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CHAPTER XIII. CURE OF ELEPHAS.

THE remedies ought to be greater than the diseases, for the relief of them. But what method of cure could be able to overcome such a malady as elephas? For the illness does not attack one part or viscus, nor prevail only internally or externally, but inwardly it possesses the whole person, and outwardly, covers the whole surface--a spectacle unseemly and dreadful to behold! for it is the semblance of the wild animal. And, moreover, there is a danger in living or associating with it no less than with the plague, for the infection is thereby communicated by the respiration. Wherefore what sufficient remedy for it shall we find in medicine? But yet it is proper to apply every medicine and method of diet, -- even iron and fire, -- and these, indeed, if you apply to a recent disease there is hope of a cure. But if fully developed, and if it has firmly established itself in the inward parts, and, moreover, has attacked the face, the patient is in a hopeless condition.

Wherefore we are to open the veins at the elbow, and on both sides; and also those at the ankles, but not the same day, for an interval is better both in order to procure a greater flow of blood, and for the resuscitation of the strength; for it is necessary to evacuate the blood frequently and copiously, as being the nutriment of the disease, but the good portion of it which is the natural nourishment is small. Wherefore while abstracting the vitiated portion, consisting of melted matters, we must form an estimate of the suitable part mixed up with it, until the disease has given way from want of pabulum; for the new part being incorporated with the body, in the course of a long time, obliterates the old. Then we are to

give the hiera in a potion not once only, but let everything be done several times after recovery and recurrence. And let the other medicinal purgation by the food be practised; and let the treatment be that which I have described under Ischiatic disease, and let the patient drink undivided milk--and that in great quantity--for opening the bowels. Let it receive the fifth part of water, so that the whole of the milk may pass through. They are quickly to be treated with emetics, at first those given when fasting, next, those after food, then those by radishes. Let all things be done frequently and continuously; administering the hellebore at all seasons, but especially in spring and autumn, giving it every alternate day, and again next year. And if the disease has acquired strength, we must give whatever liquid medicines any one has had experience of; for it is a good thing to administer medicines frequently as a remedy. And I will now describe those with which I am acquainted. Mix one cyathus of cedria1 and two of brassica, and give. Another: Of the juice of sideritis,2 of trefoil one cyathus, of wine and honey two cyathi. Another: Of the shavings of an elephant's tooth one dram with wine, to the amount of two cyathi. But likewise the flesh of the wild reptiles, the vipers, formed into pastils,3 are taken in a draught. From their heads and tail we must cut off to the extent of four fingers' breadth, and boil the remainder to the separation of the back-bones; and having formed the flesh into pastils, they are to be cooled in the shade; and these are to be given in a draught in like manner as the squill. The vipers, too, are to be used as a seasoner of food at supper, and are to be prepared as fishes. But if the compound medicine from vipers be at hand, it is to

be drunk in preference to all others, for it contains together the virtues of all the others, so to cleanse the body and smooth down its asperities. There are many other medicines . . . . . . of the Celts, which are men called Gauls, those alkaline substances made into balls, with which they cleanse their clothes, called soap, with which it is a very excellent thing to cleanse the body in the bath. And purslain and houseleek with vinegar, and also the decoction of the roots of dock with the sulphur vivum proves an excellent detergent. The compound medicine from levigated alcyonium,4 natron, the burnt lees of wine, alum, sulphur vivum, costus, iris, and pepper, these things are all to be mixed together in each case according to the power, but in proportionate quantities, and this compound is to be sprinkled on the body and rubbed in. For the callous protuberances of the face, we are to rub in the ashes of vine branches, mixed up with the suet of some wild animal, as the lion, the panther, the bear; or if these are not at hand, of the barnacle goose;5 for like in the unlike, as the ape to man, is most excellent. Also the ammoniac perfume with vinegar and the juice of plantain, or of knot-grass, and hypocistis and lycium.6 But if the flesh be in a livid state, scarifications are to be previously made for the evacuation of the humours. But if you wish to soothe the parts excoriated by the acrid defluxions, the decoction of fenugreek, or the juice of ptisan, will form an excellent detergent application; also the oil of roses or of lentisk. Continued

baths are appropriate for humectating the body, and for dispelling the depraved humours.

The food should be pure, wholesome, of easy digestion, and plain; and the regimen every way well adjusted, as regards sleeping, walking, and places of residence. As to exercises, running, tumbling, and the exercise with the leather-bag;7 all these with well-regulated intensity, but not so as to induce lassitude. Let vociferation also be produced, as being a seasonable exercise of the breath (pneuma). The clothing should be clean, not only to gratify the sight, but because filthy things irritate the skin. While fasting, the patients are to drink the wine of wormwood. Barley-bread is a very excellent thing, and a sausage in due season, and a little of mallows or cabbage half-boiled, with soup of cumin. For supper, the root of parsnip and granulated spelt (alica), with wine and old honey adapted for the mixing; and such marine articles as loosen the bowels--the soups of limpets, oysters, sea-urchins, and such fishes as inhabit rocky places. And of land animals, such as are wild, as the hare and the boar. Of winged animals, all sorts of partridges, wood-pigeons, domestic-pigeons, and the best which every district produces. Of fruits, those of summer; sweet wines are preferable to such as are strong. The natural hot-baths of a sulphureous nature, a protracted residence in the waters, and a sea-voyage.

Courses of Hellebore:--White hellebore is purgative of the upper intestines, but the black of the lower; and the white is not only emetic, but of all purgatives the most powerful, not from the quantity and variety of the excretion--for this cholera can accomplish--nor from the retching and violence attending the vomitings, for in this respect sea-sickness is preferable; but from a power and quality of no mean description, by which it restores the sick to health, even with little purging

and small retching. But also of all chronic diseases when firmly rooted, if all other remedies fail, this is the only cure. For in power the white hellebore resembles fire; and whatever fire accomplishes by burning, still more does hellebore effect by penetrating internally--out of dyspnœa inducing freedom of breathing; out of paleness, good colour; and out of emaciation, plumpness of flesh.

1 Probably gum vernix. See Paulus Ægineta, t. iii. p. 452.

2 Probably the sideritis scordioides L. See Appendix to Dunbar's Lexicon in voce.

3 Or Troches. See Paulus Ægineta t. iii. p. 535.

4 A marine zoophyte. See Appendix to the Edinburgh Greek Lexicon, and Paulus Ægineta, tom. iii., Syd. Soc. Ed.

5 See Appendix to the Edinburgh Greek Lexicon in νῆσσα: also Aristot. H. N. viii. 5, and Ælian. N. A. v. 30. The remark which follows turns on this point, that the bird in question called the χηναλώπηχ, is to quadrupeds what the ape is to man. See the ingenious observations of Petit.

6 An electuary from the Berberis lycium. See Paulus Ægineta, in voce. It has been re-introduced lately from India in Ophthalmic practice.

7 See Oribasius Med. Collect., vi. 33, and Paulus Ægineta, t.i. p. 24.

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