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Musa, Anto'nius

a celebrated physician at Rome about the beginning of the Christian era. He was brother to Euphorbus, the physician to king Juba, and was himself the physician to the emperor Augustus. He was originally, according to Dio Cassius (53.30, p. 517). a freedman, an assertion which some persons, who are over-jealous about the dignity of the medical profession among the Romans, have controverted. When the emperor was seriously ill, and had been made worse by a hot regimen and treatment, B. C. 23, Antonins Musa succeeded in restoring him to health by means of cold bathing and cooling drinks, for which service he received from Augustus and the senate a large sum of money and the permission to wear a gold ring, and also had a statue erected in his honour near that of Aesculapius by public subscription. (Dio Cass. l.c. ; Schol. ad Horat. Epist. 1.15. 3; Sneton. August. 59, 81; Plin. Nat. 19.38, 25.38, 29.5.) He seems to have been attached to this mode of treatment, to which Horace alludes l.c.), but failed when he applied it to the case of M. Marcellus, who died under his care a few months after the recovery of Augustus, B. C. 23. (Dio Cass. l.c.) He is by some scholars supposed to be the person to whom one of Virgil's epigrams is inscribed (Catal. 13); but it is hardly likely, that, in a complimentary poem addressed to so eminent a physician, no mention whatever should be made of his medical acquirements. He has also been supposed to be the person described by Virgil in the Aeneid (12.390, &c.) under the name Iapis. (See Atterbury's Reflexions on the Character of Iapis, &c.)

Further Information

Pharmaceutical Works

He wrote several pharmaceutical works (Galen, De Compos. Medicam. sec. Gen. 2.1, vol. xiii. p. 463), which are frequently quoted by Galen (vol. xiii. pp. 47, 206, 263, 326, &c.), but of which nothing but a few fragments remain.


The genuine fragments of his writings that remain were collected and published by Flor. Caldani, Bassano, 1800, 8vo.

Spurious Works

There are two short Latin medical works ascribed to Antonius Musa, but these are universally considered to be spurious. Neither of these works require any particular notice here.


This is to be found in the collection of medical writers published by Torinus, Basil. 1528, fol.; in Ackermann's Parabilium Medicamentorum Scriptores Antiqui, Norimb. 1788, 8vo.; and elsewhere.


This is appended to the edition of Sextus Placitus published in 1538, Norimb., 4to.

Further Information

Further information respecting his life and writings may be found in J. C. G. Ackermann's work, De Antonio Musa et Libris qui illi adscribuntur, Altorf. 1786, 4to. See also Fabricius, Bibl. Gr. vol. xiii. p. 65, ed. vet.; Haller's Biblioth. Botan. vol. i. p. 63; id. Biblioth. Medic. Pract. vol. i. p. 150; Sprengel, Hist. de la Méd. ; Choulant, Handb. der Bucherkunde für die Aeltere Medicin.


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23 BC (2)
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