On the Camels of the Aorsi: Dioscorides and the Medicine Trade of the Bosporan Kingdom. Part I. The “Soldier’s Life” of Dioscorides

Publication type Article
Status Published
Affiliation: University of Exeter
Address: Exeter, UK
Journal nameVestnik drevnei istorii
EditionVolume 81 Issue 2
AbstractWe know only a little about the life of Dioscorides, a medical botanist who wrote in the first century AD or so. His reference to his “soldier’s life” has been important in reconstructions of his activities, often linked with campaigns in Armenia under Nero. However, a “soldier’s life” was a common enough metaphor in the first century AD for a life of hard work, which need have no connection at all to military service. His work shows scant knowledge of the Caucasus. The evidence for his dates makes it likely that he wrote after AD 77, when Pliny the Elder completed his Natural History, in which Dioscorides’ important work is not mentioned. Therefore, his remarks on the Bosporan Kingdom were made after AD 77.
KeywordsDioscorides, ancient pharmacology, ancient botany, medicine, Corbulo, Ephesus, Laecanius
Publication date28.06.2021
Number of characters40413
100 rub.
When subscribing to an article or issue, the user can download PDF, evaluate the publication or contact the author. Need to register.

Number of purchasers: 0, views: 691

Readers community rating: votes 0

1. Akhalkatsi, M. 2019: Plant Species in Natura 2000 Habitats in Georgia. Tbi-lisi.

2. Aparaschivei, D. 2010: Being a physician in Moesia Inferior. Dacia 54, 141–156.

3. Bader, P. 2014: The identity, legal status and origin of the Roman army’s medical staff in the imperial age. In: B. Maire (ed.), ‘Greek’ and ‘Ro-man’ in Latin Medical Writing: Studies in Cultural Change and Ex-change in Ancient Medicine. Leiden, 43–59.

4. Beck, L. 2005: Pedanius Dioscorides of Anazarbus, “De materia medica”. Hildesheim.

5. Bonner, C. 1922: A papyrus of Dioscurides in the University of Michigan collection. Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 53, 142–168.

6. Bourdin, S., D’Ercole, V. (eds.) 2014: I Vestini e il loro territorio dalla preis-toria al medioevo. Rome.

7. Brouwer, R. 2014: The Stoic Sage: The Early Stoics on Wisdom, Sagehood and Socrates. New York.

8. Cassia, M. 2018: Servilio Damocrate: un medico poeta alla corte giulioclau-dia? Historika 8, 237–256.

9. De Romanis, F. 2020: The Indo-Roman Pepper Trade and the Muziris Papy-rus. Oxford.

10. Denham, A. 2018: Dioscorides’ legacy: a classical precursor to travellers in Ottoman lands. In: I. Aščerić-Todd, S. Knees, J. Starkey, P. Starkey (eds.), Travellers in Ottoman Lands: The Botanical Legacy. Oxford, 89–108.

11. Denham, A., Whitelegg, M. 2014: Deciphering Dioscorides: mountains and molehills? In: S. Francia, A. Stobart (eds.), Critical Approaches to the History of Western Herbal Medicine: From Classical Antiquity to the Early Modern Period. London, 191–209.

12. Duff, T.E. 1999: Plutarch’s Lives: Exploring Virtue and Vice. Oxford.

13. Duff, T.E. 2004: Plato, tragedy, the ideal reader and Plutarch’s “Demetrius and Antony”. Hermes 132/3, 271–291.

14. Eck, W. 1982 Jahres- und Provinzialfasten der senatorischen Statthalter von 69/70 bis 138/39. Chiron 12, 281–362.

15. Eck, W. 1983 Jahres- und Provinzialfasten der senatorischen Statthalter von 69/70 bis 138/39. Chiron 13, 147–238.

16. Fantham, E. Hine, H.M., Ker, J., Williams G.D. 2014: Lucius Annaeus Sene-ca: Hardship and Happiness. Chicago.

17. Flemming, R., Hanson, A.E. 2001: Dioscorides, De materia medica II. 76. 2 and 76. 7–18. In: I. Andorlini (ed.), Greek Medical Papyri. Vol. I. Flor-ence, 9–35.

18. Fortenbaugh, W.W., Sharples, R.W. 1988: Theophrastean Studies: Fifteen Papers on Natural Science, Physics and Metaphysics, Ethics, Religion, and Rhetoric. New Brunswick–Oxford.

19. Gowers, E. 2011: The road to Sicily: Lucilius to Seneca. Ramus 40, 168–197.

20. Hardy, G., Totelin, L. 2016: Ancient Botany. London–New York.

21. Holleran, C. 2012: Shopping in Ancient Rome: The Retail Trade in the Late Republic and the Principate. Oxford.

22. Houston, G.W. 2003: Galen, his books, and the “Horrea Piperataria” at Rome. Memoirs of the American Academy at Rome 48, 45–51.

23. Jouanna, J. 2012: Greek Medicine from Hippocrates to Galen. Leiden.

24. Keyser, P.T. 2008: Pamphilos of Alexandria. In: P.T. Keyser, G.L. Irby-Massie (eds.), The Encyclopedia of Ancient Natural Scientists: The Greek Tradition and Its Many Heirs. London–New York, 606–607.

25. Kokkinia, C. 2007: A rhetorical riddle: the subject of Dio Chrysostom’s “First Tarsian Oration”. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 103, 407–422.

26. Lavery, G.B. 1980: Metaphors of war and travel in Seneca’s prose works. Greece and Rome 27/2, 147–157.

27. McKeown, J.C. 1995: Militat omnis amans. Classical Journal 90/3, 295–304.

28. Monoson, S. 2016: Socrates’ military service. In: V. Caston, S.-M. Weineck (eds.), Our Ancient Wars: Rethinking War through the Classics. Ann Arbor, 96–118.

29. Montiglio, S. 2000: Wandering philosophers in classical Greece. Journal of Hellenic Studies 120, 86–105.

30. Montiglio, S. 2006: Should the aspiring wise man travel? A conflict in Sene-ca’s thought. American Journal of Philology 127/4, 553–586.

31. Nussbaum, M.C. 1994: The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hel-lenistic Ethics. Princeton.

32. Nutton, V. 1977: Archiatri and the medical profession in antiquity. Papers of the British School at Rome 45, 191–226.

33. Nutton, V. 1985: The drug trade in antiquity. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 78, 138–145.

34. Nutton, V. 2008: The medical world of Rufus of Ephesus. In: P.E. Pormann (ed.), Rufus of Ephesus: On Melancholy. (Sapere, 12). Tübingen, 139–158.

35. Nutton, V. 2013: Ancient medicine. London.

36. Ogden, D. 2001: Greek and Roman Necromancy. Princeton.

37. Pelling, C.B.R. (ed.) 1988: Plutarch. Life of Antony. Cambridge.

38. Pelling, C.B.R. 1989: Plutarch: Roman heroes and Greek culture. In: M. Griffin, J. Barnes (eds.), Philosophia togata. Essays on Philosophy and Roman Society. Oxford, 199–232.

39. Pelling, C.B.R. 1995: The moralism of Plutarch’s “Lives”. In: D.C. Innes, H. Hine, C.B.R. Pelling (eds.), Ethics and Rhetoric: Classical Essays for D. Russell on His 75th Birthday. Oxford, 205–220.

40. Rathmayr, E. 2011: Die Skulpturenausstattung des C. Laecanius Bassus Nymphaeum in Ephesos. In: F. D’Andria, I. Romeo (eds.), Roman Sculpture in Asia Minor. Proceedings of the International Conference to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Italian excavations at Hierapolis in Phrygia, held on May 24–26, 2007, in Cavallino (Lecce). (Journal of Roman Archaeology. Supplementary Series, 80). Portsmouth, 130–149.

41. Reckford, K.J. 2009: Recognizing Persius. (Martin Classical Lectures, 23). Princeton.

42. Rood, T. 2011: Black Sea variations: Arrian’s “Periplus”. Cambridge Clas-sical Journal 57, 137–163.

43. Saller, R. 1982: Personal Patronage Under the Early Empire. Cambridge.

44. Scarborough, J. 2006: More on Dioscorides’ Etruscan herbs. Etruscan News 6, 1, 9.

45. Scarborough, J. 2008: Areios of Tarsos, Laecanius. In: P.T. Keyser, G.L. Ir-by-Massie (eds.), The Encyclopedia of Ancient Natural Scientists: The Greek Tradition and Its Many Heirs. London–New York, 128–129.

46. Scarborough, J. 2012: Thornapple in Graeco-Roman pharmacology. Classi-cal Philology 107/3, 247–255.

47. Scarborough, J. 2020: Dioscorides on beavers. In: L.M.V. Totelin, R. Flem-ming (eds.), Medicine and Markets in the Graeco-Roman World and Beyond: Essays on Ancient Medicine in Honour of V. Nutton. Swansea, 37–40.

48. Scarborough, J., Fernandes, A. 2011: Ancient medicinal use of aristolochia: birthwort’s tradition and toxicity. Pharmacy in History 53/1, 3–21.

49. Scarborough, J., Nutton, V. 1982: The preface of Dioscorides’ “Materia Medica”: introduction, translation, and commentary. Transactions and Studies of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia: Medicine and His-tory 4, 187–227.

50. Schofield, M. 1999: The Stoic Idea of the City. Revised ed. Chicago.

51. Swain, S. 2008: Social stress and political pressure: “On Melancholy” in context. In: P.E. Pormann (ed.), Rufus of Ephesus: On Melancholy. (Sapere, 12). Tübingen, 113–138.

52. Syme, R. 1970: Domitius Corbulo. Journal of Roman Studies 60, 27–39.

53. Syme, R. 1995: Anatolica: Studies in Strabo. Oxford.

54. Tassaux, F. 1982: Laecanii. Recherches sur une famille sénatoriale d’Istrie. Mélanges de l’École française de Rome 94, 227–269.

55. Thomas, E. 2014: On the Sublime in architecture. In: J. Elsner, M. Meyer (eds.), Art and Rhetoric in Roman Culture. Cambridge, 37–88.

56. Tobyn, G., Denham, A., Whitelegg, M. 2011: The Western Herbal Tradition: 2000 Years of Medicinal Plant Knowledge. Edinburgh.

57. Touwaide, A. 1999: La botanique entre science et culture au 1er siècle de notre ère. In: G. Wöhrle (ed.), Biologie. (Geschichte der Mathematik und der Naturwissenschaften der Antike, 1). Stuttgart, 219–252.

58. Trapp, M.B. 1997: Maximus of Tyre: The Philosophical Orations. Oxford.

59. Verhoogt, A. 2017: Discarded, Discovered, Collected: The University of Michigan Papyrus Collection. Ann Arbor.

60. Wellmann, M. 1898: Die Pflanzennamen des Dioskurides. Hermes 33/3, 360–422.

61. Wellmann, M. 1916: Pamphilos. Hermes 51/1, 1–64.

62. Zimonyi, A. 2014: The context of medical competitions in Ephesus. Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 54/4, 355–370.

63. Zimonyi, A. 2017: The cobbler turned doctor: identifying physicians in the Roman Empire during the Principate. In: D. Bajnok (ed.), Alia Miscel-lanea Antiquitatum. Budapest, 215–234.

Система Orphus