Inorganic Ingredients in Aelius Promotus’ Dynameron - Relevance to Current Scientific Data


  • Marios Marselos
  • Elias Valiakos History of Health Sciences, Faculty of Nursing, School of Health Sciences, University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece



Aelius Promotus, Dynameron, Inorganic remedies, Alexandrian medicine


The Dynameron of Aelius Promotus is a manuscript written in Greek, with 130 chapters devoted to the therapy of various diseases. The author was a physician, who lived in Alexandria, presumably in the turn of the 1st to the 2nd century AD. The 830 recipes of Dynameron contain information for the preparation of composite medicaments, with 484 ingredients of herbal (288), animal (133), or inorganic origin (63). Inorganic ingredients are present in about 700 recipes concerning mostly topical preparations for ailments of the skin, the genitals, the eyes, the ears, the nose and the mouth. These applications are supported by modern scientific data proving the antibacterial action of the inorganic substances used. There are also examples of cataplasms on the chest and the abdomen, intended to treat diseases of the respiratory or the peptic system. Recipes for internal use are rare. Even rarer are recipes for mouthwashes, enemas and fumigations. The inorganic ingredientspresent in Promotus’ Dynameron have been evaluated in comparison with earlier medical authors, like Hippocrates and Dioscorides, and also with the content of other treatises of late antiquity and Byzantium.