Pharmaceutical Terminology in Ancient and Medieval Time – andrachne, chrysocolla and Others*

Barbara Zipser, Andrew C. Scott, Robert Allkin, Peretz Gan, Andreas Lardos, Rebecca Lazarou, Efraim Lev, Mark Nesbitt, Kristina Patmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ancient and medieval pharmacological and medical texts contain a substantial amount of plant and mineral names. In some cases, the identification is straightforward. But for the majority of the data, we are unable to identify these ingredients with high certainty. In this paper, we discuss a selection of plant and mineral names both from a humanities and sciences point of view. In one case, the scientists were even able to examine a plant in situ. The conclusion of our paper is that a close collaboration between sciences and humanities is essential to avoid mistakes in the identification of materia medica.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-736
Number of pages22
JournalStudia Ceranea
StatePublished - 30 Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© by the author, licensee University of Lodz – Lodz University Press, Lodz, Poland.


  • Byzantine medicine
  • Greek medicine
  • materia medica
  • medical history
  • medicinal minerals
  • medicinal plants
  • pharmacognosy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Religious studies


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