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Paulus Aegine'ta

Παῦλος Αἰγινήτης), a celebrated Greek medical writer, of whose personal history nothing is known except that he was a good deal, visiting, among other places, Alexandria (4.49, p. 526). He is sometimes called Ἰατροσοφιστής (see Dict. of Ant. s. v.) and Περιοδευτής, a word which probably means a physician who travelled from place to place in the exercise of his profession. The exact time when he lived is not known; but, as he quotes Alexander Trallianus (3.28, 78, pp. 447, 495, 7.5, 11, 19, pp. 650, 660, 687), and is himself quoted by Yahya Ibn Serábí or Serapion (Pract. 7.9, pp. 73, 74, ed. Lugd. 1525), it is probable that Abúl-Faraj is correct in placing him in the latter half of the seventh century after Christ. (Hist. Dynast. p. 114.)


Suidas says he wrote several medical works, of which the principal one is still extant, with no exact title, but commonly called "De Re Medica Libri Septem." This work is chiefly a compilation from former writers; and the preface contains the following summary of the contents of each book : -- "In the first book you will find every thing that relates to hygiene, and to the preservation from, and correction of, distempers peculiar to the various ages, seasons, temperaments, and so forth; also the powers and uses of the different articles of food, as is set forth in the chapter of contents. In the second is explained the whole doctrine of fevers, an account of certain matters relating to them being premised, such as excre-mentitious discharges, critical days, and other appearances, and concluding with certain symptoms which are the concomitants of fever. The third book relates to topical affections, beginning from the crown of the head, and descending down to the nails of the feet. The fourth book treats of those complaints which are external and exposed to view, and are not limited to one part of the body, but affect various parts. Also, of intestinal worms and dracunculi. The fifth treats of the wounds and bites of venomous animals; also of the distemper called hydrophobia, and of persons bitten by dogs which are mad, and by those which are not mad; and also of persons bitten by men. Afterwards it treats of deleterious substances, and of the preservatives from them. In the sixth book is contained every thing relating to surgery, both what relates to the fleshy parts, such as the extraction of weapons, and to the bones, which comprehends fractures and dislocations. In the seventh is contained an account of the properties of all medicines, first of the simple, then of the compound, particularly of those which I had mentioned in the preceding six books, and more especially the greater, and, as it were, celebrated preparations; for I did not think it proper to treat of all these articles promiscuously, lest it should occasion confusion, but so that any person looking for one or more of the distinguished preparations might easily find it. Towards the end are certain things connected with the composition of medicines, and of those articles which may be substituted for one another, the whole concluding with an account of weights and measures." (Adams's Translation.) Of these books the sixth is the most valuable and interesting, and contains at the same time the most original matter. His reputation among the Arabians seems to have been very great. and it is said that he was especially consulted by midwives, whence he received the name of

Al-kawábelí, or "the Accoucheur." (Abú-l-Faraj, l.c.) He is said by the Arabic authorities to have written a work, "De Mulierum Morbis," and another, "De Puerulorum Vivendi Ratione atque Curatione." His great work 1 was translated into Arabic by Honain Ibn Ishak, commonly called Joannitius. (See J. G. Wenrich, De Auctor. Graecor. Version. et Comment. Syriac. Arab. Armen. et Pers., Lips. 81vo. 1842.) An account of the medical opinions of Paulus Aegineta may be found in Haller's Biblioth. Chirurg. vol. i., and Biblioth. Medic. Pract. vol. i. ; in Sprengel's Hist. de la Méd. vol. ii.; and especially in Freind's Hist. of Physic, vol. i.


The Greek text has been twice published, Venet. 1528, fol. and Basil. 1538, fol. There are three Latin translations, which were published altogether nearly twenty times in the sixteenth century : 1. that by Albanus Torinus, Basil. 1532, fol.; 2. that by J. Guinterius Andernacus, Paris. 1532, fol.; and 3. that by Janus Cornarius, Basil. 1556, fol., which last translation is inserted by H. Stephens in his "Medicare Artis Principes," Paris. 1567, fol.


Separate editions have appeared in Latin of the first, second, sixth, and seventh books; and the sixth book has also been translated into French by Pierre Tolet, Lyons, 1539, 12mo. The whole work has been translated into English by Francis Adains, of Banchory Ternan, near Aberdeen, with a very copious and learned commentary, intended to furnish "a complete manual of the Surgery and Medicine of the Ancients, with a brief but comprehensive outline of the sciences intimately connected with them, especially Physiology, the Materia Medica, and Pharmacy." The first volume was published at London, 8vo, 1834, but this edition was never finished; of the second and improved edition, the first volume appeared in 1844, the second in 1846, and the third and last is expected to appear in the course of the present year, 1847, London, 8vo, "printed for the Sydenham Society." (Choulant, Handb. der Bücherkunde für die Aeltere Medicin.)


1 * This work is said by Abú-l-Faraj (l.c.) to have consisted of nine books, a statement which is explained by Fabricius and others. by supposing that the seventh book, and either the third or sixth, which are longer than the others, were divided by the Arabians into two; but perhaps a more natural way of accounting for the statement is to consider "nine" a mere clerical error for "seven," the two words being (with the exception of the diacritical points) almost exactly alike.

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