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Folio from the Hippiatrica with written and illustrated instructions on drenching a horse to induce diarrhea.

The Hippiatrica (Greek: Ἱππιατρικά) is a Byzantine compilation of ancient Greek writings, or texts, focused on the care and healing of horses.[1] The texts were probably compiled in the 5th or 6th century AD by an unknown editor.[1]

Contents[change | change source]

The writings of seven authors from Late Antiquity make up the main parts of the Hippiatrica: 1) the veterinary manuals of Apsyrtus, 2) Eumelus (a veterinarian in Thebes, Greece[2]), 3) Hierocles, 4) Hippocrates, 5) Theomnestus, 6) Pelagonius's Latin text translated into Greek, and 7) the chapter on horses from Anatolius's text on agriculture.[3] The seven authors allude to the classical Greek veterinarians Xenophon and Simon of Athens.[3] They were also influenced by Hellenistic agricultural literature based on Mago of Carthage.[3] In the 10th century AD, two more writings from Late Antiquity were added to the Hippiatrica: a work by Tiberius and an anonymous set of Prognoses and Remedies (Greek: Προγνώσεις καὶ ἰάσεις).[4] The contents of the Hippiatrica focus on practical treatment rather than on medical theory.[5] Also, the texts in the Hippiatrica come in different styles: proverbs, poetry, incantations, letters, instructions, prooimia, medical definitions, recipes, and reminiscences.[6] Cheiron, the Greek centaur connected to healing and veterinary medicine, appears twice in the Hippiatrica and a cure called a cheironeion (Greek: χειρώνειον) is named after the mythological creature.[7]

References[change | change source]

Citations[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 McCabe 2007, p. 1.
  2. Karasszon 1988, p. 115.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 McCabe 2007, p. 13.
  4. McCabe 2007, pp. 13–14.
  5. McCabe 2007, p. 15.
  6. McCabe 2007, p. 14.
  7. McCabe 2007, pp. 10–11.

Sources[change | change source]

  • McCabe, Anne (2007). A Byzantine Encyclopaedia of Horse Medicine: The Sources, Compilation, and Transmission of the Hippiatrica. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-153510-9.
  • Karasszon, Dénes (1988). A Concise History of Veterinary Medicine. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó. ISBN 978-9-63-054610-2.

Further reading[change | change source]