Materia Medica notes
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
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Overview and metadata sections
Materia Medica refers to the collected knowledge of medicinal substances and their therapeutic applications. One of the most essential texts in this field, Dioscorides' De Materia Medica, was written in the first century, but the study of Materia Medica was an integral part of medical theory, practice and education until the rise of synthetic drugs and pharmaceutical chemistry in the nineteenth century.
This book of notes on Materia Medica, written in Latin, is neither signed nor dated and contains relatively little contextualizing information. Approximately the first third of the book (through page 80) consists of medical receipts, sorted by the forms in which the drugs are delivered- for example, as powders ("pulveres"), pills ("pilulae") or balms ("unguenta"). Within these categories, medicines are mostly but not exclusively titled by the diseases they are meant to confront (for example, "contra paralysis" or "contra asthma"). The rest of the text contains the Materia Medica notes, an alphabetized list of medicinal substances, most of which are plants, though some mineral and animal products are described as well. The fairly succinct entry for each botanical substance provides, when applicable, its full or alternate Latin name, the parts of the plant with medicinal properties, its uses (that is, the particular diseases or conditions against which it may be effective) and its proper dosage. Medical measurements in this book are designated with 'Apothecaries' symbols,' helpfully outlined in a guide by the Text Creation Partnership (http://www.textcreationpartnership.org/docs/dox/medical.html).
Formerly Dewey MS 615 M393.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Rive Cadwallader
- Finding Aid Date
- 2017 October 12
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.