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New Medieval Books: Drugs in the Medieval Mediterranean

Drugs in the Medieval Mediterranean: Transmission and Circulation of Pharmacological Knowledge

Edited by Petros Bouras-Vallianatos and Dionysios Stathakopoulos

Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 978-1-009-38975-4

A collection of fourteen essays that deal with pharmaceutical medicines in Arabic, Byzantine, European and Jewish cultures. It reveals a lot of cross-cultural connections when it came sharing cures.


This book seeks to move away from past prejudices in the study of Mediterranean medical traditions, which often valued one tradition over another. It thus aims to promote the practice of studying the entire region simultaneously by initiating a dialogue between scholars of diverse traditions and disciplines without focusing on or privileging one tradition at the expense of another or highlighting the influence of one tradition on others. The volume is divided into two parts: the first includes studies on the transmission of pharmacological knowledge across cultures and regions and deals with a wide variety of medical texts and contexts; the second concentrates on pharmacology’s interaction with other areas, such as alchemy, cooking, magic, and philosophy. The thirteen chapters in this volume include contributions focusing on the Byzantine, the Islamicate, the Jewish, and the Latin traditions. These labels often tend to be reductive. Nevertheless, this book does not set out to solve the complicated issues related to the definition of the various medieval traditions.


Who is this book for?

This collection of essays is aimed towards specialists in the field of medieval medicine, but those interested in cross-cultural connections in the Middle Ages will find it useful too. The individual articles include pieces related to medicines as diplomatic gifts and the health value of after-dinner drinks.

The editors

Petros Bouras-Vallianatos is Associate Professor of History of Science at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Dionysios Stathakopoulos is Assistant Professor in Byzantine History at the University of Cyprus.


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