The Durham History of Science, Technology, and Medicine Research group has scheduled events for Easter term. Next talk by Nicholas Everett (Toronto) - Entitled 'The Art and Science of Medieval Compound Drugs in the Antidotarium Nicolai' Please note: different weekday - Thursday meeting.
Department of History Building
Abstract: The Antidotarium Nicolai, a collection of recipes for compound drugs written in 12th century Salerno, was an immensely popular and authoritative work in Europe for centuries, an essential part of the medical curriculum and state-mandated for pharmacists and physicians in some regions. Such compound drugs of c.15–60 ingredients, using exotic items like ambergris, pearls or vipers, are an embarrassment to modern science: yet for some recipes modern discoveries in phytochemistry and pharmacology have validated the Antidotarium's claims. This talk shall explore three reasons for the Antidotarium's authority in the history of medicine: a) its relationship to medieval medical theories b) the potential efficacy of some recipes when considered in light of modern scientific studies and c) its mercantile sensibilities.