Some 2019 Highlights

In hindsight, it appears that 2019 wasn’t so bad a year for ancient medicine. There were several works and translations of note, and even new fragments of Rufus of Ephesus! Below are some of the things that came across my radar.


We now have a new introductory work that covers not only Greco-Roman medicine, but the Mediterranean world more broadly: L. Zucconi, Ancient Medicine: From Mesopotamia to Rome (review here)

There’s also a new sourcebook: W. Black (ed.), Medicine and Healing in the Premodern West: A History in Documents.

*Be on the look out in the next year or so for a forthcoming sourcebook for ancient medicine, assembled by the group ReMeDHe, and to which I am contributing a translation.


Pelagonius, Ars veterinaria (now in the Budé series). Gitton-Ripoll, V. ​​ Pélagonius Saloninus. Recueil de médecine vétérinaire.​​

The Medicina Plinii. Hunt, Y. The Medicina Plinii: Latin Text, Translation, and Commentary.

Plague Studies

This year was particularly big for plagues. Two articles on late antiquity:

J. Mulhall, “Plague before the Pandemics: The Greek Medical Evidence for Bubonic Plague before the Sixth Century

M. Eisenberg and L. Mordechai, “The Justinianic Plague: an interdisciplinary review

And a monograph on plague discourse in Latin literature:

H. Gardner, Pestilence and the Body Politic in Latin Literature.


L. Totelin wrote a book chapter on plant synonyms: “A sea of synonyms: naming plants in ancient pharmacological texts.”

Although I think it’s scheduled for 2020, there was an advanced release this year of W. Harris’ “Scatological Asklepios: The Use of Excrement in Graeco-Roman Healthcare.”

And, if I may indulge myself for a moment, my article “Erectogenic Drugs in Greek Medicine” appeared in Pharmacy in History this year, and I was honored to receive a write-up by Candida Moss on The Daily Beast!