121-140 of 282 Results  for:

  • Science, Technology, and Medicine x
Clear all


Galen, of Pergamum, 129–216 CE  

Ludwig Edelstein and V. Nutton

In a spectacular career rose from gladiator physician in Asia Minor to court physician in the Rome of Marcus *Aurelius . The son of a wealthy architect, he enjoyed an excellent education in rhetoric and philosophy in his native town before turning to medicine. After studying medicine further in *Smyrna and *Alexandria (1) , he began practising in Pergamum in 157, and went to Rome in 162. Driven out by hostile competitors, or fear of the *Plague , in 166, he returned in 169, and remained in imperial service until his death. A prodigious polymath, he wrote on subjects as varied as grammar and gout, ethics and eczema, and was highly regarded in his lifetime as a philosopher as well as a doctor.

Although *Plato (1) and *Hippocrates (2) were his gods, and *Aristotle ranked only slightly below them, he was anxious to form his own independent judgements, and his assertive personality pervades all his actions and writings. His knowledge was equally great in theory and practice, and based in part on his own considerable library. Much of our information on earlier medicine derives from his reports alone, and his scholarly delineation of the historical Hippocrates and the writings associated with him formed the basis for subsequent interpretation down to the 20th cent. Large numbers of new texts, some book length, continue to be recovered, mainly in translation, but some in the original Greek.


Gargilius Martialis, Quintus, early to mid-3rd cent. CE  

M. Stephen Spurr

Quintus Gargilius Martialis was famed for his work on *gardens (Serv. on G. 4. 147; Cassiod.Inst. 1. 28. 5). Part of the De hortis is extant, while two other fragments, on the medical properties of fruits and on remedies for oxen (Curae boum), are usually attributed to him. Both *Palladius (1) and the Arab writer Ibʼn-al-Awam cite him extensively. Whether the extant writings belonged to a comprehensive manual or to separate monographs is unknown. That the fragment on gardens concerns *arboriculture is due not to manuscript confusion but to the importance (proven by recent archaeological investigation) of fruit-trees in gardens. Although Gargilius merely lists the views of his sources on controversial points, his occasional criticism of earlier writers (at 4. 1 he accuses *Columella of negligence), his autopsy, and his practical experience help to explain the esteem of antiquity. His discussion of the peach, a tree barely mentioned by Columella, shows that arboriculture had continued to develop. A citation (4. 1) from *Virgil's Eclogues and the attention to prose rhythm throughout place Gargilius among those technical writers who, like *Columella, aimed to delight as well as to instruct their literary readers.


Gaudentius, c. 4th cent. CE  

Andrew Barker

His Introduction to Harmonics contains an intriguing preface, a series of Aristoxenian propositions (1–9, 17–19; see aristoxenus) arranged around and qualified by Pythagorean doctrine about ratios (10–16; see pythagoras (1)), and three chapters (20–3) on notation: 23, giving tables, is incomplete. Certain details are unparalleled elsewhere, but intellectual originality is not the work's main objective. It is a sane and practical guide for beginners.



G. J. Toomer and Alexander Jones

Writer of elementary textbooks on mathematical subjects (probably c.50 bce); see mathematics. His only extant work is Εἰσαγωγὴ εἰς τὰ φαινόμενα (‘Introduction to Astronomy’), which gives a factual account of basic concepts in *astronomy, mathematical geography, and the calendar. Although the mathematics in this hardly goes beyond listing numerical parameters, it is important as a source for Greek knowledge of Babylonian astronomy, which appears particularly in the sections on the moon, and for the account of Greek luni-solar calendaric schemes (see astronomy). The parapēgma (astronomical calendar) appended to this treatise is not by Geminus, but considerably older. Geminus also wrote a treatise on the scope of the mathematical sciences entitled Περὶ τῆς τῶν μαθημάτων τάξεως or θεωρίας, in at least six books, which is cited by various writers, especially *Proclus and the scholiasts on *Euclid book 1. This included a classification of the mathematical sciences, arithmetic, geometry, *mechanics, *astronomy, *optics, geodesy, *music, and logistic (practical calculation), an examination of the first principles, definitions, postulates, axioms, and the structure based on them.



G. J. Toomer

The theory that the earth lies at the centre of the universe belongs to Greek scientific astronomy and should not be attributed to earlier thinkers such as Anaximander or Pythagoras in the 6th cent. bce. The first to whom the notion that the earth is spherical and lies at the centre of a spherical universe is credibly attributed is *Parmenides (early 5th cent.). By the time of *Eudoxus (1) (c. 360) the standard view was that the stationary spherical earth lies at the centre, around which rotates the outermost sphere of the fixed stars, once daily about the poles of the equator, carrying with it the intermediate spheres of the other heavenly bodies (also centred on the earth, but rotating in the opposite sense about different poles). That is the basis of *Aristotle's picture of the world, which dominated the cosmology of antiquity and the Middle Ages. According to this the sublunar region is composed of the four mutable *elements, earth, air, fire, and water, whose natural motion is in a straight line, i.



D. Lateiner

Gestures convey attitude, intention, and status. Greeks and Romans moved trunk and limbs to precede, accompany, intensify, undercut, and replace words. Posture, orientation (Soph.OT728), separating social-distance (proximity in supplication), facial expression (frowns, arched brows), and paralinguistic cues (pauses, pitch-changes, silences, hissing) also express emotion and modulate speech. Social meaning is divulged through ritualized acts (saluting, drink-pledges) and informal behaviour (pursed lips, nodding, nail-biting: Ar.Lys. 126, Vesp. 1315; Prop. 2. 4. 3). Behaviour may be intended (handclasp, embrace, kiss) or unintended (shriek, hiccough, horripilation, odour), sometimes even unconscious (sweat, lip-biting, eye-tics). The latter two categories of psychophysical reactions ‘leak’ hidden feelings. Apparel, tokens, and unalterable ‘badges’ of identity (guest-gifts (see gift, greece), dowry, winding-sheet, shields, scars, limps) assert gender, age, and status. Some behaviours exhibit ethological constants (tears, grins, cowering, shrinking); others are culture-specific (Hellenic ethnogests: thigh-slapping, negative upward head-nod: Il. 15. 113, 16. 125 (*Achilles), 6.



Frederick Norman Pryce and Michael Vickers

Glass (ὕαλος (also 'rock crystal'), vitrum). The art of producing a vitreous surface on stone, powdered quartz (faience), or clay was known in pre-dynastic Egypt and passed to Crete during the second millennium bce. Glazed objects are common on Greek sites of the Archaic period, some of them Egyptian imports, others probably made locally. In Hellenistic and Roman times Egypt and Asia Minor were centres of fabrication of glazed wares, which often imitated bronze.Objects composed entirely of glass paste begin to appear in Egypt about 1500 bce, when two allied processes seem to have been in use: modelling molten glass about a core of sand, and pressing it into an open mould. The chief Mycenaean glass is dark blue imitating lapis lazuli, used for beads, inlays, and architectural ornaments. In the 6th cent. small vases made by the sand-core process became known in Greece; they have opaque blue, brown, or white bodies and a marbled effect was produced on their surface by means of a comb or spike. In the Hellenistic period mould-made bowls come into fashion; these were produced mainly in Egypt. Here the tradition of opaque polychrome glass was continued into Roman times with millefiori bowls, in which marbled and other polychrome patterns were formed by fusing glass canes of various colours and pressing them into moulds.


glass, Roman  

H.E.M. Cool

Glass came of age during the Roman period. Within the ancient world it had been used from the mid-second millennium bce onwards, but only for jewellery and luxury items like small perfume bottles. This started to change in the late 2nd century bce, when the Hellenistic industries started to produce simple glass drinking vessels. In the early Imperial period there was an explosion in the vessel forms available, in part made possible by the discovery of how to blow glass. The new types included both the luxurious, such as exquisite cameo vessels, and the utilitarian, such as disposable packaging for cosmetics. A similar expansion was seen in its role in buildings, where glass went from luxurious interior decoration to structurally important window glass. References in literary works and depictions in wall paintings at the time attest to the considerable attention this new phenomenon attracted in the early to mid-1st century ce. Vessels, windows and other items spread widely throughout the empire and beyond, and to all levels of society. Over the next 400 years, how the material was used changed with time and place as the various regional industries responded to the needs and preferences of their communities. This was a major high-temperature industry which would have made considerable demands on resources such as fuel, but there are still many things that are unknown about it. Where, for example, was the glass itself made? Waste from secondary workshops producing vessels is regularly encountered, but evidence for the primary production is extremely rare. This has led to considerable debate, with competing models being proposed. Glass is not a material where scientific techniques such as those used to provenance pottery have proved very helpful. The composition of Roman glass is extremely uniform throughout the empire, and again there has been much debate about why this might be. Of late, some useful advances have started to be made in approaching these questions, and this may eventually disentangle what was going on. The study of Roman glass provides a unique window into the past. Through it the impact of new technologies and materials can be seen, as well as the choices people made about what was useful in their lives—all against the background of some of the most beautiful and skilful vessels ever made.


Greek metrology, Bronze Age  

Robert Schon

During the Bronze Age, people living in the Aegean region began adopting standardized measures. Aegean metrology took numerous forms and included measurements of weight, volume, length, area, and time. Some metrological units are depicted on Linear B (and some earlier Linear A) texts of the Late Bronze Age. In a few cases, archaeological remains, such as weights and scales, provide further insights into Aegean Bronze Age metrology.Ancient weights have been identified in numerous ways, some more reliable than others. A few weights appear in proportional sets or are marked with their unit designation, making their identification straightforward. In other cases, archaeologists rely on context or reasonable deduction (e.g., “What else could they be?”). Certain spool-shaped stones found in Early Bronze Age (c. 2500bce) contexts, most notably at Tiryns, may be weights.1 If so, these would be the earliest confirmed balance weights in the Aegean. Eleven haematite and two similarly hard stone weights were discovered by Valmin in various strata at Malthi, a Bronze Age site in .



Helen King

Gynaecology existed in the ancient world as a medical specialism, but its separate identity was not always permitted by wider medical theories. The significant question was this: do women have diseases peculiar to their sex, or are they subject to the same conditions as men, only requiring a separate branch of medicine to the extent that they have different organs to be affected? In other words, is gynaecology necessary?The majority of the surviving gynaecological treatises come from the Hippocratic corpus (see hippocrates (2)) and probably date to the late 5th and early 4th cents. bce. These treatises include three volumes of Gynaecia (Mul.), usually translated as ‘Diseases of Women’, but which can also mean women's sexual organs, *menstruation, or therapies for women's diseases. In contrast to the rest of the Hippocratic corpus, these texts include long lists of remedies using plant and animal ingredients. The third volume concerns the treatment of barren women. A separate short treatise discusses the medical problems of unmarried girls at puberty (Virg.



Julius Rocca

The heart (καρδία, κῆρ) was one of the most discussed bodily parts in antiquity. This is due, not so much to any assertion that it was the centre of the vascular system, but that it was widely regarded it as the seat of cognition and governor of movement and sensation. From the Hellenistic era onwards, these supposed attributes were set against the counter claim that the brain mediated these functions. This debate remained unsettled, despite Galen’s efforts, and the heart’s association with emotional states persists to this day.Babylonian medicine possessed terms for the irregularity of the pulse, which served as labels for the heart. Egyptian medicine named the heart (ib, haty), and a vessel system (metu), which transported fluids of the body (including blood and air), as well as pathological and waste products. The connection between the heart beat and the peripheral pulse seems to have been recognised. The Iliad provides vivid examples of fatal wounds to the heart.



Heinrich von Staden

A physician of the ‘school’ of *Herophilus. The criticisms of Hegetor by *Ap.(8) of Citium (c.90–15 bce?) provide a terminus ante quem. Hegetor shared other Herophileans' keen interest in pulse theory, as Galen (8. 955 Kühn) and Marcellinus (On Pulses, ch. 3) confirm, but among later Herophileans he stands virtually alone in sharing Herophilus' emphasis on the importance of *anatomy. There is, however, no explicit evidence that Hegetor followed Herophilus' example of conducting systematic human dissection. In a fragment from his treatise On Causes (Περὶ αἰτιῶν), preserved by Ap. of Citium, Hegetor criticizes the Empiricists' use of analogy; he suggests that an exact knowledge of the anatomy of the thigh and of its attachment to the socket of the hip-joint, rather than analogies provided by the successful surgical treatment of other kinds of joints, would lead to a clear distinction between treatable and incurable cases of dislocated thigh bones.


Heliodorus (3), surgeon, 1st–2nd cent. CE  

William David Ross and V. Nutton

Heliodorus (3), a popular surgeon of the time of *Juvenal (who lived c. 60–140 ce; cf. Juv. 6. 373), probably from Egypt. He belonged to the Pneumatic school (see pneumatists).

(1) Χειρουργούμενα (‘On Surgery’; principal work, chiefly known from Oribasius and in fragments preserved in late Latin translations);

(2) ? Περὶ ἀρθρων πραγματεία or Ἐπιμήχανος (‘Treatise on Joints’);

(3) Περὶ ὀλισθημάτων πραγματεία (‘On Dislocation’);

(4) Περὶ ἐπιδέσμων (‘On Bandages’);

(5) Περὶ μέτρων καὶ σταθμῶν (‘On Weights and Measures’);

(6) Epistula phlebotomiae (‘On Blood-letting’; Lat. trans.).

See surgery.


Heraclides (4), of Tarentum, Empiricist physician, fl. 85–65 BCE  

Heinrich von Staden

Heraclides (4) of *Tarentum (fl. 85–65 BCE), a pupil of *Mantias and a renegade Herophilean (see herophilus), became one of the more influential, versatile, and theoretically nuanced physicians of the Empiricist school. He advocated experience as the foundation of medicine but freely accommodated causal explanation (e.g. correlating divergent causes of the same disorder with different treatments). His large treatise on external and internal therapy was used extensively by *Galen and Caelius Aurelianus, his dietetic Symposium by *Athenaeus(1) of Naucratis, his pharmacological works (including Theriaca) by Galen and Galen's sources (see pharmacology), and his extensive Hippocratic exegeses (including his influential polemics against Bacchius) by *Erotian and Galen; see hippocrates(2). Heraclides' pulse theory is known through Galen. About 90 fragments and testimonia survive.


Herodotus (2), adherent of the Pneumatic school  

V. Nutton

Herodotus (2), pupil of *Agathinus and adherent of the Pneumatic school of medicine (see pneumatists), wrote, in the Flavian period (70–96 ce), Physician and On remedies (lost); an extant Diagnosis of severe and chronic illnesses has been attributed to him on no secure grounds.


Heron, of Alexandria (1), mathematician and inventor, fl. 62 CE  

G. J. Toomer and Serafina Cuomo

Heron of *Alexandria (1), (fl. 62 ce) mathematician and inventor, was known as ὁ μηχανικός. The following works are associated with his name. (1) Metrica, three books, on the measurement of surfaces and bodies, and their division in a given ratio. (2) Definitions (Ὅροι), defining geometrical terms and concepts. (3) Geometrica, (4) Stereometrica, and (5) On Measures (Περὶ μέτρων), all works on mensuration. (6) Pneumatica, on the construction of devices worked by compressed air, steam, and water. (7) On Automata-making (Περὶ αὐτοματοποϊκῆς), mostly on the construction of θαύματα (‘wonder-working’ devices). (8) Mechanica, three books (extant only in Arabic, but excerpted by *Pappus book 8), on how to move weights with the least effort, containing (book 1) the foundations of *statics and dynamics, (book 2) the five simple machines, (book 3) the building of lifting-machines and presses. (9) Dioptra, on the construction and use of a sighting-instrument for measurement at a distance (with additions describing other instruments, e.g. a hodometer). (10) Catoptrica (extant only in Latin translation), on the theory and construction of plane and curved mirrors (see catoptrics).


Herophilus, of Chalcedon, Alexandrian physician, c. 330–260 BCE  

Heinrich von Staden

Herophilus of *Chalcedon (c. 330–260 bce), Alexandrian physician, pupil of *Praxagoras of Cos. He and *Erasistratus were the only ancient scientists to perform systematic scientific dissections of human cadavers. If the controversial but unequivocal evidence of several ancient authors is to be trusted, Herophilus also performed systematic vivisectory experiments on convicted criminals—experiments made possible, according to A. *Cornelius Celsus, only by royal intervention (see vivisection). Herophilus' numerous anatomical achievements included the discovery of the nerves. He distinguished between sensory and ‘voluntary’ (motor) nerves, described the paths of at least seven pairs of cranial nerves, and recognized the unique characteristics of the optic nerve. The first to observe and name the calamus scriptorius (a cavity in the floor of the fourth cerebral ventricle), he called it κάλαμος (‘reed pen’) because it resembles the carved out groove of a writing pen. His dissection of the eye yielded the distinction between cornea, retina, iris, and chorioid coat.


Hicetas, of Syracuse, 5th cent. BCE  

G. J. Toomer

Hicetas of *Syracuse (5th cent. bce), Pythagorean (see pythagoras(1)). Two inconsistent views are attributed to him: that the earth rotates on its axis while the rest of the heavenly bodies are motionless; and the theory associated with *Philolaus that the earth rotates about a central fire. See geocentricity.


Hipparchus (3), astronomer, fl. 2nd half of 2nd cent. BCE  

G. J. Toomer and Alexander Jones

Born at *Nicaea (1) in Bithynia, he spent much of his life in Rhodes; his recorded observations range from 147 to 127. His only extant work, the Commentary on theΦαινόμεναof Eudoxus and Aratus, in three books, contains criticisms of the descriptions and placings of the *constellations and stars by those two (see aratus(1); eudoxus(1)), and a list of simultaneous risings and settings. Valuable information on Hipparchus' own star coordinates has been extracted from it. Most of our knowledge of Hipparchus' other astronomical work comes from *Ptolemy(4)'s Almagest (see index under ‘Hipparchus’ in Toomer's trans.).Hipparchus transformed Greek astronomy from a theoretical to a practical science, by applying to the geometrical models (notably the eccentric/epicyclic hypothesis) that had been developed by his predecessors (see astronomy) numerical parameters derived from observations, thus making possible the prediction of celestial positions for any given time. In order to do this he also founded *trigonometry, by computing the first trigonometric function, a chord table.


Hippias (3), geometer, fl. late 3rd cent. BCE or later  

Wilbur R. Knorr

Geometer on curves called quadratrices (tetragōnizousai) for constructing the rectification of the circle and circular arcs (equivalent to the circle quadrature). The curve, earlier applied to this end by *Nicomedes(5) (late 3rd cent. bce), is also applicable for trisecting any angle, as may have been discovered by Dinostratus (mid-4th cent. bce).