Inspiring innovation from tradition

During the year 2011, the founders of the Institute have both followed current production–in spite of its quantity and diversity–in the many fields that make up the Historia Plantarum collection, and successfully located on the market and acquired most of the contributions that were landmarks in the historiography of Greek medicine during the 19th and 20th centuries. Many of the volumes devoted to ancient medicine in the famous Bibliotheca Teubneriana and the no-less prestigious Corpus Medicorum Graecorum can now be found in the collection.

An important portion of the newly acquired items in the collection is the series devoted to the School of Salerno, published by SISMEL-Edizioni del Galluzzo (Florence, Italy). Besides the critical edition of such major treatises as the Alphita, and the Tractatus de herbis, which had remained unpublished to date, the series provides interpretative essays by some of the best specialists of the School. Together with the constantly expanding series devoted to the many works by Arnaldo de Vilanova–also present in the collection–this corpus in construction is a major component of the medieval segment of collection, and will prove a particularly useful reference work for new research to be performed by scholars and visitors of the Institute.

Also, the Institute has singularly accrued its collection of digital images of Greek medical manuscripts, with a special focus on fragile iatrosofia, to be found in little-known collections, sometimes quite difficult to access. Coupled with the world census of iatrosofia currently in preparation in the Institute, these images will constitute a unique resource for the study of the continuity of Greek medicine among the Greek speaking populations in the Ottoman Empire through the early 20th century. One of such iatrosofia has been published during the year with an interpretative study that will serve for years to come as an instrument for the understanding of the whole genre.

As in the past, the Institute has received donations of books from individuals, including papers and archives of retiring historians of ancient and medieval medicine, who wish to have their documentation preserved as the living memory of current historiography of medicine in a safe, accessible and thematically relevant repository.

Additionally, the Institute has laid down the basis of its next collection: a library of digital medical texts that will contain both published and unpublished–and often also unknown–texts. To this end, the Institute has created appropriate shelving–of a digital nature– in the form of new Web sites.

To provide its transdisciplinary research programs with the necessary material, the Institute has pursued during the year 2011 its efforts to create a garden of medicinal plants. This collection of living plants will contain most of the species mentioned in ancient and medieval treatises on materia medica. Ideally, this garden should be made of an experimental station for plant breeding, and a display and educational garden aimed at schools, curious, and, of course, gardeners, chefs and gourmets! Just like the other collections of the Institute, this one will provide the substance of research programs, devoted, in the specific case, to explore the therapeutic properties of the plants according to the ancient literature.

Follow Us

© 2009–2015 Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions. All Rights Reserved. | Site Credits