Healing Manuals from Ottoman and Modern Greece
Acknowledgements In 2008 I was working on Greek texts of the Tourkokratia dealing with the interpretation of dreams. For over 30 years I had worked on late Roman and Byzantine oneirokritika (dream-key manuals), and I had decided to move on to post-Byzantium to determine to what extent ancient and medieval dream theory survived during those centuries. A text, Codex 1275 in the National Library in Athens, Greece, caught my eye: Interwoven into the discussions on dream symbolism were recipes for
... were recipes for medicaments and regimen to treat diseases and ailments. Intrigued I investigated what sort of medical texts were extant at the time of the codex's writing (the late 18 th century). It was then that I encountered the wonderful and masterful work of Alain Touwaide, Patricia Clark, David Bennett, and Evangelia Varella. From them I learned of the preservation of classical and Byzantine pharmacology and medicine and contemporary folk medicine in texts called giatrosofia (γιατροσόφια). These were medical recipe books penned in Byzantium by trained medical doctors, or in post-Byzantium by rural family practitioners. Relying on Touwaide's and Varella's works, I linked the post-Byzantine dream text in the Codex 1275 to contemporary γιατροσόφια in an article, "Iatrosophia and an Eighteenth-Century Oneirokritēs in the National Library of Greece", Medicina nei Secoli: Arte e Scienza 21.2 (2009), pp. 477-501. I continued to explore this topic because, quite frankly, the texts were fascinating and opened up for me a new appreciation of healing in the Greek world. I had previously published studies on Greek and Roman medicine, the Hippocratic corpus, and individual physicians like Aretaeus of Cappadocia. But the γιατροσόφια, with their blend of folk medicine, citations of classical and postclassical doctors, magical spells, exorcism rituals, phylacteries, and Christian elements, revealed a multiple approach to curing diseases of which I was unaware. As I researched the γιατροσόφια I discovered the groundbreaking research of Dimitrios Karaberopoulos, Nikolaos Papadogiannakis, Agamemnon Tselikas, and Christos Papadopoulos. I was especially drawn to Papadogiannakis's magisterial work, Κρητικὸ ἰατροσόφιον τοῦ 19 ου αἰώνα: Ἔκδοση, εἰσαγωγή, σημειώσεις, which reproduced a γιατροσόφιον written in 1826 on the island of Crete, and to Patricia Clark's magnificent translation and commentary, A Cretan Healer's Handbook in the Byzantine Tradition: Text, Translation and Commentary. I later came across the γιατροσόφιον ascribed to the late Byzantine monk-doctor Meletios, and the herbal medical recipes of Gymnasios, an Athonite monk who in 1930 created a sensation in northern Greece through his astounding herbal cures. Ultimately I decided that a book on these texts was needed. I set forth three goals: to provide English translations of these texts; to offer a comparative analysis of the recipes in these γιατροσόφια, which cover a span of 800 years; and to describe the materia medica of each γιατροσόφιον through comprehensive indices. My aim was to reveal the continuity of therapeutic traditions from antiquity and Byzantium to medicine through the second millennium A.D. and, https://doi.