Inspiring innovation from tradition


Archaia/Nea means "Ancient/New" in Classical Greek. This is the Newsletter of the Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions, of which this is the first issue. Ancient/New without and or any other link between the two terms. Ancient and New are not juxtaposed, but create an interactive sequence, a direct shift from Ancient to New and probably even to the Future. Archaia/Nea is best understood as The Future of the Past. Because this is what the Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions is about: giving a future to the past, Inspiring Innovation from Tradition.

Medicinal plants are currently the object of multiple works, many of which rely on tradition(s). The further this trend goes, the more critical the question(s) it raises: what does it actually mean to rely on traditions, what does it imply, what methods are required to take advantage of traditions in a reliable way? And, more than anything else, what are the possibilities to generate the new medicines that are urgently needed? Although not all works contribute to the debate with an equal success, all have at least the merit to open a debate and to provide food for thought.

The Institute is devoted to the study of the ancient record of therapeutic practice, particularly the use of plants. Pursuing its innovative strategy of investigation, it does not limit its activity to searching the books that transmitted this ancient knowledge to present day, digitizing these precious and unique remains of the past, and deciphering, computerizing and analyzing their information, but it also includes collecting the plants that made the substance of ancient remedies.

Plants, their names and uses, their tradition and display are on stage worldwide. From the District of Columbia to New York and the Alhambra, from Renaissance to the most advanced DNA laboratories, and from Byzantium to the 21st century. Here is our selection.

Following its mission and pursuing its past activity, the Institute is actively engaged in recovering the Greek medical legacy with a broad set of activities, ranging from preparing the digitization of manuscripts to publishing original studies that shed a new light on the unique contribution of Greece to world medicine.

The Institute is rapidly growing and increasingly attracting scholars, scientists, and curious. Since January 2010, its Web site has been checked by almost 10,000 visitors coming from 99 out of the 208 current countries worldwide. Subscribers are constantly more numerous, as are also Members for whom a Member Only package of benefits will be created soon. The Institute is present in several forums and one of its Honorary Trustees has received a prestigious award.


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