Grants awarded

Byzantine pharmacology between east and west (1150–1450)

Grantholder:

Dr Petros Bouras-Vallianatos

King's College London

United Kingdom

The aim of this project is to place a large number of unexplored Byzantine pharmacological texts, dated from 1150 to 1450, into cultural and therapeutic context.  

Dr Bouras-Vallianatos will evaluate the degree of influence on Byzantine pharmacology from Arabic, Persian, and Latin pharmacological traditions. Overturning the view that Byzantine medical tradition was ‘stagnant’ and simply preserved the best ideas from antiquity, the project will demonstrate that Byzantine pharmacology was far more open to outside influence than previously thought. It will also demonstrate that Byzantine physicians were eager to inform their material with observations derived from their contact with patients. The work will provide a fresh set of data for comparative historical studies across the Mediterranean and near east and, ultimately, will offer a starting point for the evaluation of Byzantine pharmacology by contemporary health professionals.