Il tesoro dei poveri
A book of 13th century medical prescriptions
Pietro Ispano (Pope John XXI)
edited by Luca Pesante
Translated in full from an unpublished manuscript written in the thirteenth century, this book offers a view of the medical world of the Middle Ages, one that for us today was full of magic.
The author is Pietro Ispano (Pope John XXI), who was a leading figure in the intellectual world of the thirteenth century. A combination of theologist, physician, astrologist and jurisconsult, the "medieval" scientist attempted to understand and harmonise with the macrocosm and powers of the heavenly bodies.
This all-encompassing approach is clear in the text, which provides a mix of natural therapeutic remedies for all problems, from losing one's hair to sterility, impotence to fever, wrinkles to jaundice, and so on.
It provides a "therapeutic journey" a capite ad pedes (from head to foot). Compared to today's science, the treatments suggested are curious but all founded on the regenerating power of Nature.
Luca Pesante, a graduate in Medieval Archaeology.
"Chopped hazelnuts mixed with bear fat make the hair regrow, goat fat with leek juice restores hearing, the stone called magnet banishes discord between a husband and wife completely, juice of mugwort does away with gallstones extraordinarily, resin of juniper rubbed on the penis will prevent erection, vervain worn between the clothes extinguishes lustfulness". These are some of the remedies to be found in the Thesaurum Pauperum, one of the most common books of medical prescriptions in Europe from the second half of the thirteenth century.
TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION OF BOOK
Dimensions cm. 21 x 28,7
Glossy soft cover
136 pages, 52 illustrations
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