12 and oil of sweet almonds. Nature: hot and dry in the third degree. It purges phlegmatic humor without repugnance on the part of the stomach, intestines, liver and loins. Dosage: it suffices as maximum dose, individually or with another medicine, four drams; and as minimum dose, from one to two drams. Let it be compounded with a dram of sugar together with a dram of ginger so that it does not injure the stomach by its sourness.

Agaricum est sicut fungus: i.e. this…

Agaricum est sicut fungus: i.e. this is what agaric is: a thing which is similar to a fungus. It is found in Babylon and is of two forms, i.e. the male and female. The form of the male is long and not so brittle or so bright as the female form. The feminine form of it is bright, light, fragile, and is knotty on the outside and in the inside. It contains something which resembles hair. The male form is uniform, and not so brittle or so light-colored as the other. This is how it should be chosen: it should be bright, and easily broken. The male form of it is no good. However, Avicenna says that both of them are very bad. This is how the statement of Avicenna is interpreted; namely, as regards to the land where he actually was, for it was malignant and harmful there. Moreover, according to Johannes Ibn Mesue this is a most beneficial medicine since it purges every member of the body in general.

Nature: hot in the second degree, and dry in the third degree. It purges phlegm from the stomach primarily and melancholia secondarily; and for that reason is suitable, together with a draught in which saxifrage, i.e. meadow saxifrage, has been boiled, for quotidian fever caused by natural phlegm, and for dysentry or dysuria caused by phlegm . Together with a draught in which ragwort is boiled, it promotes the catamenia .

Dosage: the maximum amount which it is proper  p.71 to administer whether singly or with another medicine is up to four drams and it is proper to administer as its minimum dose from one and one half drams to one dram. Before administering it it is proper to correct it with one dram of extract of licorice.

Helleborus quidem est radix calida: i.e.…

Helleborus quidem est radix calida: i.e. hellebore is a hot root. It is of two species, i.e. a bright species and a dark species. The bright species indeed is the skin of a root which resembles the root of althea. It is best when it has a smooth surface, and when it is bright and easily broken. Nature: hot and dry in the middle of the second degree. It purges thick phlegm, and should it be pulverized and put in the nose it clears the brain by dispelling the superfluities. It rids the stomach of phlegm by causing vomiting. The ancients were accustomed to put hellebore in their purgatives just as we now are accustomed to use scammony.

Dosage: it suffices as the maximum amount of it, singly or with another medicine up to one and one half scruples; and the minimum amount up to one half scruple. Before administering it, its malignancy is corrected by one dram of origanum or catnip which has been pulverized and compounded with it.

Esola quidem est frutex: i.e. esola…

Esola quidem est frutex: i.e. esola is a brush and it is its root which serves as medicine. Nature: hot and dry in the third degree. It has the virtue of depleting the phlegmatic humors primarily, and for that reason is useful for every disease caused by natural phlegm such as arthritis, podagra, chirogra, paralysis, iliac13, and leucophlegmansia.

Note that of the items which purge through their sourness, next after scammony esola is the best. It is administered in one of the oils because of being too objectionable. For that reason every medicine which purges phlegm is made sour by it, or it is possible to make it sour with esola.

Dosage: it suffices as maximum dose of it, singly or with another medicine, one dram; and the  p.73 minimum amount, singly, from one to two scruples.

Euphorbium quidem est gumme arboris: i.e.…

Euphorbium quidem est gumme arboris: i.e. euphorbia is the gum of a tree which grows in India, and which exudes gumminess in the summer time. When it has coagulated around it, it is changed to euphorbium matter.

Nature: hot and dry in the fourth degree. It purges phlegm primarily, and melancholia secondarily. For that reason it relieves all arthritis, podagra, chirogra, iliac, lethargy, and epilepsy. The pills made from it relieve paralysis, and should they be mixed with various spices they relieve the diseases we have mentioned. It is best when it is bright, fresh, and yellow tending towards green.

Dosage: it suffices as maximum dose of it from one scruple to one half scruple, and the minimum dose of it up to one quarter scruple. For Avicenna says that three drams of it kills a person in three days by injuring the stomach and entrails. It is proper to mitigate its powder with oil of rose.

DICTO UT DETERMINATIO DE MEDICINIS simplicibus…

DICTO UT DETERMINATIO DE MEDICINIS simplicibus attractivis qui phlegma evacuant, et cetera: i.e. after speaking of the uncompounded attractives which deplete phlegm, it is right to speak of the uncompounded attractives such as polypodium, lapis lazuli, lapis armenicus, senna, and black hellebore which purge melancholia.

Polypodium quidem est herba similis filici…

Polypodium quidem est herba similis filici i.e. polypodium is a plant resembling fern which grows on oaks, rocks, walls and stones. The best specie of it is that which grows on the oaks. Its root is best, and it is good while getting green. According to the Antidotarium it is called a knotty stick of the color of ashes, which becomes darker or redder. It is better growing red rather than yellow, and when it is firm, green, and fresh.

Nature: hot in the second degree and dry in the third degree. It purges phlegm primarily, and melancholia secondarily, without hurting or wounding.  p.75 Should it be comminuted along with sugar it purges the abdomen without pain. Note that when it is boiled it is proper to put along with it some item such as anise or fennel seed which expels flatus, because polypodium releases the humors in excessive flatulence. It is suitable for quotidian fever, iliac, alopecia, and arthritis. Dosage: it suffices as maximum dose of it one ounce; and as minimum dose to one half ounce.

Lapis Lazuli: a blue stone, cold…

Lapis Lazuli: a blue stone, cold and dry in the second degree. Its color is very like the color of the heavens, and in it are small particles of the color of gold. It purges a certain melancholia, and for that reason is suitable for those having quotidian fever, for those having hemorrhoids, for ailments of the spleen and is convenient for every kind of melancholic humor. It is bad for the stomach. When washed it promotes vomiting without ill effect. Dosage: it suffices as maximum dose of it two scruples; and as minimum dose one scruple. Note that the method of washing it is to put it into a silver cup or other strong vessel, to crush it with a pestle, in a mortar and to mix it with water afterwards until it is made muddy. Then, let it be poured off, let more water be added to it, and let it be done in this way ten or twenty times. Others say to wash it thirty times. The sign that it is well washed is when the water is no longer affected. Note particularly that it is not proper to administer lapis lazuli in a draught since it would sink to the bottom, but to give the draught first, and when it has operated five or six times to administer along with syrup of violet the lapis lazuli which has been washed. The manner in which it then purges melancholia is remarkable.

Lapis Armenicus: i.e. a stone in…

Lapis Armenicus: i.e. a stone in which there is something of the color of lazuli. It is smooth to touch. It is called Lapis Armenicus for the reason that it is found in Armenia. It has a somewhat bright color and has less gravity than  p.77 lapis lazuli.

Nature: cold and dry in the second degree. It purges phlegm more effectively than lapis lazuli does. For that reason it is suitable for quartan fever, and for every melancholic disease. Avicenna says it is bad for the stomach. However, should it be washed it does not nauseate, should it not be, it does. The dose is the same as for lapis lazuli.

Senna quidem est herba que intrans…

Senna quidem est herba que intrans marinus partibus crescit: i.e. senna is a herb which grows east of the ocean, particularly around Babylon and Arabia. Nature: hot and dry in the second degree. It purges melancholia primarily, and choler secondarily. For that reason it specifically purges or relieves melancholia, epilepsy, syncope and colicus. 14 It strengthens the heart, and is suitable for diseases of the spleen and liver, and for hemorrhoids and quartan fever. Note that the foliage of the senna is better towards the action of the cure than its blossom. Dosage: it suffices as maximum dose, when administered singly, one ounce; and should it be given with other laxatives from three to four drams.

Helleborus niger, et cetera i.e. black…

Helleborus niger, et cetera i.e. black hellebore is in chips when cut. Its piquancy is more powerful than that of white hellebore. The people who cut it are saved from its evil effects in this way: by taking garlic and wine. It is best when it is intermediate between young and old, when it has a yellow color, and when it is brittle. Nature: hot and dry in the second degree. It purges melancholia, and is for that reason suitable for impetigo, serpigo, and leprosy. Dosage: it suffices as maximum dose of it up to one half dram; and as minimum dose up to one half scruple. Before administering it, it is proper to correct it with origanum or catnip.

 p.79

DICTO DE MEDICINIS SIMPLICIBUS attractivis, et…

DICTO DE MEDICINIS SIMPLICIBUS attractivis, et cetera: i.e. having spoken of the simples which purge by attractive force, it is meet that we speak of the simples which deplete the humors by compression. Myrobalan is one. There are five kinds of it: citrini, chebuli, indi, emblici, and bellerici. 15 Nature: all of them are cold and dry in the third degree. They are the fruit of different trees. They are good when gummy, because by their gumminess they purge. It is said that the citrini are hotter than the inndi, and that the inndi are less cold than the chebuli. Of them the citrini purge most; for that reason it is proper to speak of them first.

Citrini solunt coleram rubiam: i.e. the…

Citrini solunt coleram rubiam: i.e. the citrini purge choler primarily; and according to Avicenna, a little of phlegm. For that reason when administered in water in which rose and myrtle have been boiled it is suitable for those who have jaundice, tertian fever, and dysentery. However, should it be necessary to cause depletion by myrobalan, let it be done in fear and with caution. For that reason it is proper to mix tragacanth with it, so that it does not aggravate ulcers of the intestines. Dosage, maximum dose of it when given in a draught for dysentery, four drams; and when given for tertian fever, one ounce indeed is the maximum amount.

Note particularly as Avicenna says that…

Note particularly as Avicenna says that it is not proper to administer myrobalani in obstructions of the liver and of the spleen because of the styptic properties which they possess since they purge the thinnest portion of the matter and the thickest portion remains. This is converted into calculous concretion, and in this way the obstructions are increased.

Note that the dosage of the myrobalani is varied according as they are put into draughts or into pills. For should they be put into pills it is proper to put as much as two drams; and should they be in draughts it is proper to put one and one half ounces.  p.81 When they are given in pills it is proper to administer them at night, and if as a draught in the morning. Rhazes says that it is proper to administer the draughts at night should the weather be warm such as the dog days are.

Chebuli: they are cold and dry.…

Chebuli: they are cold and dry. They are colder than the citrini. Because they are conducive in the least portion towards bitterness, they are the least laxative and the most costive. Through their properties they purge choler and melancholia. According to Constantinus and Avicenna they purge melancholia and phlegm and they astrict in some way the flux of the stomach. For that reason they are suitable primarily for quartan fever, and secondarily for tertian fever; and when roasted and administered with extract of yarrow they are suitable for the discharge from piles, i.e. hemorrhoids. Since they clear off choler they are for that reason suitable for blindness and weakness of eyesight caused by the nature of the phlegm. It is proper to make a conditement of them with syrup of violets. Whether administered in draught or in pills their dosage is the same as for myrobalani citrini.

Inndi, likewise, are cold and dry.…

Inndi, likewise, are cold and dry. They are close to cebuli in their operation and in their virtues. They purge choler more than cebuli do, and for that reason the diseases they relieve and the method of administering them are the same. Dosage: it suffices as maximum dose of them, if administered in draught, from eight to ten drams; and if in pills from two to three drams.

Emblici: they are cold and dry,…

Emblici: they are cold and dry, having in their virtues and in their actions resemblance to chebuli and to inndi. For that reason their character and dosage are the same, and the diseases which they are of use to are the same. So, likewise, of bellirisi.

DICTO DE MEDICINIS QUE LAXANT com…

DICTO DE MEDICINIS QUE LAXANT com comprimendo dicenda est de medicinis que laxant leniendo: i.e.  p.83 having spoken of the medicines which deplete by compression it is meet that we speak of the medicines such as violet, prune, cassia fistola, and manna which purge by lubrication. 16

Uiola, i.e. blossom of the violet:…

Uiola, i.e. blossom of the violet: cold and moist in the first degree. It purges choler from the stomach, liver, and intestines, for it has moistening, lubricous, cooling, and laxative effect. For that reason should it be made into a syrup; it relieves inflammation of the liver greatly. This syrup is suitable, also, for severe cough, as it soothes the chest, allays pain and febrility of the body in general and of the head in particular. For that reason it is suitable for headache caused from choler, or from sanguine humor.

Pruna: they are identified as plums.The…

Pruna: they are identified as plums. 17 Nature: cold at the beginning of the second degree, and wet at the end of the third degree. The darkest species of them is the best for medicine, especially the species called damasenica, called so after a country. When they are collected ripe they have the virtue of cooling and lubricating the intestines, and are for that reason suitable for high fevers and for constipation of the abdomen when caused by dry or hot humors. Avicenna says that all confections in which they are operate on, or purge choler all the more efficaciously and that they (prunes) purge more readily when wet than dry. They may be administered in draughts in accordance with the  p.85 greatness or littleness of the choler. Should it be little let ten of them be given as a dose; and if great from fifty to one hundred depending on the costiveness, i.e. the stoppage of the entrails.

Cassia fistola alia est cebula alia…

Cassia fistola alia est cebula alia innda: i.e. there is a species of cassia fistola called cebula, and another species called innda. The best way to procure it is from reeds, and indeed from those which are the most fleshy, the best looking, and the smoothest.

Nature: it is medium between hot and cold, and it is wet. It purges inflammatory humor (i.e. burnt red bile) from the stomach primarily, and phlegm secondarily. It lubricates and evacuates the abdomen without harm or hurt, so that it is suitable for pregnant women. It clears the liver, and for that reason according to Avicenna it is suitable for those having jaundice, headache, tertian fever, and for the severe diseases, and for every disease caused by choler. It purges the remote parts.

Dosage: the minimum dose of it is one half ounce, and the maximum dose up to two ounces.

Manna quidem est ros cadens super…

Manna quidem est ros cadens super lapidem aut arborem: i.e. manna is ros or a dew which falls, under the appearance of honey, on stones, or trees. It becomes sweet, congeals, and dries like gum.

Nature: it is medium between hot and cold. It purges the abdomen, wipes out the acuteness of choler fever according to quality and is suitable for sufferers from choler. The dosage is the same as for cassia fistola.

Tamarindi, i.e. the bitter dactali. They…

Tamarindi, i.e. the bitter dactali. They are best when soft and fresh and when they have genuine bitterness. They purge choler and are suitable for fevers, especially when it is necessary to lubricate the intestines. The dosage in draughts is the same as for cassia fistola and manna.

DETERMINATIO DE MEDICINIS simplicibus laxativis et…

DETERMINATIO DE MEDICINIS simplicibus laxativis et de dosi earum et cetera: i.e. having spoken of the laxative simples and of their doses it is meet to speak of the laxative and digestive compounds  p.87 and of their doses. Take note that there are four necessary conditions for purging the evil humor. Of these conditions the first is: to choose the medicines by which it will be purged. The second condition: to observe the period of the digestion of the humor. The third condition: to observe the quantity of the humor and of theevacuation. The fourth condition: to observe the member where the evil humor is located. To continue, I say that it is necessary first for the physician to choose the medicine. There are two medicines: digestive and laxative. Because it is proper to administer the digestive sooner than the laxative, it is proper for that reason to speak of it first.

Let the digestive be diversified by…

Let the digestive be diversified by reason of the diversity of the humor and of the member; for if the humor is dense it is proper to digest it with a tenuating (i.e. emollient) medicine, just as it is evident that it is proper to digest natural phlegm with simple oxymel. Should it be dense or highly viscous it is proper to digest it with a medicine which accelerates it. Should it be natural melancholia let it be digested with oxymel of squill. Should it be a hot humor18 it is proper to digest it with a cooling medicine; for instance, choler is digested by oxysaccharum. Should the humors be cold it is proper to digest them with medicine which heats them; for instance, phlegm is digested by simple oxymel. Note that should the humors which it is desired to digest be a compound it is proper that their digestive be compounded. Should the composition of the humors be of equal proportions, it is proper to compound the digestives in equal proportions so that there might not be more of one ingredient in it than there would be of another, as is obvious in the case of acidic phlegm and salty phlegm.

Let the digestive, indeed, be diversified…

Let the digestive, indeed, be diversified in accordance with the diversity of the members for should the phlegmatic humors accumulate in the head and in the nerve centers as is obvious in paralysis, epilepsy,  p.89 apoplexy and hemicrania (i.e. migraine) it is proper to digest them with a medicine most appropriate for the brain and for the evil humor dominating there. Therefore, it is proper to digest with this oxymel the phlegm which causes paralysis: take acorus, maratrum, lavender, hyssop, polycaria major, every species of nasturtium, ground ivy, betony, origanum, pennyroyal, savory, avens, marjoram, peony, garden rue, ragwort, squills, of each item half a fistful; savin and primrose, of each three whole fistfuls; honey, two pounds. Let an oxymel be made from them.

Note particularly that it is the…

Note particularly that it is the same digestive by which it is possible to digest the matter in epilepsy and apoplexy, and in hemicrania from a cold cause; however, it is proper to put more of peony, rue, betony and ground ivy than of other items towards digesting the matter in epilepsy. So too for apoplexy. It is proper to digest the matter in hemicrania by the same digestive. However, it is proper to insert more of polycaria major than of the other items, since the herbs employed in the greatest quantity are the most effective in the compound, and are the most appropriate for the area where the matter is located. For that reason more of these is inserted than of the other items.

Should there be in the respiratory…

Should there be in the respiratory organs such as the chest, lungs, and the like an accumulation of the phlegmatic humors without fever, let them be digested with this compound: take calamint, origanum, roots of lily, iris, pennyroyal, maidenhair, of each a fistful; licorice which has been cleaned, maratrum, and cottonseed, of each one ounce; camomile flowers, and mellilotus, of each one half ounce; violets two ounces; sugar two pounds. Let a syrup be made from them.

Should they be dry humors which…

Should they be dry humors which accumulate there, let them be digested by this medicine: take maidenhair, maratrum, fennel seed, anise, endive, scariole, fresh hyssop, hart's tongue, ceterach,  p.91 maidenhair-spleenwort, and adiantos, of each a fistful; jujube, sebesten,  19 and the four cold seeds20 which have been cleaned, of each half of one ounce; sugarcandy, penedian-sugar21, and white poppy seed, of each one ounce; white tragacanth, gumarabic, and borage blossoms, of each four drams; violet, two drams; sugar, two pounds. Let a syrup be made from them.

Should the choleric humors accumulate in…

Should the choleric humors accumulate in the stomach, liver, or the like, let them be digested by the following medicine: take endive, scariola, liverwort, dandelion, and chicory, of each item three fistfuls; acorus, maidenhair, ceterach, and maidenhair-spleenwort, of each item a fistful; violets three ounces; prunes fifty; rose, lettuce seed, endive seed; white and red sandalwood, and spodium, of each item one ounce; the four cold seeds, of each one half ounce; barberry, i.e. the tree, one half ounce; of borage blossoms two ounces; of wine of pomegranate one half ounce; of sugar two pounds. Let a syrup be made from them.

Should they be phlegmatic humors which…

Should they be phlegmatic humors which accumulate in them (stomach, etc.) let them be digested by this medicine: take eupatorium, i.e. mugwort, and sage, of each ingredient a fistful; camomile, mellilotus, fennel root, parsley, bruscus, asparagus, cinquefoil, i.e. five leaved, gramen, i.e. male grass, germander, bugle, iris, pes columbe i.e. a species of herb-robert, bitter eryngo, comfrey, bogbean, scariole maidenhair, elecampane, and bugloss, of each item one and one half fistfuls, honey and sugar of each one pound; wine of pomegranate one half pound. Let a syrup be made from them.

Should natural melancholic humor accumulate in…

Should natural melancholic humor accumulate in the spleen, or in the other members let it be digested by the medicine by which the phlegmatic humors in the liver and in the kidneys are digested. Let there be put into it, however, more of hart's tongue, eupatorium, the roots of kapper (caper), the inner bark of tamarisk, and the bark of ash and broom.

 p.93

Should there be feverish humors in…

Should there be feverish humors in the spleen let them be digested by this medicine: take extract of scabious, extract of fumitory, extract of borage, of each item two pounds; scabious, fumitory, daffodil, fresh thyme, plantain, bugloss, hound's tongue, chicory, hart's tongue, endive, and scariole, of each item a fistful; roots of kapper (caper), two species of sticados rose 22, endive seed, lettuce seed, of each one half ounce; violet, and borage blossoms, of each three ounces; sugar two pounds; wine of pomegranate one half pound. Let a syrup be made from them.

Should phlegmatic humors accumulate in the…

Should phlegmatic humors accumulate in the kidneys, bladder, or in such like members, let them be digested by this medicine: take roots of parsley, yellow flag, filipendula, and creta marina (i.e. rock samphire, sea holly, or sea fennel), of each item three fistfuls; two species of pepperwort, thistle of the sea and field, cinquefoil, grass and garden celidonia, take of each one fistful; gromwell, and fennel seed, of each item one half ounce; seeds of parsley, yellow flag, bruscus, asparagus, and mallow, of each item one ounce; honey and sugar, of each one pound; wine of pomegranate one half pound. Let a syrup be made from them.

Should they be hot humors which…

Should they be hot humors which accumulate in the same members let them be digested by the medicine by which the hot humors dominating in the members, or in the liver are digested. Let there be put in the medicine, however, more of roots of parsley, cinquefoil, asparagus, bruscus, and fennel.

Should phlegmatic humors accumulate in the womb, let them be digested by the medicine by which the phlegmatic humors of the kidneys are digested. Let there be inserted, however, more of ragwort, calamint eryngo, iris, lily and betony.

Should they be hot humors which accumulate there let them be digested by the medicine by which the hot humors in the kidneys are digested. Let there be put into it, however, more of ragwort.

Should phlegmatic humors accumulate in the…

Should phlegmatic humors accumulate in the  p.95 joints let them be digested by this medicine: take extract of yew one pound; yellow bugle, and ragwort, of each item one fistful, iris, eryngo, lily roots, acorus, endive, maidenhair, and adiantum, of each item one half fistful; camomile flowers, mellilotus, maratrum, bruscus seed, and asparagus, of each item one ounce; rose, licorice which has been washed, lettuce seed, of each item one half ounce; honey and sugar of each one pound. Let a syrup be made from them.

Should they be hot humors which…

Should they be hot humors which are present there, let them be digested by a medicine that has been compounded of endive, scariole, hart's tongue, extract of yew, yellow bugle, 23 violet, camomile flowers, mellilotus, rose and lettuce seed. Let a syrup be made from them. Note particularly that should complex humors enter the same members it is proper to digest them with compound medicines depending on the diversity of the humors and of the members. This is sufficient now to say in connection with the digestives.

DICTO DE MEDICINIS DIGESTIVIS dicendum est…

DICTO DE MEDICINIS DIGESTIVIS dicendum est de medicinis laxativis composites: i.e. having spoken of the digestives it is meet to speak of the compound laxatives. Note particularly that the compound laxatives are diversified according to the diversity of the humors since some of them such as yera pigra24, benedict, 25 blanca26, theodoricon anacardium27, stomaticon laxativum, arthetice pills, auree pills, asafetida pills, euphorbium pills, sweet electuary, 28 cochie pills, and paulinum purge especially phlegmatic humor.

There are other medicines such as…

There are other medicines such as catarticum imperiale, yera Rufini, diasenna, triffera sarracenica, yera logodion29 teodoricon hyperiston which purge melancholic humor in particular. There are still other medicines such as electuary of sugar of roses, and diaprunis which purge choler in particular. Let the medicines be varied according to the diversity of the members. Although benedicta and yera pigra  p.97 have the virtue of purging phlegmatic humor. It is phlegmatic humor of the kidneys, however, which benedicta most suitably purges, and for that reason it relieves nephritis. Yera pigra purges phlegmatic humor of the head and for that reason it relieves complaints of the head caused by phlegmatic humor.

benedicta is so called for the…

benedicta is so called for the reason that it is blessed by each person who uses it. It is suitable for gout, arthritis, and podagra caused by phlegmatic humor; and it clears the kidneys, the loins, and the bladder.

Yera pigra is so called for the reason, indeed, that ιερα and sacer are identical, i.e. blessed; and that πικρα and amara are identical, i.e. bitter. It is suitable for various complaints of the head, ears, and eyes; it clears the stomach and eyes. It cures affliction of the spleen very effectively and diseases of the womb as well.

Blanca is so called because blancam…

Blanca is so called because blancam and white thing are the same. This because it purges the white humors, i.e. the phlegmatic humors . For that reason it is suitable for cephalalgy caused by phlegmatic humor, for sore eyes, for paralysis, and for epilepsy.

Theodoricon anacardium is so called because of the fruit named anacardium which enters into it. It purges phlegmatic humor of the head effectively, and, in particular, the back portion, and for that reason refreshes the memory. It cures vertigo, and is suitable, likewise, for diseases of the womb which come from a cold cause.

Stomaticon laxativum and sweet electuary purge…

Stomaticon laxativum and sweet electuary purge phlegmatic humors of the stomach specifically. Arthetica pills purge phlegmatic humor of the joints specifically, and for that reason relieve arthritis, chiragra, and podagra. Auree pills purge phlegmatic humor of the head specifically. They sharpen the eyesight  p.99 specifically, and are for that reason suitable for complaints of the eye. Fetida pills purge dense phlegmatic humor accumulated in the joints, and for that reason relieve arthritis and sciatica.

Pills made from euphorbium purge the…

Pills made from euphorbium purge the phlegmatic humors draining from the head to the nerves. It (euphorbium) is for that reason suitable for paralysis. How to compound it is learned from Avicenna in his own Antidotarium.

Cochie pills purge the humors caused by the discharge from the brain. They are for that reason suitable for epilepsy.

Paulinum30, because of its great virtue, is called the great antidote, i.e. the great composite medicine. It relieves effectively fresh cough and chronic cough caused by the flow of the phlegmatic humor from the head to the chest. For that reason it relieves chest complaints caused by phlegmatic humor. It rids the head, chest and stomach of phlegmatic humor primarily, and of melancholia secondarily. Its dosage is two drams.

Take note that if in the…

Take note that if in the different members with the exception of the genitals, different humors should accumulate in equal proportions, it is proper to compound different medicines in equal proportions; and should they accumulate in different proportions it is proper to compound them in different proportions so that they might contain more of one particular remedy than of the other remedy. Note also that the compound remedies are made bitter by various bitters in order that they may work more powerfully. Addition of the bitters is varied in proportion to the variation of the humors, and of the members; and for that reason the medicine which purges the phlegmatic humors of the head should be made bitter by one and one half scruples of colocynth corrected by one dram of tragacanth, or by one and one half scruples of scammony which has been corrected by mastix, or by  p.101 pasty as we have said above, or by one dram or more of esola.

DICTO DE MEDICINIS EVACUANTIBUS phlegma dicendum…

DICTO DE MEDICINIS EVACUANTIBUS phlegma dicendum est de medicinis evacuantibus melancolicam:: i.e. having spoken of the medicines which purge phlegmatic humor, it is meet to speak of the medicines which purge melancholia primarily; and so first of all of yera Rufini31 which purges melancholia primarily. For that reason it effectively relieves those who have elephancy, morphew, or scabies caused by salt or by inflammatory phlegm.

Diasene:Identified in the Antidotarium Nicolai. A…

Diasene: 32 an electuary which purges phlegmatic humor accumulating in the spleen and in the heart. For that reason it specifically relieves obstructions of the spleen; relieves those who suffer from mania, and those who suffer from dejection.

Triffera sarracenica is called after the Saracens. 33 Or it is called triffera for the reason that it is administered to him who is young. It purges melancholia of the stomach and liver. Because of that it is suitable for obstructions of the spleen and liver, and for jaundice caused by inflammatory choler.

Yera logodion memphitum is so called…

Yera logodion memphitum is so called since ιερα and sacer mean the same, i.e. blessed; since λογος and sermo mean the same, i.e. speech; and since memphitum and impedimentum mean the same, i.e. impediment; for it cures impediment of the speech whatsoever its source or origin might be. It purges specifically melancholia of the head, and is suitable for epilepsy, vertigo, hemicrania, cephalalgia, and for tremor such as is evident in those who are supposed to have a demon.

Imperial cathartic, i.e. a medicine found…

Imperial cathartic, i.e. a medicine found for emperors and for other weak people. It purges the melancholic humors accumulated in the kidneys, and for that reason it relieves those having nephritis. It dispels flatus of the stomach and intestines, and is suitable, therefore, for those having ileac,  p.103 and syphilis.

DICTO DE MEDICINIS EVACUANTIBUS phlegma et…

DICTO DE MEDICINIS EVACUANTIBUS phlegma et melancholiam dicendum est de medicinis evacuantibus coleram: i.e. having spoken of the medicines which purge phlegmatic humor, and melancholia, it is meet to speak of the medicines which purge choler such as diaprunis, and electuary of sugar of roses. Diaprunis is so called because it contains more of the fruit known as prunes than it does of any other ingredient. It purges choleric humors of the stomach and liver, and for that reason it is administered for true tertian fever, and inflammation of the liver.

Electuary of sugar of roses is…

Electuary of sugar of roses is indicated for inflammatory gout. It purges the choleric humors, and natural choler. For that reason it relieves complaints of the joints caused by choler, also persons recovering from tertian fever. Note particularly that the dosage of these compound medicines is varied according to the larger or smaller quantity of scammony, and of other potent and virulent medicines such as hellebore, turpeth, agaric, euphorbia, colocynth, aloes, and the like which enter into their composition.

Consequently, the dosage of yera pigra…

Consequently, the dosage of yera pigra is three drams, and the dosage of yera Rufina two drams for the reason that it contains more of potent and virulent medicines than does yera pigra. Therefore, its dosage is smaller.

Dosage of benedicta three drams. Dosage of blancam three drams. Dosage of pill artetica (arhritis pills) two and one half drams. Dosage of pill auree (auree pills) three drams. Dosage of pill euphorbia (euphorbium pills) two drams. Dosage of theodoricon anacardium three drams.

DICTO DE DOSI MEDICINARUM evacuancium phlegna…

DICTO DE DOSI MEDICINARUM evacuancium phlegna dicendum est de dosis medicinarum evacuancium melancoliam: i.e. having spoken of the dosage of medicines which purge phlegmatic humor, it is meet to speak of the dosage of the medicines which purge  p.105 melancholia, and since we have stated the dosage of yera Rufini it is right y for us to state the dosage of the other medicines. Let us consider diasene first. Its dosage is one half ounce. Dosage of triffera sarracenica three drams. Dosage of theodoricon eupheriston34 two drams. Dosage of yera logodion two and one half drams. Dosage of imperial cathartic one dram.

DICTO DE MEDISINE ET DE DOSI…

DICTO DE MEDISINE ET DE DOSI MEDICINARUM evacuanciam melancolian dicendum est de dosi medicinarum euanciantium colera rubiam: i.e. having spoken of the dosage of the medicines which purge melancholia, it is meet to speak of the dosage of the medicines which purge choler, and so first of all of diaprunes. Its dosage is one half ounce. Dosage of electuary of sugar of roses three ounces. All of these are the maximum doses for the compound medicines.

Be it known unto you that…

Be it known unto you that it is proper to make bitter with one dram of agaric corrected by one dram of licorice the medicines which, like paulinum, purge the phlegmatic humors of the chest and of the respiratory organs. With one dram of turpeth, corrected by one dram of powdered pepper, or by myrobalan indici, or chebula in accordance with the dosages already mentioned, or by cassia fistola or by esola in accordance with their dosages, it is proper, indeed, to make bitter the medicines which purge phlegmatic humors of the stomach and of the liver.

It is proper, indeed, that the…

It is proper, indeed, that the laxatives which purge the hot humors be made bitter with another medicine such as myrobalani citrini, rhubarb, reuponticum or by scammony which has been corrected, or by cassia fistola or manna, or by tamarinds together with scammony. Should the liver complaint be chronic, however, let not the medicine be made bitter by scammony in dropsy35 since that destroys the liver, but let it be done with esola, or rhubarb, and let these bitters be put in  p.107 the medicines in accordance with the dosages we have already written of.

The laxatives which purge the phlegmatic…

The laxatives which purge the phlegmatic humors of the spleen are made bitter by two scruples of lapis lazuli that have been well washed, or by lapis Armenicus, senna, agaric, or esola according to their individual dosages.

The medicines which purge the phlegmatic humors of the kidneys, bladder, and womb are made bitter by lapis lyncis36 lapis spongie37, agaric, scammony, esola, and Jew-stone i.e. Jewish 38 which has been well washed. Their quantity, two scruples. Should they be hot humors which accumulate in the same members let them (the medicines) be made bitter by scammony, rhubarb, reuponticum, or cassia fistola according to their individual dosage.

Should phlegmatic humors accumulate in the…

Should phlegmatic humors accumulate in the joints, let the medicines be made bitter by hermodactylus, turpeth, or esola according to their individual dosage. Should they be hot humors which are accumulated in them, let the medicines be made bitter by scammony, rhubarb, reuponticum, or cassia fistola. Take note that medicines such as scammony, turpeth, agaric and the like, which are very potent and virulent, should be corrected by the aforementioned medicines before mixing them with the compounds, according to their individual dosage. Note particularly it is proper that the dosage of the bitters which enter into the composite medicines should be, as it is said in the treatise on the simples.

Note particularly that just as it…

Note particularly that just as it is proper to observe four conditions when administering the simples, i.e. strength (i.e. virtue), age, season, and habit, so in the same way it is proper to observe the same conditions when administering the composite medicines together with the four conditions which it is proper to observe when purging the evil humors. First of these conditions: the time of the paroxysm, i.e. the access. Second condition: the time of digestion.  p.109 Third condition: the season of the year. Fourth condition: the quantity of the humor which is to be evacuated. It is always proper to purge the humor at the time of the access since Haly says that should the force be strong and the matter small and light let it be purged with a gentle medicine such as cassia fistola, and manna. For that reason the ancients were accustomed on the day of the paroxysm, as is evident in quartan fever, to give a laxative powder one hour before the paroxysm, and by this means a great many were healed.

The time of digestion; moreover for…

The time of digestion; moreover for only when the matter is digested is it proper to administer the medicine to purge the particular humor, just as Hippocrates says, “Digesta medicare, et cetera.” For that reason Avicenna says that there are two things which assist the operation of the medicine, i.e. digestion of the matter, and openness of the passages. The season of the year also since Avicenna says that it is proper to observe it as an adjuvant to purging; because at the time when the constellation called canis major is rising such as is visible in the summer, or at the time of severe cold such as the winter, laxatives are not suitable to take. For that reason Hippocrates says; “Sub Cane et ante canem, et cetera.” The medicine is suitable, however, to administer in the spring and autumn. Yet, should purging be necessary, and the constitutional vigor (of the patient) be good, hindrance by anything is not to be considered. For that reason it is possible to cause purging in the summer and in the winter. That is properly done, however, with mild medicines such as cassia fistola, manna, and tamarinds.

The fourth condition, the quantity of…

The fourth condition, the quantity of the humor which is to be evacuated: and Avicenna says that is twofold, i.e. the quantity according to measurement, and the quantity according to quality. Quantity according to measurement: such as one ounce, or one dram. The quantity according to quality:  p.111 i.e. the gradation of the degree.

It is relative to the quantity…

It is relative to the quantity of the measurement that Galen said in his Megategne, “Quantitas eorum quae offeruntur letteris non est determinata”: i.e. “the quantity of things administered is not determined by scholarship” i.e. by the senses; for neither the quantity of the measurement of the humor, nor the quantity of the efficacy of the cure is easily determined by the senses but according to the judgment, or opinion of the physician who is close to being exact. For that reason Haly says: “Oportet quod medicus sit bone rememoracionis, velocis solercie sane intellectus, et cetera:” i.e. it is necessary for the physician to have a good memory, ready wit, sound understanding, good eyesight, and much balance. 39 Avicenna says, however, that the measure of the quantity of the amount is recognized in accordance with the measuring system of the profession, from two circumstances, i.e. from the nature of the member and the extent of the affection, and from the suitability of particular things such as class, age, habits, season, predisposition, calling, strength, and mode of administration.

The quantity of the quality of…

The quantity of the quality of the degree: for should the humor, indeed, be hot it is proper to administer for it a medicine that is contrary in quality and degree; and should the humor be cold it is proper to administer for it a hot medicine of the degree in which it is.

The fifth condition which must be observed in purging the humor: the place where it is located. Should it be at the cardiac orifice it is proper to purge it by vomiting, and should it be in the fundus of the stomach, or in the intestines it is proper to purge it with a laxative. And so on for the other places, it being proper to purge them through convenient regions.

Note particularly that some of the…

Note particularly that some of the medicines are administered as a solid substance, and  p.113 others as a liquid substance. The medicines administered as a solid substance are always in pills, or electuaries. Should they be in pills it is proper to administer them together with wine and a wafer at the beginning of the night. It is proper to sleep on them since they require a powerful heat to dissolve them, and the heat passes into the internal members at night. For that reason Avicenna says: “Cum aliquis medicinam solutiuam biberit melius est si medicina fuerit fortis ut super eam dormiat:” 40 i.e. when a person drinks a laxative it is best for him, should the medicine be strong, to sleep on it before it operates as its efficacy is thus improved. It is best for him, should the medicine be weak, not to sleep on it, since nature would digest it. For this reason it is proper that the medicine administered as a soft substance, because of its mildness, should be administered in the morning when sleeping is finished. However, Haly says that, should the patient be feeble or weak, or should it be summer time, one should take as a draught before going to bed a medicine which is mildly laxative; that it is not proper to sleep on it after purging, and that, whatever medicine it might be, it is best not to sleep on it when the medicine begins to operate.

Note particularly how Avicenna says that…

Note particularly how Avicenna says that it is not proper to administer pills when they have become dry, when they are like stones, or when they are soft; but when they commence to dry, and when they yield before the fingers on being pressed.

The electuary: it is indeed proper to administer it at midnight between the hour for the pills and the hour for the liquid medicine, because it is easier to dissolve the electuary than the pills, and harder than the liquid medicine.

Note particularly that there are four…

Note particularly that there are four species of the liquid medicine, for there is one species called cholalogue which purges choler, another called melanagogue which purges melancholia, another called phlegmagogue which purges phlegm,  p.115 and another called emmenagogue which purges the sanguine humor.

A cholalogue is made thus: take violet blossoms, and borage blossoms, of each four ounces; prunes fifty; myrobalani citrini two and one half ounces; cassia fistola when cleaned, tamarinds, rhubarb, and manna, of each item two drams. Let the rhubarb and the myrobalan be strained.

An emmenagogue is made of the same items, with the exception of not containing the myrobalan and rhubarb; for Avicenna says the medicines which purge choler, purge sanguine humor also.

A melagogue is made thus: Take…

A melagogue is made thus: Take thyme, epitimus41, and two species of sticados, of each item two drams; borage blossoms, and violets, of each two ounces; Indian myrobalan, and chebuli, of each one ounce; triffera sarracenica, one half ounce; and lapis lazuli when well washed one half ounce. Let the myrobalan and lapis lazuli be well strained, or as we have already saidd give after manipulating it for five or six times.

Phlegmagogue is made thus: Take anise, maratrum, ameos, of each item one ounce; myrobalan chebuli, two ounces; and turpeth, half of one dram. It is possible, depending on the variation of the member to include benedicta, yera pigra when made mild, or other items. Let the myrobalan and the turpeth be strained, however as we have said.

DICTO DE MEDICINIS LAXATIVIS dicendum est…

DICTO DE MEDICINIS LAXATIVIS dicendum est de opiatis: i.e. having spoken of the laxatives it is meet to speak of the opiates. They are called opiates because of the opium which enters into their composition. Note particularly that the opiates have three virtues, i.e. the virtue of checking the flux of the humors which run to an affected part; the virtue of strengthening the part towards which they flow; and the virtue of consuming the humors. Note particularly that there are opiates which are administered before the laxative. Of these  p.117 dyamoron42 is an example; for should it be compounded with an item in which has been boiled rose, and licorice which has been cleaned, it checks the flux of the humors to the muscles of the throat. For that reason it is suitable for quinsy.

Tyriacla, i.e. the theriac:Theriac, (thyriaca, tyriaca)…

Tyriacla, i.e. the theriac: 43 Should it be mixed with wine in which sage is boiled, and given as a drink, it prevents poison from penetrating to the heart. For that reason it is suitable as an antidote to poison.

Athanasia44 : should it be compounded with extract of plantain, and administered as a drink it checks the blood and regularizes the pulse. For that reason it is suitable for haemorrhage. The dosage of this opiate is one to two drams.

Aurea Alexandrine, 45 indeed, is one of the opiates administered after the laxatives. Let it be administered when it has been compounded with hot water. Let a gargle46 be made from it. It is suitable for all head affections, and for a flux of rheum to the eyes, ears, and gums. Should it be administered after another medicine, however, administer it when getting a bath. In that way it is suitable for persistent quotidian fever.

MithridateSheahan does not have a note…

Mithridate47 and musa enea: 48 administer them after the medicine, and before the access, and when they have been compounded with tepid wine through which water has been put, and they will consume the humors. For that reason they are suitable, prior to the time of the access, said in the manner we have mentioned, for those who have quotidian fever. Following the medicine and prior to the time of the access, it is proper to administer rubea troches, 49 and recuies when they have been compounded with hot water since they check the flux of the choleric humors to the location of the putrefaction, and consume the matter. For that reason they are suitable for those who have tertian fever.

 p.119

Should micletaSee van den Berg, p.…

Should micleta50 along with extract of plantain, or syrup of myrtle be given to drink after the medicine, it is suitable for, and relieves miraculously hemorrhoids which are bleeding immoderately.It is excellent for dysentery and lientery.

This suffices for the doses of the medicines, et cetera.

Finit. Amen

Document details

The TEI Header

File description

Title statement

Title (uniform): An Irish Version of Gualterus de Dosibus

Title (original, Latin): De Dosibus Medicinarum

Title (supplementary): English translation

Author: Walter de Agilon/Galterius Agilinus

Editor: Shawn Sheahan

Responsibility statement

Electronic edition compiled and proofed by: Beatrix Färber

Funded by: School of History, University College, Cork

Edition statement

1. First draft.

Extent: 21190 words

Publication statement

Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork

Address: College Road, Cork, Ireland—http://celt.ucc.ie

Date: 2018

Distributor: CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.

CELT document ID: T600021

Availability: Available with prior consent of the CELT project for purposes of academic research and teaching only.Copyright for this edition lies with the estate of Shawn Sheahan.

Notes statement

*The original title is

Title (book): An Irish version of Gaulterus de Dosibus

. This contains a typo, 'Gaulterus', and has been corrected in the electronic edition to 'Gualterus'.* I am very grateful to Mrs Maureen Crowley, Leap, Co. Cork, a niece of Shawn Sheahan, who donated a copy of the book, for her kind permission to publish this material in electronic form on CELT, and to Professor Aoibheann Nic Dhonnchadha who made it possible. The book can be considered a rare book: a search on Copac shows that within The UK and Northern Ireland it is listed in only seven libraries. (Irish Libraries apart from TCD have not joined COPAC.) My sincere thanks are also due to to Dr Mirko Hanke, Academic Librarian of the Leopoldina in Halle, Germany, for sending me the introduction of Paul Diepgen's

Title (book): Gualteri Agilonis Summa medicinalis

(Leipzig 1911). I have not been able to locate a printed Latin edition of the

Title (book): De Dosibus

; however for digital images of the Latin manuscript Sheahan consulted, see below under 'Manuscript sources for De dosibus medicinarum', no. 12. The work is regarded as mainly derivative. (See Introduction).

Biographical Note: “Shawn Sheahan was born in Ashford, County Limerick, Ireland, on January 21, 1901. Having at the age of fourteen completed his course in the national school he devoted six years to helping on his father's farm; a year to farming among the Gaelic speakers of Ballyferriter, where he became conversant in his native tongue; and a year in Musgrave's School, Newcastlewest, County Limerick, and Ring Gaelic College, County Waterford. Afterwards he became a pharmacist's apprentice for a period of three years. In January, 1927, he came to Washington, D. C, where, in October of that year, he passed the Board of Pharmacy Examination. In September he entered George Washington University as a part-time special student from which he graduated in June, 1934. The following September he entered the Catholic University of America, where he pursued courses in Philology under doctors Geary, Lane, and Fry.”

Green,

Title (book): Trotula

, 67, translates the weights and measures given in the

Title (book): Antidotarium Nicolai

(see van den Berg, p. 191) as follows “A scruple is the weight of twenty grains [of wheat]. Two scruples equal forty grains, and three scruples equal sixty grains. Three scruples collected equal one dram. (...) Eight drams make one ounce. And 108 drams make one pound.”

Source description

MS sources for Irish translations of 'De Dosibus Medicinarum'

  1. British Library, London, Harley 546, ff1–11. (For details see Standish Hayes O'Grady, Catalogue of the Irish Manuscripts in the British Library, reprint, 2 vols (Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1992), 171–177. It is complete. A colophon is added naming Cormac Mac Duinnshléibhe as the translator who put the summary into Irish for Dermot mac Donall O'Lyne, in Cloyne (Co. Cork), in 1459. For sample pages see http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/FullDisplay.aspx?ref=Harley_MS_546.
  2. Trinity College Library, 1326 (H. 3. 7.), ff 1–15b5. It is complete. For details see ISOS Project. Digital images of this manuscript are available on the ISOS Project, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, see: http://www.dias.ie/isos/.
  3. Trinity College Library, 1436 (E 4.1.) pp 296–310a. It is complete. For details see ISOS Project. Digital images of this manuscript are available on the ISOS Project, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, see: http://www.dias.ie/isos/.
  4. Trinity College Library, 1436 (H 2 12), no. 13. It is incomplete. For details see ISOS Project. Digital images of this manuscript are available on the ISOS Project, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, see: http://www.dias.ie/isos/.
  5. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 445 (24 B 3) (17–28).It is incomplete. For details see ISOS Project. Digital images of this manuscript are available on the ISOS Project, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, see: http://www.dias.ie/isos/.

Manuscript sources for De dosibus medicinarum [incipit: Medicinarum quedam sunt simplices.] See http://www.mirabileweb.it/calma/galterius-agilinus-fl-saec-xiii-med-/2578.

  1. Cambridge, King's College 21 [sec. XIII–XIV (1272–1327)], f. 88.
  2. Dublin, Marsh's Library Z.4.4.4 [sec. XIV first half], ff. 185ra–192ra.
  3. El Escorial, Real Biblioteca de San Lorenzo de El Escorial p.II.5, ff. 74–79.
  4. Firenze, Biblioteca Riccardiana 878, ff. 5ra–8vb.
  5. Kraków, Biblioteka Jagiellonska 778 [ca. 1425], ff. 59r–64r.
  6. Kraków, Biblioteka Jagiellonska 823 [post XIV med.], ff. 98r–101r.
  7. Leipzig, Universitätsbibliothek 1166 [sec. XIV first half], ff. 78v–87r.
  8. Leipzig, Universitätsbibliothek 1227 [a. 1474], ff. 168r–172r;.
  9. London, British Library, Harley 3371 [sec. XV ex.]
  10. London, Wellcome Library (olim Wellcome Historical Medical Library) 559 [sec. XV med.], f. 9.
  11. München, Universitätsbibliothek, 2576 [a. 1383].
  12. München, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 325. USED BY SHEAHAN. Provenance Northern Italy. It contains the De Dosibus on ff 79r to 83ra, 238r to 246v. In this manuscript mentioned by Littré, Histoire litt. de France, Walter is called 'Salernus'. Digital images are available at the Digitalisierungszentrum of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München (Munich) http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/0007/bsb00073571/images/index.html?fip=193.174.98.30&id=00073571&seite=1
  13. Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, lat. 14026 [sec. XIV], ff. 89v–90v.
  14. Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, lat. 16191 [sec. XIV], ff. 202–207.
  15. Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, lat. 6957 [a. 1429], ff. 100v–108.
  16. Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, lat. 6964 [an. 1305 Montpellier], ff. 93v–96.
  17. Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, lat. 7051 [sec. XIV], ff. 56–62v.
  18. Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal 1025 [sec. XIV], ff. 141–144v.

General background and works by Walter of Agilon (Gualterus Aguilonis)

  1. Bartholomew Parr, The London Medical Dictionary (Philadelphia 1819).
  2. Francesco Puccinotti, Storia della Medicina (Livorno 1855).
  3. Salvatore De Renzi, Collectio Salernitana, 5 vols, (Naples 1852–1859).
  4. Robley Dunglison, Medical Lexicon: A Dictionary of Medical Science (London 1860).
  5. Julius Pfeffer, Das Compendium urinarum des Gualterus Agulinus. Inaugurtal-Dissertation (Berlin 1891) [Nach einer Handschrift der Amploniana].
  6. Paul Diepgen (ed), Gualteri Agilonis Summa medicinalis: nach den Münchener Codices lat. Nr. 325 und 13124 erstmalig ediert mit einer vergleichenden Betrachtung älterer medizinischer Kompendien des Mittelaters (Leipzig: Barth 1911).
  7. Heinrich Schipperges, Die frühen Übersetzer der arabischen Medizin in chronologischer Sicht. Sudhoffs Archiv f. d. Geschichte der Medizin 39 (1955) 53–93.
  8. Heinrich Schipperges, Zur Rezeption und Assimilation arabischer Medizin im frühen Toledo. Sudhoffs Archiv f. d. Geschichte der Medizin 39 (1955) 261–283.
  9. Heinrich Schipperges, Die Assimilation der arabischen Medizin durch das lateinische Mittelalter. Wiesbaden 1964 (= Sudhoffs Archiv, Beiheft 3).
  10. Danielle Jacquart and Agostino Paravicini Bagliani (eds), La Collectio Salernitana di Salvatore De Renzi. (Florence 2008).
  11. Peter Wyse Jackson, Ireland's Generous Nature. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, 2014.
  12. Gian Carlo Garfagnini, Claudio Leonardi, Michael Lapidge (eds), C.A.L.M.A.: Compendium Auctorum Latinorum Medii Aevi: 500–1500. 5 vols. (Florence 2000–2017.)

A selection of secondary literature (suggestions are welcome)

  1. Lynn Thorndike and Francis C. Benjamin (eds), The Herbal of Rufinus (Chicago 1946).
  2. Francis Shaw, S. J., 'Irish medical men and philosophers', in: Seven Centuries of Irish Learning, 1000–1700, ed. by Brian Ó Cuív (Cork: Mercier Press 1971).
  3. Dietlinde Goltz, Studien zur Geschichte der Mineralnamen in Pharmazie, Chemie und Medizin von den Anfängen bis Paracelsus (Wiesbaden 1972).
  4. L. García-Ballester, J. A. Paniagua, M. R. McVaugh (eds), Arnaldi de Villanova Opera medica omnia, Volume 2; Volume 5 (Barcelona 1975).
  5. Dietlinde Goltz, Mittelalterliche Pharmazie und Medizin. Dargestellt an Geschichte und Inhalt des Antidotarium Nicolai. Mit einer Druckfassung von 1491 (Stuttgart 1976).
  6. Nessa Ní Shéaghda, 'Translations and Adaptations in Irish' (Statutory Lecture 1984, School of Celtic Studies), (Dublin: Institute for Advanced Studies 1984).
  7. Tony Hunt, Plant names of Medieval England (Cambridge 1989).
  8. A. Bauer, 'Gualtherus Agulinus'. In: Lexikon des Mittelalters, IV, 1989, column 1760.
  9. Aoibheann Nic Dhonnchadha, 'Irish medical manuscripts', Irish Pharmacy Journal 69/5 (May 1991) 201–2.
  10. Aoibheann Nic Dhonnchadha, 'Irish Pharmaceutical Texts', Irish Pharmacy Journal, 69 (1991), 274f.
  11. W. F. Daems, Nomina simplicium medicinarum ex synonimariis Medii Aevi collecta. Semantische Untersuchungen zum Fachwortschatz hoch- und spätmittelalterlicher Drogenkunde (Leiden 1993).
  12. Michael Rogers McVaugh, Medicine before the Plague: Practitioners and Their Patients in the Crown of Aragon: 1285–1345, Cambridge Studies in the History of Medicine (Cambridge 1993).
  13. Michael Rogers McVaugh, 'Medical Knowledge at the Time of Frederick II', in: Le scienze alla corte di Federico II. Sciences at the Court of Frederick II = Micrologus. Natura, scienze e società medievali. Nature, Sciences and Medieval Societies. Rivista della Società Internazionale per lo Studio del Medio Evo Latino Firenze 2 (1994) 3–17.
  14. Margaret R. Schleissner (ed), Manuscript sources of medieval medicine: a book of essays (New York: Garland 1995).
  15. Mirko D. Grmek, Bernardino Fantini (eds), Western Medical Thought from Antiquity to the Middle Ages. [Translated from the Italian by Anthony Shuugar.] (Cambridge, Massachussetts: Harvard University Press 1999).
  16. Jerry Stannard, Herbs and Herbalism in the Middle Ages and Renaissance; edited by Katherine E. Stannard and Richard Kay. (Aldershot 1999).
  17. Jerry Stannard, Pristina medicamenta: ancient and medieval botany; edited by Katherine E. Stannard and Richard Kay. (Aldershot 1999).
  18. D. R. Langslow, Medical Latin in the Roman Empire, (Oxford 2000).
  19. Fergus Kelly, 'Medicine and Early Irish Law', in: J. B. Lyons (ed), Two thousand years of Irish medicine (Dublin 1999) 15–19. Reprinted in Irish Journal of Medical Science vol. 170 no. 1 (January–March 2001) 73–76.
  20. Monica H. Green (ed) and trans, The Trotula: a medieval compendium of women's medicine (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania 2001). See especially the Appendix on Compound medicines, pp 193–204.
  21. Aoibheann Nic Dhonnchadha, 'Medical writing in Irish', in: J. B. Lyons (ed), Two thousand years of Irish medicine (Dublin 1999) 21–26. Published also in Irish Journal of Medical Science 169/3 (July–September 2000) 217–20.
  22. Christopher J. Duffin, 'Lapis Judaicus or the Jews' stone: the folklore of fossil echinoid spines', Proceedings of the Geologists' Association 117:3 (2006) 265–275.
  23. Peter E. Pormann and Emilie Savage-Smith, Medieval Islamic Medicine (Washington D.C. 2007).
  24. Wolfram Schmitt, Medizinische Lebenskunst: Gesundheitslehre und Gesundheitsregimen im Mittelalter (Berlin 2013).
  25. Peter Wyse Jackson, Ireland's generous nature: the past and present uses of wild plants in Ireland (St. Louis, Missouri 2013).
  26. NB: A short text by Iohannes Ibn Mesue is in parts very similar to this. See Traducciòn catalana anònima Ms. Paris, BN, Español 508, ff. 57a–61a, inc. 'Practica segons Johan Eben Mesue' (available at sciencia.cat/biblioteca/documents/Parma_Ferre.pdf
  27. Juhani Norri, Dictionary of Medical Vocabulary in English, 1375–1550: Body Parts, Sicknesses, Instruments, and Medicinal Preparations (Oxford 2016).

Online sources

  1. Dictionary of the Irish Language, mainly compiled from Old and Middle Irish materials: eDIL. See http://www.dil.ie/.
  2. Francisco Cortés Gabaudan, Jesús Ureña Bracero, Dicciomed.eusal.es. Diccionario médico-biológico, histórico y etimológico. 2004. Universidad de Salamanca. See http://dicciomed.eusal.es/comosecita.php.
  3. MIRABILEWEB: Archivio Digitale della cultura medievale (Digital Archive for Medieval Culture) http://www.mirabileweb.it/index.aspx.
  4. LOGEION, A Dictionary incorporating several dictionaries of Greek and Latin at the University of Chicago http://logeion.uchicago.edu/.
  5. Alcuin Infothek der Scholastik: a database about scholastic authors, their works and reception. Intended as a research tool and hosted at the University of Regensburg (in German) http://www-app.uni-regensburg.de/Fakultaeten/PKGG/Philosophie/Gesch_Phil/alcuin/index.php.
  6. The Jesuatti Book of Remedies, or, Libro de i Secretti con Ricetti. Compiled by Friar Giovanni Andrea of the Order of the Jesuati Friars of Saint Jerome in Lucca, Italy in 1562. Translated and with notes by Stata Norton. Electronic edition published by the Center for Digital Scholarship, University of Kansas Libraries, 2010. Available at ttp://etext.ku.edu/view?docId=jesuatti/jesuatti.xml;brand=jesuatti;route=jesuatti;.
  7. Johan Yperman (c. 1260– c. 1331), a Flemish surgeon and the first medical writer in Dutch, wrote a 'Cirurgie' that was edited in 1912 by E.C. van Leersum. Pages 234ff. of this edition contain an explanatory glossary. The work is digitally available at the Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren (http://www.dbnl.org/) see http://www.dbnl.org/tekst/yper003ecvl01_01/yper003ecvl01_01_0204.php
  8. The Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren (http://www.dbnl.org/) also has an edition of the Antidotarium Nicolai (including a Middle Dutch version) online. This was edited from Mss 15624-15642 from Brussels, Kon. Bibl. by W.S. van den Berg (Leiden 1917); see http://www.dbnl.org/titels/titel.php?id=_ant004anti01.
  9. Dioscórides Interactivo: the Salamanca Dioscorides (De materia medica), Unversidad de Salamanca. Estudios y Traducción del Dioscórides, Manuscrito de Salamanca. Traducción: Antonio López Eire y Francisco Cortés Gabaudan. Con estudios de Bertha Gutiérrez Rodilla y Maria Concepción Vázquez de Benito. Editor y coordinador Alejandro Esteller. Available at http://dioscorides.usal.es/.

The edition used in the digital edition

Sheahan, Shawn, ed. (1938). An Irish Version of Gualterus de Dosibus‍. 1st ed. 1 volume; 185 pages. Preface 9–13; Signs 15 (i.e. variants common to a particular group of manuscripts); Abbreviations 17–19; Specimen pages of the MSS 21–25; Corrections 26; Introduction 27–44, Irish text with facing English translation 46–119, Variants and Notes on Text 121–145; Glossary 147–180; Bibliography 181–183. Washington, D. C.: Catholic University of America.

You can add this reference to your bibliographic database by copying or downloading the following:

@book{T600021,
  title 	 = {An Irish Version of Gualterus de Dosibus},
  editor 	 = {Shawn Sheahan},
  edition 	 = {1},
  note 	 = {1 volume; 185 pages. Preface 9–13; Signs 15 (i.e. variants common to a particular group of manuscripts); Abbreviations 17–19; Specimen pages of the MSS 21–25; Corrections 26; Introduction 27–44, Irish text with facing English translation 46–119, Variants and Notes on Text 121–145; Glossary 147–180; Bibliography 181–183.},
  publisher 	 = {Catholic University of America },
  address 	 = {Washington, D. C.},
  date 	 = {1938}
}

 T600021.bib

Encoding description

Project description: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling declarations

The present text represents odd pages 47–119 of the book. Endnotes are in general not retained. The Irish version is available in a separate file, G600021.

Editorial declarations

Correction: Text has been checked and proofread once. All corrections and supplied text are tagged. Note: the variant readings have not been provided in the Irish text since their manner of recording, explained by 27 different signs by the editor (15) is rather cumbersome in the edition. Therefore, what is presented here is a reconstruction of the Irish text by the editor, a textus conflatus, including all manuscripts. As the editor remarked (27), the original translation by Cormac Mac Duinnshléibhe is not extant. A number of explanatory footnotes have been added at CELT.

Normalization: The electronic text represents the edited text. Where Latin text is cited, it is often misspelled in the manuscript (this occurs rather often in Irish medical tracts) and has been left to stand. Text supplied by the CELT editor is marked sup resp="BF".

Quotation: Quotations from written works are rendered q. The citations refer to manuscripts and in the main, have not been identified.

Hyphenation: Soft hyphens are silently removed. Words containing a hard or soft hyphen crossing a page-break have been placed on the line on which they start.

Segmentation: div0=the whole document; div1=the editor's paragraph. Paragraphs are numbered in line with the printed edition, page-breaks are marked pb n="".

Interpretation: Names of persons and titles of works are tagged. So are many terms from medicine, pharmacy and anatomy. Words from Latin and Greek have been tagged as such.

Reference declaration

A canonical reference to a location in this text should be made using “paragraph”, eg paragraph 1.

Profile description

Creation: The Latin original was written c. 1240–1250; the Irish translation by 1459; and the English translation by 1938.

Language usage

  • The introduction and translation are in English. (en)
  • Some words and phrases are in Latin. (la)
  • Some words are in Greek. (gr)
  • One quote in the Introduction is in Early Modern Irish. (ga)

Keywords: medical; pharmacy; dosage of medicine; prose; medieval; scholarship; translation; Gualterus Agilonis; Galterius Agilinus; Gualterus Agilinus; Walter of Agilon; materia medica; Schola Salernitana; translation

Revision description

(Most recent first)

  1. 2018-01-17: File proofed (2) online. More encoding applied for medical, botanical and pharmaceutical terms, explanantory footnotes and bibliographic items added; file reparsed. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2017-12-06: Introduction written using information from Paul Diepgen's preface. File parsed and validated. SGML and HTML versions created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  3. 2017-12-06: TEI header created with bibliographical details. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  4. 2017-10-10: File encoded in accordance with CELT standards: encoding and numbering of divisions, subdivisions and headings. Limited amount of content encoding applied for personal names, book titles, place names; Latin phrases, Greek words, supplied text, footnotes; minor changes made to spelling. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  5. 2017-10-09: File captured by scanning. File converted to XML and proofed (1). (Capture Beatrix Färber)

Index to all documents

CELT Project Contacts

More…

Formatting

For details of the markup, see the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI)

page of the print edition

folio of the manuscript

numbered division

 999 line number of the print edition (in grey: interpolated)

underlining: text supplied, added, or expanded editorially

italics: foreign words; corrections (hover to view); document titles

bold: lemmata (hover for readings)

wavy underlining: scribal additions in another hand; hand shifts flagged with (hover to view)

TEI markup for which a representation has not yet been decided is shown in red: comments and suggestions are welcome.

Other languages

G600021: An Irish Version of Gualterus de Dosibus (in Irish)

Source document

T600021.xml

Search CELT

  1. Sheahan translated “treacle” which is ambiguous. Theriac is meant. According to the OED, treacle in the modern sense dates from the 17th century. See note p. 117. 🢀

  2. L a tota specie. 🢀

  3. In the language of Galenism, the mala complexio, or imbalance of the humours within the body. 🢀

  4. An inflammatory mass or localized area of inflammation; diffuse, spreading inflammation, often with suppuration, especially of soft tissue; cellulitis. (OED) 🢀

  5. Accorus, Acorus verus or Calamus aromaticus. Bauh. Acorus Calamus L. Sibthorp, Iohannes: Florae Graece, London 1806, 1.239. Diepgen op. cit. 55. Other views prevail as to the identity of accorus. It is identified by Montigiano in dealing with Dioscorides as Iris pseudoacorus, having as synonyms Chorus, and Aphrodisia. Discorides: Materia Medicinale; Firenze 1547 1.2. This view is held also by Miss Wulff (op. cit. 365). The species Irish pseudoacorus Sibthorp identifies as nerokrinós of Dioscorides. Others hold the view that Galingan is the true acorus of the ancients.(...) [Shawn Sheahan]. 🢀

  6. Burned and powdered bone (bone charcoal) used for medical purposes. 🢀

  7. i. e. rhapontic, Rheum rhaponticum🢀

  8. Scamonea est succus volubilis cuiusdam, cuius virtus durat per triginta annos. Alberti Magni de vegetalibilibus p. 564, line 437. Accessed 231017 from Librería Digital, Jardín Botánico de Madrid CSIS. 🢀

  9. i.e. electio 🢀

  10. i.e. astringent, tart. 🢀

  11. i.e. poinntegdacht: acidity, sourness. 🢀

  12. Green, Trotula, 196f, translates the relevant passage from the Antodotarium Nicolai sv Oleum rosaceum: “Oleum rosatum has a cold and styptic power and thus is the best thing for head pains from fever or from the heat of the sun. Moreover, it takes away burning and heat when the stomach is full of bile [and when] its windiness fills the whole head or just part of it. It is good for those pains which happen sometimes in the whole head or part of it if the head is anointed with this. It also is good for pains arising in the stomach or intestines from sharpness of the humors if it is mixed with two drams of mastic and enough wax dissolved in it and then anointed on the affected parts. It is useful against erysipelas that does not appear on the surface [of the skin] and for many other conditions of this kind. This oil is made in the following manner. One and a half pounds of slightly crushed fresh roses should be placed in two pounds of common (and in our opinion, cleaned) oil; these should be placed in a full pot suspended in a cauldron full of water. And let these boil for a while until they are reduced to a third of their original quantity. Only then should this be put into a white linen cloth and squeezed through a press. The liquid should be saved. In the same manner oil of elder, violet, and sweet gale is made, that is, those oils which are good in acute diseases; anointed on the liver, pulse points, temples, and palms of the hands and soles of the feet, they extinguish heat completely.” Cf van den Berg, p. 105, no. 62. 🢀

  13. i.e. colic. 🢀

  14. i.e. colic. 🢀

  15. A description of the five kinds is found in The London Medical Dictionary by Bartholomew Parr (1819), available online at http://chestofbooks.com/health/reference/London-Medical-Dictionary/Myrobalani.html sv Myrobalani: “... myrobalans, a dried fruit of the plum kind, brought from the East Indies, of which three kinds are brought from Bengal, faba Bengalensis, Cambaia, and Malabarica. (...) They have been recommended as somewhat astringent and tonic, but are not now in use. Myrobalanus means nux, or glans unguentaria, a nut or acorn, fit for making precious ointments; for from the myrobalans described by Dioscurides, Pliny, and Galen, they used to express a fragrant oil used in ointments. All the different kinds, which we hasten to describe, are probably varieties of the phyllanthus emblica Linné; Species Plantarum, 1393.
    Myrobalani bellirici, belleregi, bellegu, belliric myrobalans, are of a yellowish grey colour, and an irregularly roundish or oblong figure, about an inch long, and three quarters of an inch thick.
    Myrobalani chebulae (=chebuli) resemble the yellow sort in their figure and ridges, but are larger and darker coloured, inclining to brown or blackish, and with a thicker pulp.
    Myrobalani citrini, vel flavi, are somewhat longer than the belliric, have generally five large longitudinal ridges, and as many smaller between them, somewhat pointed at both ends.
    Myrobalani emblici, ambegu, are of a dark, blackish grey colour, roundish, about half an inch thick, with six hexagonal faces opening from one another.
    Myrobalani Indici, vel nigri, asuar, are of a deep black colour, oblong, octangular, differing from all the others in having only the rudiments of a stone, and supposed to have been gathered before maturity.
    All the sorts have an unpleasant, bitterish, austere taste, strike a black colour with a solution of vitriol, contain tannine, are gently purgative and astringent. ...” Several varieties of myrobalans (now known as Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellirica and Phyllantus emblica) have in recent years been investigated for their potential pharmaceutical and therapeutic uses. 🢀

  16. 'Manna' is not in Sheahan's glossary. It is translated 'manna' in the Irish version but not related in any way to the biblical manna. The eDIL entries do not cover this medical sense of a specifically lubricating laxative. Green, Trotula, 283, has 'gum from the flowering ash-tree? Fraxinus ornus L.' and cites it as an ingredient of trifera saracenica. John Redman Coxe, The Philadelphia Medical Dictionary, Philadelphia 1808, sv manna has 'a mild laxative exuding from a species of Sicilian ash' (Fraxinus ornus, manna ash or South European flowering ash). It is a sugary extract of its bark sap, on which the sugar mannose and the sugar alcohol mannitol are based. 🢀

  17. The Irish word, 'bulaisighi' translated as 'plums', is neither listed in Sheahan's glossary nor in eDIL. A search in eDIL does not yield any results for the English term 'plum'. However, sv bolas, bolás? H. Cameron Gillies, Regimen Sanitatis, p. 25, na bolais 'the bullaces' is cited. Variants of 'bulaisigi' are recorded in Dinneen sv boláiste, and O'Dónaill sv. baláiste, 'bollace, wild plum'. John F. L. S Cameron, The Gaelic names of plants has p. 24, “Prunus institiabullace, Gaelic and Irish bulastair.” From Old French beloce 'prune sauvage', from L *bulluca, FEW 1, p. 623-4; and cf. Du Cange, sv bulluga: “Pomi species. Jonas in Vita S. Columbani cap. 19: Vel pomorum parvulorum, quae eremus illa ferebat, quae vulgo Bullugas appellant.”, and cf. sv bolluca In An Irish Corpus Astronomiae written 1694, (G600031) the equivalent of English 'almond and plum trees' is translated 'crann almonds, plumaidhe'. In Carney, Regimen na Sláinte, (c. 1415) 'pruna' occurs once (L600009C) and is rendered mirabolani. In Wulff, A Mediaeval Handbook of Gynaecology (G600011), dated to 1352, the Latin 'pruna magna, rubra' p. 57 is rendered 'airneda mora derga', and pruna p. 82 is translated 'airnedha', too. From this it may be inferred that áirne was used originally to cover both the native sloe and the plum; later to denote the tropical myrobalans, mir(a)bolani was used, and even later, the English plum, which is now used, was adapted.  🢀

  18. Lit. linn ruadh, red bile, or choler. 🢀

  19. Sebesten, the fruit of black jujeb. Sebesten plum, Cordia Myxa L. Diepgen op. cit. 75. Myxaria; Nicholas Lemery, Woordenboeck of Algemene Verhandeling der Enkele Droogeryn, Rotterdam 1743 (...) (Shawn Sheahan). 🢀

  20. These were well known in the Renaissance and Early Modern period. The four greater cold seeds are “those of cucumber, gourds, citrals and melons. The four smaller [ones] are those of endive, succory, purslain and lettuce.” Both kinds were used to “cool and thicken the humours” Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, Materia Medica; or, a description of simple medicines generally us'd in physick (...) London 1716, 390. They are also cited in Stokes, Three Irish Medical glossaries, p. 326: 46. “Melones ⁊ s[i]truilli, cuquirbita ⁊ cuqumiris i. na .4. silta mora fuara.” 🢀

  21. “Penidi, pinidi, peniti” is explained as “barley sugar” in the Glossary of the Jesuatti Book of remedies by friar Giovanni Andrea from Brescia, translated by the late Stata Norton, Emeritus Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics, University of Kansas Medical Center. The digital edition is available at http://etext.ku.edu/view?docId=jesuatti/jesuatti.xml;brand=jesuatti;route=jesuatti; 🢀

  22. Sheahan has a note on sticados p. 175. Stoechas in general is Lavandula stoechas, or French lavender. However DMLBS sv stoechas (=sticados) differentiates and tentatively identifies “sticados, a kind of plant.; b (spec., also w. citrinum) houseleek (Sempervivum tectorum) or similar. c (w. citrina) kind of daisy (Chrysanthemum); d (w. Arabicum or Arabicus)? hyssop.” 'Sticados rose' makes no sense, and the reading may be an error. Clm 325 folio 243v column b has id. instead of ros. 🢀

  23. Sheahan has a note on iua, “Irish yew, Taxus fastigata.” “Erba iua” is the yellow bugle, Ajuga chamaepitys, or ground pine, which is rendered camepiteos above, section 67. Hunt, Plant names of Medieval England, p. 317 lists under Ajuga chamaepitys the variants “camepitis, camepiteos, herba Ivonis, iva, quercula maior”. 🢀

  24. Defined as follows in Green, Trotula, Appendix, p. 196: Hierapigra: “Yerapigra Galyeni. It is called yera [i.e. hiera] because it is sacred, picra because it is bitter. It is made for various diseases of the head, or diseases of the ears or distemper of the eyes. It also purges the stomach very well. It relieves disorders of the liver, and it removes and thins out hardness and density of the spleen. It is good for the kidneys and the bladder, and it cleanses distemper of the womb. A tenth part is one pound. Take two scruples each of cinnamon, spikenard, saffron, camel grass, hazelwort, cassia tree bark, balsam wood, balsam fruit, violet, wormwood, agaric, roses, vegetable turpeth, colocynth, and mastic; aloe in the weight of all the spices, i.e. ten drams and to scruples; and honey as needed. Its dose is three drams, to be given with warm water in the morning while fasting. If, however you make pills, give fifteen or seventeen of them with a sufficient amount of scammony.” Cf van den Berg, p. 183, no. 143. 🢀

  25. Identified in the Antidotarium Nicolai, van den Berg p. 20, no. 9 “Benedicta dicitur quoniam ab omnibus a quibus sumitur est benedicta: si detur habentibus infirmitates contra quas inventa fuit. valet ad guttam, arteticam, podagricis ex frigiditate renes et vesicam purgat. media pars confecta est librae .ii.”  🢀

  26. Identified in the Antidotarium Nicolai, van den Berg p. 19, no. 8 “Blanca dicta est. quoniam albos purgat humores .i. flegmaticos: valet cephalargicis et oculorum doloribus et sanguinolentis et tumoribus et lippis. optime facit contra omnia que turbant fantasiam rationem et memoriam. utilis est tremulosis, epilenticis et paraliticis. nona pars confecta est libra .i.” 🢀

  27. Identified in the Antidotarium Nicolai as one of two compound medicines called Theodoriton “gift of god”. Theodoriton anacardinum contains the seed of Semecarpus anacardium L. Cf van den Berg, p. 156, no. 118. 🢀

  28. Sheahan has the following note on this: “Electuarium ducis. Commander's electuary. This was made by Commander Robert for indigestion. Nicolaus Praepositas, Incipit Antidotarium Venetiis: Per Nicolaum Jenson, 1471, 14.” Cf van den Berg, p.65, no. 40 sv “Electuarium ducis dicitur quia abbas de curia illud composuit ad opus ducis Rogerii filii Roberti Viscardi propter indigestionem et ventositatem stomaci et intestinorum: et ilii dolorem: et vitium lapidis.” Roger Borsa (Ruggero Borsa) (d.1111) was the son of Robert Guiscard (Roberto il Guiscardo), Duke of Apulia and Calabria and Duke of Sicily (d. 1085), and Sikelgaita, a princess of Salerno (1040-1090), and benefactress of Montecassino. 🢀

  29. Defined as follows in Green, Trotula, Appendix, p. 195: “Hieralogodion: Yeralogodion memphytum. Yera [i.e. hiera] means “sacred”, logos means “speech”, and memphytum means an obstruction. For it cures impeded speech no matter what the cause. Given simply as a laxative with warm water it marvelously purges both black bile and phlegm. It is given to epileptics with warm water, salt, and a mixture of honey and water. It cures those with stomach ailments and vertiginous epileptics who foam at the mouth and bite their tongues. [It is also good] for those suffering from headaches or migraines and who are so vexed by excitements of the head that they seem to be possessed by demons. (...)” Cf van den Berg, p. 183, no. 141. 🢀

  30. Defined in Green, Trotula, Appendix, p. 197f. “Paulinum antidotum”. (...) it has great power and efficacy. Properly, it is given for chronic and acute coughing, which arises from a flowing out of rheum from the head. It is good for disorders of the chest caused by the cold [when given] in the evening with warm wine. But if [the patient] is not able to take it diluted, make from it nine or eleven pills made with the juice of opium poppy. But if it has been made without the juice of opium poppy and you wish to make a laxative, give two drams with two scruples of Levant scammony made into pills. It purges the head and stomach of phlegm and foulness, and it takes away heaviness of the eyes. The fourth part is one pound because in each dose they put a pound and half of skimmed honey. Take eleven drams and fifteen grains of aloe; four and a half drams each of saffron, costmary, marking nut, agaric, coral, myrrh, ammoniacum, turpentine, galbanum, serapinam gum, opoponax, confected cleavers, calamite storax, and Florentine iris; two drams and fifteen grains each of juice of opium poppy, frankincense, mastic gum, bdellium, and cozumbrum; one dram and a half each of balsam and cloves; [and] two drams of balm. Mix them together in the following fashion. (...) Cf van den Berg, p. 111, no. 74. 🢀

  31. This was named after Rufinus, an Italian monk of the 13th century. See Lynn Thorndike and Francis C. Benjamin (eds), The Herbal of Rufinus (Chicago 1946). Identified in the Antidotarium Nicolai, van den Berg, p. 185, no. 142. 🢀

  32. Identified in the Antidotarium Nicolai. A medicine based on senna. It is called Diasene because it contains a greater quantity of senna than of any other ingredient. It is good for melancholy and heart afflictions. It contains senna, roast hazelnuts, burnt silk(?), lapis armenicus, lapis lazuli, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, galangal, pepper, ginger leaves, saffron, zedoary, rosemary, long pepper and honey. It is administered in water in which senna leaves have been steeped and left outside, and it is made with ground, roasted hazelnuts and honey, skimmed off and boiled down. Then the spice mixture is added. It is good for those suffering from quartan fever and afflictions of the spleen. Cf van den Berg, p. 41, no. 33. 🢀

  33. Identified in the Antidotarium Nicolai and translated by Green, Trotula, 202, as follows: “Trifera saracenica (otherwise known as “juvenile”) renders a person young again. It is called saracenica because it was invented by the Saracens. It is given particularly to those suffering from jaundice and liver problems, and to those suffering from head pain on account of a fumosity of red bile (...) It is given in the morning with warm water. An eighth part is one pound. Take three ounces of sugar; one ounce and a half each of the bark of citrine myrobalans, and the fleshy innards of cassia tree bark and tamarinds; six drams, two scruples, and five grains each of cleaned chebulic myrobalans and manna; one-half ounce each of Indian [myrobalan] and fresh violets if they can be found; two drams and fifteen grains each of anise and fennel; one dram and seven and a half grains each of mastic and mace; one-half ounce and four grains each of belleric and emblic (...)” Cf van den Berg, p. 149, no. 113. 🢀

  34. Identified in the Antidotarium Nicolai and translated by Green, 200, as follows: “It is called Theodoriton from “deo datum”. Yperiston is to be interpreted as “well proven”. This is made for migrainous pain and dizziness of the head, and for phlegmatic flux which flows in the jaws and the throat, which sometimes causes loss of the voice. It is good also for feverless conditions of the spleen. It makes good color if it is given by itself. But if you wish to use it as a purgative, you should employ two scruples of Levant scammony and it will work more forcefully. A twelfth part is two pounds. (...) ” Cf van den Berg, p. 155, no. 117. 🢀

  35. Sheahan has a note on this. He took sanydropis for one word, thinking of a variety of scammony, but did not find the term cited in the literature he used. The text in clm 325 fo. 245r near the bottom is “in ydropisi non acuamur medicinam cum scamonea” 'let us not sharpen (intensify) the medicine in dropsy with scammony' thus the correct reading is 'san ydropis', 'in dropsy'. 🢀

  36. “Lynxstone, or Belemnites, from the crystallized urine of the lynx.” (Shawn Sheahan, p. 165) 🢀

  37. See Robley Dunglison (ed), Medical Lexicon: A Dictionary of Medical Science .... (Blanchard & Lea, 1860) p. 864, sv. “Spongiae lapis: A name given to small friable stones found in sponge. They were formerly deemed lithontriptic.” Also called sponge-stone.  🢀

  38. “Jew stone, Lapis iudaicus. Fossil spines of sea urchin found in Judea” (Sheahan p. 165). See also Christopher J. Duffin, 'Lapis Judaicus or the Jews' stone: the folklore of fossil echinoid spines', Proceedings of the Geologists' Association 117:3 (2006) 265–275. 🢀

  39. The Irish text has 'moran stuideir': 'much studying', or 'much reading'. 🢀

  40. Fen. quarta primi, doctrina 5. cap. 5.  🢀

  41. Identified by Sheahan as “Clamhán, Thyme dodder of the wild thyme, Cuscuta epithymum L.”. This is a parasitic plant and often takes its name from the host plant it infests. It is interesting to note that the translator did not use the Irish term here, although it was commonly known, and for example, 'sugh clamhain lin' is cited in eDIL from RIA 23 K 42. 🢀

  42. A compound medicine prepared with mulberry juice and other ingredients. Cf van den Berg, p. 30/31, no. 16. 🢀

  43. Theriac, (thyriaca, tyriaca) A famous compound medicine used as a panacea. See Green, Trotula, 200f. There were two kinds, the thyriaca magna Galeni which was ascribed to Galen himself (see also van den Berg p. 144–145, no. 106, 111), and the thyriaca ditessaron (see van den Berg p. 146–147, no. 107, 112). 🢀

  44. A compound medicine prepared with Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy) and plaintain juice. Tansy is toxic. A stimulant of the menstrual flow (emmenagogue) but also an abortefacient. See van den Berg, p. 10/11, no. 4: “immortalis proprie valet ad fluxum sanguinis mulieris. datur cum succo plantaginis: qui succus debet prius duci super lapidem molarem cum lapide emathitide tamdiu donec in sanguineum colorem vertatur: et cum tali succo distemperata medicina detur. et eadem bombice intincta et sepius in vulva missa sanguinem constringit. hoc quidem facit emothoicis cum tali ordine distemperata. et naribus actracta fluxum sanguinis narium sistit. Sexta pars confecta est libra.” 🢀

  45. A compound medicine used as an antidote based on opiates which contained gold, it is said to have been invented by Nicolaus Myresus Alexandrinus; also see van den Berg p. 5, no. 1: “Aurea alexandrina dicta est ab auro alexandrina ab Alexandro peritissimo philosopho inventa est. proprie valet ad omne capitis vitium ex frigidate maxime: et ad omnem reumaticam passionem que a capite ad oculos et aures et gingivas descendit: et ad gravedinem omnium membrorum que fit de eodem humore. datur eunti dormitum cum vino calido .xviii. pars confecta est libre .ii.”. 🢀

  46. Ir. gairgreisim. Sheahan does not have a note on this word, which is not cited in eDIL. However, the form 'gairgrisim' is cited four times in the Irish Rosa Anglica. From L 'gargarismus' of the same meaning, which is derived from Greek 'gargarismátion'. 🢀

  47. Sheahan does not have a note on this. The compound medicine mentioned here is Metridatum, called 'mother of all antidotes', according to Greek mēter, 'mother', or alternatively derived from the name of King Mithridates, used against all headaches in men and women if due to a cold cause. It is said to help the sad and timid, epilepics, and those suffering from mania; and is wonderful against migraines, irritated and watery eyes, and ear complaints. Likewise it helps against toothache and all mouth and jaw problems if applied on the hurting place. In the Antidotarium Nicolai, many other benefits are listed. Cf van den Berg p. 88–90 no. 62. 🢀

  48. Musa Enea in the Antidotarium Nicolai, said to be invented by a most famous philosopher. For details see van den Berg p. 93 no. 57 and Norri, Dictionary of Medical Vocabulary in English, sv musa enea. 🢀

  49. Rubea trosicata in the Antidotarium Nicolai, mentioned in passing, see van den Berg p. 94/95 and Norri, Dictionary of Medical Vocabulary in English, sv rubea trociscata. 🢀

  50. See van den Berg, p. 93, no. 58 and Norri, Dictionary of Medical Vocabulary in English, sv micleta. 🢀

CELT

2 Carrigside, College Road, Cork

Top