14. MEDICINE II OVERVIEW
This section of MS 17 contains the following items:
- 1. A miscellany of recipes: fol. 175r. See also Transcription.
- 2. A charm against nosebleed: fol. 175r.
- 3. Antebalumenon: fol. 175r.
- 4. Classification and therapy of fevers: fol. 175r. See also Transcription.
- 5. Principles of pathology: fols. 175v-176r. See also Transcription.
- 6. Alphabetical list of herbs, with recipes: fols. 176r-v. See also Transcription.
- 7. Receptarium: fols. 176v-177v. See also Transcription.
MS 17 ends, as it began, with an anthology of medical texts. Indeed, this second collection closely mirrors Medicine I in structure: a text on general human physiology and pathology, based on interconnecting patterns of fours, is followed by a list of herbs and a collection of recipes. Once again, the essentially conservative character of this compilation is revealed, for the medical materials are typical in both form and content of Carolingian and post-Carolingian compendia from monastic milieux.1 Some attention is paid to a basic theoretical framework, particularly in the section on principles of pathology, but the accent is overwhelmingly on practical information, such as medicinal herbs and their uses, and pharmaceutical recipes. MS 17 was created at a time when a new approach to medicine was emerging from centres in southern Italy, notably Monte Cassino and Salerno. Monastic interest in medicine was beginning to shift from intervention to theory, or rather, to a particular dimension of theory, namely the interrelationship of the Galenic triad of body, cause, and sign. This change from "care" to "cause" occurred for complex reasons that involve new ideas about reform and the relationship of religious and the secular world.2 But MS 17 was loyal to early medieval styles of medical learning.
2 See Wallis and Gaspar 2004, and literature cited therein.