LIBER MEDICINALIS PDF

The Liber Medicinalis of Quintus Serenus, a late didactic poem of lines in the Plinian medical tradition, has received little attention despite recent interest in ancient didactic poetry. I propose that the central problem for Quintus is not so much the familiar contrast of technical content and poetic form, but rather one of competing modes of structuring a text: the Liber Medicinalis is torn between the pragmatic drive to divide and compartmentalise medical knowledge for convenient reference and the aesthetic demands of composing unified hexameter epos. How does medical knowledge retain its utility in verse? And how can the hexameter poem retain its unity and integrity while formally organised like a handbook? While recognising some attractions of this interpretation, I ultimately reject it in light of a survey of metaphors, images and intertextual allusions that firmly locate the Liber in the tradition of Roman epic. However this raises the further, and deeper, problem of unity.

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The Liber Medicinalis of Quintus Serenus, a late didactic poem of lines in the Plinian medical tradition, has received little attention despite recent interest in ancient didactic poetry.

I propose that the central problem for Quintus is not so much the familiar contrast of technical content and poetic form, but rather one of competing modes of structuring a text: the Liber Medicinalis is torn between the pragmatic drive to divide and compartmentalise medical knowledge for convenient reference and the aesthetic demands of composing unified hexameter epos.

How does medical knowledge retain its utility in verse? And how can the hexameter poem retain its unity and integrity while formally organised like a handbook? While recognising some attractions of this interpretation, I ultimately reject it in light of a survey of metaphors, images and intertextual allusions that firmly locate the Liber in the tradition of Roman epic.

However this raises the further, and deeper, problem of unity. How far does Quintus succeed in delivering a worthy successor to that tradition?

And to what extent is the Liber as a whole more than the sum of its parts? The Liber is unified because it is a body. Lucretius in line , Livy in line Ordering Information in Greco-Roman Medicine. Skip to main content. Gruen Prize Fellowships David D. Snowden Jr. Search form Search. You are here Home. Arthur Harris Cambridge University. Public Statements. Awards and Fellowships.

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Quintus Serenus, Liber medicinalis

Quintus Serenus Sammonicus died was a Roman savant and tutor to Geta and Caracalla who became fatally involved in politics; he was also author of a didactic medical poem, Liber Medicinalis "The Medical Book"; also known as De medicina praecepta saluberrima , [1] probably incomplete in the extant form, as well as many lost works. Serenus was "a typical man of letters in an Age of Archaism [2] and a worthy successor to Marcus Cornelius Fronto and Aulus Gellius , one whose social rank and position is intimately bound up with the prevailing passion for grammar and a mastery of ancient lore". His most quoted work was Res reconditae , in at least five books, of which fragments only are preserved in quotations. The surviving work, De medicina praecepta , in hexameters , contains a number of popular remedies, borrowed from Pliny the Elder and Pedanius Dioscorides , and various magic formulae, amongst others the famous abracadabra , as a cure for fever and ague.

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The Structure and Materiality of Medical Knowledge in Quintus Serenus’ Liber Medicinalis

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Liber Medicinalis

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