Quid pro quo: Studies in the History of Drugs

1st Edition

John M. Riddle

Routledge
Published April 16, 1992
Reference - 336 Pages
ISBN 9780860783190 - CAT# Y284665
Series: Variorum Collected Studies

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Summary

All too often ancient herbal and other remedies have been dismissed as ’simply’ folklore, of no relevance to medical science. John Riddle’s approach, however, has been to explore the history of drugs with the hypothesis that ancient and medieval medicines were effective - a methodology that he expounds in the final essay (hitherto unpublished). Indeed, he shows, both from detailed case-studies and from the comparison of the listings given by classical and medieval authorities with those in modern pharmacopoeias, that our ancestors had discovered and made effective use of many of the drugs used in medicine today, from antiseptics and analgesics to oral contraceptives, even chemotherapy for cancer. There is the suggestion, therefore, that more careful examination and identification of the drugs used in the past may reveal chemicals that can be exploited anew. Central to these studies is the investigation of how a drug was used and how knowledge about it was transmitted - and perhaps also distorted in the process - from the Classical world through the Middle Ages. Les anciens remèdes, phytothérapie et autres, ont trop souvent été mis aux rangs du folklore et considérés comme n’ayant aucun rapport avec la science médicale. L’approche de John Riddle, cependant, a été d’explorer l’histoire des drogues, en prenant pour hypothèse l’efficacité de la médecine ancienne et médiévale - une méthodologie qu’il expose dans son dernier essai (jusqu’à présent jamais publié). En effet, il démontre à partir de cas d’études détaillés et de la comparaison établie entre les listages fournis par les autorités antiques et médiévales et ceux des pharmacopées modernes, que nos ancêtres avaient découvert et mis à bon escient l’utilisation de nombreux remèdes dont se sert la médecine à l’heure actuelle: des antiseptiques et analgésiques, aux contraceptifs oraux et même jusqu’à la chimiothérapie pour le cancer. Sugge

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