Farmaka in Antiquity: from Hippocrates to Dioscorides

Valentina Gazzaniga


Informations and suggests for use of pharmaka and drugs from animal, vegetable and mineral kingdom already appear in Corpus Hippocraticum writers; they helped the hippocratic phisician in curing Humor's krasis and in re-establishing their right relation. From Aristotelian Gymnasium to Teophrastus' Historia Plantarum, to Nicander, Praxagoras, Apollophanes and others hellenistic pharmacologists, the drugs' application finally came to Roman world, where it clashed with the strong opposition of autochthonous traditions. A very active trade with Near and Middle East, but also with the provinces of Africa and Spain developed in Rome; the Roman public, then, began to elaborate again the Greek experience, and found an agreement with his own science. Celsus', Dioscorides', Scribonius', and Plinius' works- they were not always technical writers - well testify Roman pharmacologic science from the first century A.D.


Key words: Greek Pharmacology - Roman Pharmacology 

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