Tag Archives: Pliny

Science versus religion: the medieval disenchantment

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. An engraving showing a monopod or sclapod, a female Cyclops, conjoined twins, a blemmye, and a cynocephali. By Sebastian Münster 1544. Source History is a novel whose author is the people. -Alfred de Vigny (1797-1863)   In medieval times, knowledge, beliefs, and faith were largely centered upon a […]

Scurvy before James Lind

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Captain James Cook (1728-1779). Nathaniel Dance. BHC2628 Cures of disease are still relatively uncommon. Scurvy is an example of a disease well recognized but whose cause eluded doctors for centuries until an empirical curative remedy and later a specific cause were discovered. In more recent times Koch’s discovery […]

Scribonius Largus

Felipe Fernandez del Castillo Massachusetts, United States   We don’t know much about Scribonius Largus. The first century Roman physician has been overshadowed by more famous medical authors like Celsus, Pliny, and Galen. Dismissed by one scholar as “second rate”,1 Scribonius has lurked for centuries in the footnotes of history textbooks and journal articles, and […]