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PHARMACOPO´LA (φαρμακοπώλης), quack doctors and drug-sellers who not only kept shops or booths for their goods, but also hawked them about. Lucian (pro Merc. Cond. 7) describes one as hawking (ἀποκηρύττων) his cough-mixture in the streets, and promising an immediate cure to all sufferers (cf. Aristoph. Thes. 504). Plutarch (de Prof. in Virt. 8) distinguishes the ἰατρεύων, or trained physician, from the mere charlatan, τὰ φάρμακα τὰ μίγματα πωλῶν. From Aristoph. Cl. 766, and Lucian, Amor. 39, we gather that they sold other wares also. In Rome there were many quacks of this sort, who, besides the sale of drugs, professed to cure patients also, whence Pliny complains of the want of a law to punish ignorance in doctors (H. N. 29.18; MEDICUS). Regular medicines under the Empire were sold with a label (ἐπαγγελία) affixed, which specified the name of the drug, of its inventor, the illnesses which it cured, the component parts, and the method of taking it. These were no doubt generally [p. 2.383]written in a perishable form, but some for eye medicines, engraved on stone, have been preserved (Mommsen, Epig. 2.450). The drugs for compounding the medicines were often brought from distant places (see Marquardt, Privatleben, p. 781) and obtained from drug-sellers (whom Galen, 12.587, calls μυροπῶλαι as well as (φαρμακοπῶλαι, since a great part were cosmetics). The physicians, however, commonly bought not merely the materials but the drugs ready compounded, and the pharmacopola traded on his own account, selling to the public his own compounds, often no doubt counterfeit, inducing the credulous to put themselves under his treatment (Hor. Sat. 1.2, 1; Gel. 1.15, 9), and carrying his drugs about to country towns as the pharmacopola circumforaneus of Cic. Clu. 14, 40, who is not scrupulous about selling poisons as well. (Becker-Göll, Charikles, 3.59; Marquardt, Privatleben, 780; Blümner, Technologie, 1.354; Friedländer, S. G. 1.317.)


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