Mineral Medicine in Apion of Oasis according to Pliny and Galen

in Mnemosyne
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There are hints in Pliny that the grammarian Apion wrote a work of pharmacy, but the evidence in Pliny is tenuous and somewhat contradictory, and some has even been emended away. Apion is rarely considered a pharmacist, although there are parallels of grammarians—contemporary with Apion—who wrote on pharmacy. Moreover, three overlooked passages provide a much stronger case for pharmaceutical work by Apion. The surviving recipes prescribe mineral-based compounds as remedies, confirming the evidence in Pliny’s index, and they are also consistent both with Greek and Egyptian medical practice.

Mineral Medicine in Apion of Oasis according to Pliny and Galen

in Mnemosyne

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References

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1

Neitzel 1977185-328; and augmented by Theodoridis (1989).

2

Rives 2009.

3

Damon 2011138-139. Note also F 17 (Pliny 36.79: Apion like others wrote about the wasteful pyramids) and F 19 (Pliny 30.99: the scarab-beetle that rolls up balls of manure) each of which may derive either from the Egyptian Matters or from a work of paradoxa.

4

JosephusAgainst Apion 2.29 34 135; Athenaios 1.29 (16f); Jerome Illustrious Men 13.2; and the Suda α-3215: all give Apion’s ethnic as ‘Alexandria’.

7

Keyser 1999237; Murphy (2004 29-48) emphasizes rather the “structural intricacy and variety” of the work but sees an overall “rough outline” with medicinal uses of plants and animals in books 20-32 and metals and minerals in books 33-37; recently Henderson (2011) apparently explicates similarly.

10

Mayhoff 1906118; Beaujeu and Ernout 1951 153-154.

12

Guthrie 1920/1987 287-296; Baltes 1972.

16

Halleux 197419-60.

17

See Riddle 1985146-164.

18

OribasiusCollection 44.21.2 (cmg 6.2.1 p. 142) preserves the text; Scribonius Largus 202 preserves Meges’ plaster of mineral medicines. On Meges see Raeder 1931 and Scarborough 2008. On ‘flake’ see below § 4.

19

Montanari (2002) suggested the early second century ce; whereas Irby-Massie (2008a) gives a date-range of 20 bce to 95 ce (i.e. before Asclepiades); Athenaeus 10 (414e) cites him as ‘of Alexandria’.

20

See Wellmann 1895; Irby-Massie (2008d) gives a date-range of 30 to 80 ce (i.e. before Andromachus).

21

See Tosi 2007 and Keyser 2008i.

22

See Doyen-Higuet 2002 and McCabe 2008a.

24

AristophanesFrogs 712; Dioscorides mm 5.156; Celsus 5.1; Pliny 35.195-196; Galen On the Mixing and Effects of Simple Medicines 9.1.4 (12.182-189 K.) and often prescribed; cf. Caley and Richards 1956 209 and Kalcyk 2003. (Within I simply cite Galen’s work as ‘Simples’.)

26

See Fabricius 1972140192-196; Nutton 2003; Touwaide 2008b; and Keyser 2008b.

27

See HippocratesEpidemics 2.1.1 (5.72 Littré) 3.3.3 (3.70 Littré) 3.3.7 (3.84 Littré); Scribonius Largus 25 (carbunculos quos anthracas dicunt); Celsus 5.28.1 (symptoms and course of the disease); Pliny 26.5-6 (a disease usually fatal); and Galen Unnatural Tumors 6 (7.719-720 K.). Similar remedies are prescribed by: Scribonius Largus 63 (alumen [alum] aeris flos [‘flower of copper’] and other ingredients) 206 (burnt copper aerugo [copper acetate] alumen and other ingredients) and Celsus 6.18.5 (chalcitis [copper ore] aerugo and other ingredients).

28

See TheophrastusOn Stones 40 51; Dioscorides mm 5.104-105; and Caley and Richards 1956 171-172.

30

See Breasted 1930382; Ebbell 1937 68-76; Majno 1975 111-115; and Gundlach 1980.

32

See Foye 1977on copper mercury silver zinc and others; Liu et al. 2008; Borkow and Gabbay 2009; and Lemire Harrison and Turner 2013.

33

See Fabricius 1972130190-192; Scarborough and Touwaide 2008; and Keyser 2008c.

35

GalenComp. Med. Sec. Locos 5.3 gives three other recipes against ‘µεντάγρα’ two of which are from Pamphilus 12.839-842 K.; most of their ingredients are minerals similar to the ones here. The fourth recipe is from the obscure ‘Axios’: see Keyser 2008e.

45

Marganne 200680with n. 33.

47

GalenUse of the Parts 7.14 (3.572 K. = 1.416 Helmreich): τῶν δ’ ἰατρῶν οἱ προσαγορευθέντες ὀργανικοί (‘those doctors called ‘machine-makers’’); see May 1968 v. 1 p. 364. Marganne 2006 74-78 analyses the chapters of Oribasius that preserve extensive extracts from Heliodorus who quoted earlier ‘organikoi’.

48

Heliodorus in OribasiusColl. 49.8.6 (cmg 6.2.2 p. 14): τις Ἡρόδοτος ἀνὴρ ὀργανικός (‘a certain machine-maker Herodotus’). See Michler 1968a 87 130.

49

Heliodorus in OribasiusColl. 49.8.7 (cmg 6.2.2 p. 14): Πασικράτην τὸν ὀργανικὸν γενόµενον ἐν τῇ Σιδῶνι (‘Pasicrates who was a “machine-maker” in Sidon’). See Michler 1968a 87-88 130-131 and Keyser 2008j.

51

See Nutton 2002a and Irby-Massie 2008b.

52

See Nutton 2002b and Stok 2008.

53

OribasiusColl. 49.4.45-50 (cmg 6.2.2 p. 9). See Michler 1968a 89 132–134 and Keyser 2008f.

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