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P.Scholl 13 - 15 = Trismegistos 143319 = LDAB 143319

DCLP Transcription [xml]


Medical prescriptions (P.Scholl 13-15). Five sheets of papyrus codex (ca. 10x10cm each) preserving the text of three medical recipes: a medicine for digestion, a honey plaster, and an antidote with various indications. The nature of these medical texts (personal versions of traditional recipes) and the small format of the codex suggest that it was used by a physician in the chora on a daily basis. Thanks to literary parallels (above all Paul.Aeg. 7.11,32 = CMG 9.2,305,16-18; Orib. Coll.med. 45,7 = CMG 6.2,2,203,37-204,3) the digestive (P.Scholl 13) can be identified with the remedy called ὁ Διοσπολίτης or τὸ Διοσπολίτης πεπτικόν; moreover, it shows the same composition as MPER 13.4 (= SPP 20.27). The honey plaster (P.Scholl 14) is comparable to some recipes διὰ μέλιτος provided by Aetius (15.15,451-6 = 88,11-16 Z.), Paulus of Aegina (7.17,4 = CMG 9.2,349,1-3), Oribasius (Ad Eunap. 4,123 = CMG 6.3,493,1-3), but some ingredients appear also in the "white plaster" described in P.Mich. 17.758, C, verso (the Michigan Medical Codex). The antidote shows ingredients comparable with the recipes of ἡ Φίλωνος ἀντίδοτος provided by Paul.Aeg. 7.11,13,1-3 (= CMG 9.2,300,10-15 - this is found on papyrus P.Acad. inv. 6a = TMP185-6, which also shows a staurogram at the beginning of the recipe), Orib. Ad Eust. 3.182,10-11 (= CMG 6.3,112,11-14); Ad Eunap. 4.136 (= CMG 6.3,496,18-20); Coll.med. 81,9 = CMG 6.2,2,257,14–17. A later parallel is offered by the "Lorscher Arzneibuch" (Bamberg cod.med. 1) from 9th century. According to the disposition of the prescriptions on the actual pages, it seems that the second text was written after turning the small notebook upside down, from the last page of the booklet up to the back of the sheet bearing the end of the first recipe (see the useful reconstruction provided by the editor, Tafel XVI). The papyrus is dated palaeographically to the 6th century AD.

(This papyrus has been digitally edited by Nicola Reggiani as part of the Project "DIGMEDTEXT - Online Humanities Scholarship: A Digital Medical Library based on Ancient Texts" (ERC-AdG-2013, Grant Agreement no. 339828) funded by the European Research Council at the University of Parma (Principal Investigator: Prof. Isabella Andorlini). The digital edition is mostly based on the previous edition (C. Werner, P.Scholl 13-15).)

PScholl 13
fragment a
side A
ξ(  ) α
ταῦτά ἐστιν τὰ μίγματα τοῦ
φα̣ρμάκ(ου) ἔτοι ἀντίδοτος(*)
ἤτοι θηριακ(ῆς) ἤτοι ἀθανασίας·
side B
5☧ γνῶσ(ις) κατασκευῆ[ς φα̣ρμάκ(ου)]
πεπτικ(οῦ) ἤτοι διαμόρφου(*).
κυμίνου μα̣[γι]ρ̣ι̣κ̣(οῦ)(*) δραχμ(ὰς) η´ ἤτοι (οὐγκίαν) α,
πιπέρεως λευκ(οῦ) δραχμ(ὰς) δ ἤτ̣[ο]ι̣ (οὐγκίας) [(ἥμισυ) '],
10περνικαρ(ίου)(*) ἤτοι νίτρ(ου) Ἀραβικ(οῦ) [ -ca.?- ],
ζινκιβέρεω̣ς(*) δ[ραχμ(ὰς) -ca.?- ],
fragment b
side A
[ -4-5- ](*) [πη]γάνου χλωρ(οῦ) ἤτοι
[καὶ] ξ̣η̣ρ̣οῦ δραχμ(ὰς) δ ἤτοι (οὐγκίας) (ἥμισυ) '
ὄξος(*) vac. ? ξέστ(ου) ἥμισυ,
15μέλιτος vac. ? ξέστ(ου) ἥμισυ.
ταῦτά εἰσιν τὰ μίγματα.
[ἴσθ]ι̣(*) δὲ καὶ τὸν τρόπον τῆς κατασκευῆς.
[πρῶτον τρίβ]εται καλῶς τὸ κυμίνειν(*)
20[ -ca.?- ] τ̣ῷ ἱ(*)θμῷ(*)
side B
☧ καὶ μεταβάλλεται εἰς ὑα̣[λοῦν]
φιάλιν μέγα ἐπὶ μίαν νύκτ[α].
τρίβεται δέ \(hand 2) τῇ ἑξῆς/ παρὰ μέρος εἰς θυείαν
τ̣ὸ̣ πηγάνειν(*) καὶ οὕτως τὸ πίπεριν(*),
25μετὰ τὸ περνικάριν(*), μετὰ τ̣ὸ
ζινκιβέρεως(*)· ὅταν δ̣[ὲ -ca.?- ]
ὅτι ἐτρίφθησαν κ[αλῶς, μίγνυνται]
τὸ ὄξος μέ[λ]ι̣[τι. μεταβάλλεται]
fragment c
side A
[τὸ κυμίνε]ι̣[ν](*) ἐ̣πάνω τῶν ἄλλων
30[μι]γμά̣των καὶ πάλιν τρίβεται καλῶς.
μετὰ τὸ μέλειν(*) μεταβάλλεις εἰς τὴν
θυ̣είαν καὶ πάλιν τρίβετ̣[α]ι κα̣λ̣ῶς· ὅταν δὲ
[  ̣  ̣]  ̣  ̣(*) [ὅτ]ι ἐτρίφθη κατὰ λόγον, μετα-
[βάλλεις] εἰς βῖκ(ον) ὑ(*)αλοῦν. οὗτος
35[ὁ τρόπος τ]ῆ[ς] κατασκευῆς τοῦ ὀξυμέλ(ιτος).
[ -ca.?- ] ἰνδ(ικτίωνος) β//
PScholl 14
fragment d
side A
[τὸ] φάρ̣μακ(ον) λε̣γ̣[όμ(ενον)]
ἀπὸ μέλιτος τοι̣[ -ca.?- ](*)
φάρμακ(ον) καλὸν ⟦  ̣⟧ πολ̣[ύ-]
χρηστον. θεραπεύει
5πᾶσαν νόσον καὶ πᾶσαν
πληγήν ἣν ἔχει ἄνθρω-
side B
☧̣ γνῶσις μίγμ(ατων) ο  ̣[ -ca.?- ]
φαρμάκ(ου) το(*) λεγομ(ένου) [ -ca.?- ]
10 οὕτως·
ληθαργύρ(ου)(*) οὐγκ(ίας) ϛ ἐλαίου ῥαφ̣[αν(ίνου)   ̣  ̣],
στέατος χοιρίνου ἢ μοσχίνου (οὐγκίας) γ̣(*),
τερεβινθίνης (οὐγκίας) β´, κηροῦ (οὐγκίας) η,
μέλιτος (οὐγκίας) ϛ. vac. ? πλήρ(ης).
15πρῶτον βάλλεις τὸ ληθάργυρ(ον)(*) καὶ̣ τ[ὸ -ca.?- τοῦ]
στέατος εἰς κακκα[βινάρ(ιον) -ca.?- ]
fragment c
side B
[ -ca.?- βάλλ]εις τὸ κῆριν
[καὶ τῆς τερεβινθ]ί̣νης κ̣α̣ὶ̣ ἑψήσῃς καὶ ταῦτα
[ -ca.?- ] καταφέρεις τὸ κακκαβινάρ(ιον)
20[  ̣  ̣]  ̣[  ̣]  ̣[  ̣]α4τὸ εἰς τὸ νηρόν· βάλλειςδὲ καὶ τὸ
μέλειν(*) καὶ τρίψῃς ὅλα ὁ̣μοῦ κ̣α̣ὶ̣ οὕτω μετα-
βάλλεις ὅλον τὸ φάρμακ(ον) εἰς τὴν θυείαν
κ̣α̣ὶ τρίψῃς αὐτὸ καλῶς· μεταβάλλετε(*) εἰς τὸ
[κα]κ̣κ̣[αβι]νάρ(ιον) ἐ̣κ δευτέρου καὶ αἵψεις(*) αὐτὸ
25[ -ca.?- ]  ̣ω̣ς̣ μεταβάλλεται εἰς τὸ
[ -ca.?- ]ρ̣οπα τοῦ φαρμάκ(ου)
PScholl 15
fragment e
side A
☧ ἔστιν δὲ τὰ μίγμ(ατα) vac. ? ο̣ὕ̣τ̣[ως]·
κρόκου vac. ? οὐγκ(ίαν) μίαν
ναρδοστάχ̣ου(*) vac. ? οὐγκ(ίαν) μίαν
π̣ιπέρεως vac. ? οὐγκ(ίαν) μίαν
5ὀπίο̣υ̣ vac. ? οὐγκ(ίαν) μίαν
συοφόρβιον(*) vac. ? οὐγκ(ίαν) μίαν
σπέρματος ὑοσκυάμου [ -ca.?- ]
πεμ(  ) πε̣μ̣(  )   ̣[ -ca.?- ]
side B
[βάλλε]τ̣αι εἰς δύο κυάθια οἴνου
10εἰς ποτήρ(ιον), καὶ ὑ(*)φ’ ἣν καταπίνει(*) τό τε
φ[ά]ρ̣μ̣α̣κ(ον) καὶ τὸν οἶνον καὶ εὑτέως
συστέλλεται τὸ αἷμα [  ̣  ̣  ̣]  ̣συμβά̣λ̣λ̣ε̣τ̣α̣ι̣ δ̣ὲ̣
κ[α]ὶ τ̣οῖς ἔχουσιν α̣  ̣  ̣[ -ca.?- ν]ό̣σον
[καὶ συμβά(?)]λ̣λ̣εται τῷ κρο̣υ̣σ̣θέντι ὑ(*)πὸ
15[ -ca.?- ] φέρει δὲ καὶ τὸν
[ -ca.?- ]χρήσεται τὸ φάρμακ(ον)


^ 13.a.A.3. l. ἀντιδότου
^ 13.a.B.6. or διαμόρφου (l. δι{α}μόρφου)(?)
^ 13.a.B.8. l. μα[γει]ρικ(οῦ)
^ 13.a.B.10. l. βερνικαρ(ίου)
^ 13.a.B.11. l. ζιγγιβέρεως
^ 13.b.A.12. or [ἤτοι(?)]
^ 13.b.A.14. l. ὄξους
^ 13.b.A.17. or [γνῶθ]ι̣
^ 13.b.A.19. l. κυμίνιν (l. κυμίνιον)
^ 13.b.A.20. l. ἡθμῷ : ϊθμω papyrus
^ 13.b.B.24. l. πηγάνιν
^ 13.b.B.24. l. πιπέριον
^ 13.b.B.25. l. βερνικάριον
^ 13.b.B.26. l. ζιγγιβέρεως
^ 13.c.A.29. l. κυμίνιν (l. κυμίνιον)
^ 13.c.A.31. l. μέλι
^ 13.c.A.33. or [ἰδ]ῖ̣ς̣, or [εἰ]δ̣ῖ̣ς̣
^ 13.c.A.34. ϋαλουν. papyrus
^ 14.d.A.2. or τοι̣[οῦτο ἐστὶ], or τὸ ι̣[ -ca.?- ], or τὸ ῥ̣[ -ca.?- ]
^ 14.d.B.9. l. το<ῦ>
^ 14.d.B.11. l. λιθαργύρ(ου)
^ 14.d.B.12. or ι̣
^ 14.d.B.15. l. λιθάργυρ(ον)
^ 14.c.B.21. l. μέλι
^ 14.c.B.23. l. μεταβάλλεται
^ 14.c.B.24. l. ἕψεις
^ 15.e.A.3. l. ναρδοστάχυος
^ 15.e.A.6. l. εὐφορβίου
^ 15.e.B.10. ϋφ’ papyrus
^ 15.e.B.10. or καταπίνει (l. καταπίνει<ς>)
^ 15.e.B.14. ϋπο papyrus


  • 1.

    In this context, one could think of an abbreviation for ξ(έστης), and indeed 1 xestes would be the total of the liquid quantities enumerated in the following recipe (half xestes of honey and half xestes of vinegar). However, this unit of measure is abbreviated differently throughout the papyrus, and "1 xestes" does not seem to be a suitable heading for a recipe. Another possibility could be ξ(ηρίον) "powder", since the vegetal and mineral ingredients are to be grinded (ll. 27-33): thus the α would indicate the first of a group of prescriptions involving powdered medicaments.

  • 4.

    θηριακή was the common definition for an antidote against poisonous bites. ἀθανασία, literally "immortality", is another way of defining the same antidote.

  • 6.

    διαμόρφου - this adjective is very rare in the literature and and addendum to the papyrological vocabulary. If δι{α}μόρφου is to be read, then it might refer to a "double-shaped" effect of the medicine.

  • 8.

    κυμίνου μαγειρικοῦ "cooking cumin" as opposed to the wild plant. On the warming, drying and astringent properties of cumin see Dsc. MM 3.59,1 Wellmann.

  • 9.

    πιπέρεως λευκοῦ - on the warming, digestive, diuretic, and laxative properties of "white pepper" see Dsc. MM 2.159,3 Wellmann.

  • 10.

    περνικαρίου (i.e. βερ-) - a type of sodium bicarbonate (cf. Gal. Comp.med.gen. 13.568,4-5 K) just as the following item (νίτρου Ἀραβικοῦ). The other only attestation of the term is MPER 13.4,6 (see comm. ad loc.).

  • 11.

    ζινκιβέρεως (i.e. ζιγγ-) - on the warming and digestive properties of "ginger" see Dsc. MM 2.160 Wellmann.

  • 12.

    πηγάνου - the "rue" was used to stop diarrhea (cf. Dsc. MM 3.45,1 Wellmann).

  • 17.

    Here starts the section describing the mode of preparation of the antidote.

  • 19.

    κυμίνειν i.e. κυμίνιν for κυμίνιον, unattested diminutive form.

  • 23.

    τῇ ἑξῆς - the supralinear addition may come from the personal experience of the physician who owned the booklet, or from another receptarium, or from an oral suggestion.

  • 29.

    [κυμ]ί[νειν] - see l. 19 above.

  • 35.

    The potion called ὀξύμελι (made with vinegar, honey and water: cf. Paul.Aeg. 7.11,9 = CMG 9.2,298,20) served as the basis for the Diospolite antidote and resembled it in its indications, as described by Gal. San. 6.431,4 K, who concludes the description of its mode of action with the words ὁποῖόν ἐστι καὶ ὀξύμελι. Consequently, it was probably a cheaper and more rapid alternative to the Diospolite, which could be especially helpful to a physician in the chora who did not always make use of rare ingredients like the ginger, to be imported. Oxymel is mentioned also in PSI 10.1180, c, i,21.

  • 2.

    ἀπὸ μέλιτος - the usual title for such a medicament was ἡ διὰ μέλιτος (sc. ἔμπλαστρος). One may think of an interference with ἀπόμελι, a honey drink described e.g. by Orib. Coll.Med. 5.15 = CMG 6.1,1,129,30-130,7, though the ingredients wax and litharge, on the papyrus, speak against a potion and for an external, wound-healing application. Since the ἀπόμελι was prescribed, among other things, for stomach complaints, it is often mentioned in connection with the ὀξύμελι (Aet. 5.76 = CMG 8.2,51,5) that was mentioned at the end of the previous recipe (P.Scholl 13,35). Therefore, the variation here can be due to the fact that the writer wrote this recipe just after the ὀξύμελι, and accordingly had the potion in mind.

  • 3-4.

    πολύχρηστον was a very common name for medicaments: see e.g. Gal. Simpl. 12.214,18-215,1; 232,4-5; 337,4.

  • 11.

    ληθαργύρ(ου) (i.e. λιθ-) - the "litharge", i.e. lead oxide, is used in a flesh-repairing medicament in Gal. Simpl. 12.224,11-225,9 K. The ingredient appear twice in PSI 10.1180 (A, ii,32; C, 3,27) and several times in the Michigan Medical Codex (P.Mich. 17.758). ἐλαίου ῥαφ̣[αν(ίνου) - the sweat-releasing "radish oil" is used e.g. in Paul.Aeg. 7.17,1 = CMG 9.2,347,20.

  • 12.

    στέατος - "tallow" was used both as a substance to produce an emulsion with oil and wax, as an ointment base, and for its wound-healing properties (cf. Dsc. MM 2.77,1).

  • 13.

    τερεβινθ]ί̣νης (sc. ῥητίνη) - "terebinth resin" is a softening, dissolving, cleansing substance for plasters and ointments (see Dsc. MM 1.71,2-3 Wellmann).

  • 16.

    κακκαβινάριον - diminutive form of κακκάβη, for which cf. Medicalia Online s.v..

  • 2.

    κρόκου - "saffron" has an astringent power (e.g. Paul.Aeg. 7.3 = CMG 9.2,232,1–2).

  • 3.

    ναρδοστάχου - the "Indian nard" (Nardostachys jatamansi) is said by Dsc. MM 1.7,3-4 Wellmann to have warming, diuretic, diarrhea-stopping properties, and to be useful with vomiting and stomach pain and flatulence (cf. also Paul.Aeg. 7.3 = CMG 9.2,244,28245,1).

  • 5.

    ὀπίου - "opium" is described as painkilling, soporific and digestive by Dsc. MM 4.64,3 Wellmann.

  • 6.

    συοφόρβιον i.e. εὐφορβίου, the misspelling having been likely influenced by the following ὑοσκυάμου, l. 7.

  • 7.

    ὑοσκυάμου - the "henbane" is mentioned as pain-relieving by Dsc. MM 4.68,3 Wellmann.

  • 8.

    The meaning of these abbreviations remain obscure: a personal name as Πεμπέμ in P.Oxy. 10.1270, 29, or also "Πεμ( ) son of Πεμ( )", is likely to be ruled out because of the context.

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