Textual Contamination and Ideological Censorship in the Epistula Hipparchi De Taxone (Montecassino, Biblioteca dell Abbazia, V. 97, PP. 532B-533A)

Arsenio Ferraces Rodríguez


The Epistula Hipparchi De taxone  also known by the title De taxone  is a short anonymous text on medical uses of the badger, which belongs to the collection of pharmacological works coming from late antiquity and contained in numerous Medieval manuscripts and Renaissance editions. This article provides an examination, with the edition, of the version preserved in the manuscript of Montecassino, Biblioteca dellAbbazia, V. 97, of the 10th century. It shows that the Cassinensis  version is (1) contaminated, based on previous and manuscripts, and (2) abbreviated. The author deleted any original magical references to magic in order to provide a neutral therapeutical text, and defend Christian orthodoxy in the conflict with Paganism.


Key words: De taxone - Medicine - Magic - Christianity - Paganism

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