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Marcellus Empi'ricus

was born at Burdigala (Bordeaux) in the fourth century after Christ. He is said to have held the office of " magister officiorum" under Theodosius the Great, A. D. 379-395, and to have lost this post under his successor Arcadius. He was a Christian, but it seems doubtful whether he was really a physician, though he is sometimes called "Archiater."


He is the author of a pharmaceutical work in Latin, De Medicamentis Empiricis, Physicis ac Rationabilibus, which he says in the preface he compiled for the use of his sons. It is of little value, and contains many charms and superstitious absurdities, as might have been anticipated when he tells us, that he inserted in the work not only the medicines approved of by physicians, but also those recommended by the common people (agrestes et plebeii).

Further Information

It was first published in 1536, fol. Basil., and is inserted in the collection of medical writers published by Aldus, Venet. 1547, and H. Stephens, Paris, 1567.

Further Information

Sprengel, Hist. de la Méd. vol. ii.; Chonlant, Iandb. der Büc]erkunde für die Aeltere Aedicin.


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