New Books, New Plant Uses: The Case of a Turin Iatrosofion


  • Danilo Valentino Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures - CSMC University of Hamburg, D


Iatrosofion , Greek sources , Plant transformations


‘Iatrosofia’ are collections of medical recipes produced in the Greek world after the fall of Byzantium, which were intended for practical usage. Though widely disseminated, they have rarely been the object of a thorough investigation, whereas their analysis provides interesting insights on Greek medicine in the Middle Ages and in the early-modern Era. The contents of the iatrosofia are often drawn from the previous Greek medical tradition. An interesting case is the iatrosofion in the MS. Taur. B.VII.18 preserved in Turin National University Library (16th century), which is especially based on the Pseudo-Galenic work De remediis parabilibus. As usually in the Byzantine medical texts, the therapy in this iatrosofion is made in large part of plant ingredients. Like the other contents of the work, the plantsare frequently reproduced from Greek medical sources and sometimes modified. This article surveys the uses of the plants from the Greek medical tradition in the Turin iatrosofion and analyses their transformations.