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The Passionarius of Gariopontus

Late 12th century
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About this work


A beautifully written uncial Latin manuscript, by the same scribe throughout with elaborate capitals in red and blue.

The initial capital letter of each book is very large and elaborate, using gold and floral designs.

The contents are as follows:-

The Passionarius of Gariopontus, one of the early teachers of the School of Salerno (died 1050). The work is a manual of special pathology and therapeutics of Byzantine origin, translated and edited by by Gariopontus. The work was formerly, but erroneously, attributed to Galen. Gariopontus is the earliest writer to mention anæsthesia by inhalation of narcotic vapours.

The treatise is divided as follows:

  • Prolegomena (fo. 1r);
  • Book i, On diseases of the head, brain and nerves, 21 chapters (fo. 2r-19r);
  • Book ii, Diseases of the lungs and thoracic viscera, 38 chapters (fo. 19v-46r);
  • Book iii, Diseases of the abdominal and pelvic viscera, 60 chapters (fo. 46r-79v);
  • Book iv, Diseases of the muscles and articulations, 24 chapters (fo. 79v-89r);
  • Book v, Diseases of the skin and other eruptive diseases, 31 chapters (fo. 89r-127v);
  • Book vi, On Fevers, 44 chapters (fo. 127v-158r);
  • Book vii, On Fevers (continued), 20 chapters (fo. 158r-173v).
  • Publication/Creation

    Late 12th century

    Physical description

    173 folios on vellum 8vo. 19.5 × 12.5 cm. Old leather-gilt binding, rebacked.

    Ownership note

    This manuscript probably came from the Askew Library, as its binding is identical with that of the other volumes from this source.

    Finding aids

    Described in: Warren R. Dawson, Manuscripta medica. A descriptive catalogue of the manuscripts in the Library of the Medical Society of London (London, 1932).

    Location of duplicates

    This material has been digitised and can be freely accessed online through the Wellcome Library catalogue.

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