A Cretan Healer's Handbook in the Byzantine Tradition: Text, Translation and Commentary

A Cretan Healer's Handbook in the Byzantine Tradition: Text, Translation and Commentary

Hardback Medicine in the Medieval Mediterranean

By (author) Patricia Ann Clark

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  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Limited
  • Format: Hardback | 260 pages
  • Dimensions: 158mm x 236mm x 26mm | 721g
  • Publication date: 28 November 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Aldershot
  • ISBN 10: 0754661016
  • ISBN 13: 9780754661016
  • Illustrations note: includes 5 b&w illustrations
  • Sales rank: 700,147

Product description

This is an edition, commentary, and English translation of a medical notebook belonging to a traditional healer from the village of Meronas in central Crete, Nikolaos Konstantinos Theodorakis. The manuscript was re-copied in 1930 from an earlier version and contains healing lore passed down through his family over generations. It belongs to the genre of latrosophia: practical manuals of collected healing wisdom, dating mainly from the 17th to 19th centuries, which contain admixtures of agricultural and meteorological lore as well as elements of religious, astrological and magical beliefs and traditions. At the core of much of the therapeutic advice and botanical information in this, as in other latrosophia, lies material from much earlier classical and Byzantine medical texts. A group of introductory essays provide information necessary for an appreciation of the edited text: discussions of the genre of latrosophia, their historical and cultural context and their relationship to ancient and Byzantine medicine; of the institution of village healers (with particular reference to Theodorakis), of Crete as a source of therapeutic plants, the landscape of the Amari region; and, general comments on unusual textual features such as the Cretan dialect, spelling and orthographic habits.

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Author information

Patricia Ann Clark, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Greek and Roman Studies, University of Victoria, Canada

Table of contents

Foreword, Alain Touwaide; latrosophia; Historical background: Crete and iatrosophia; Crete's Amari: social and geographical context; Theodorakis: the man and his work; Text, translation and notes; Preface to the appendix; Appendices:; 1. Diseases, symptoms, syndromes; 2. materia medica; 3. Alternative therapeutic procedures, magical and religious elements; 4. Pharmacy; Preface to the indices; Indexes.