Medizinische Rezepte auf Pergament: Augensalben und ein Rezept gegen Schwindelgefühl

Eye ointments and a recipe for dizziness

Greek, 5th century A.D., parchment
G 28426

The eyes of the people of Egypt have always suffered from the sand whirled up by the winds and the strong sunlight. As a result, eye diseases were common. This accumulation is also reflected in the high number of eye remedies that have been preserved.

These prescriptions only state the ingredients of the medication and their quantity. We have no information on mixing and application from this text. Eye remedies such as these were usually applied externally to the damaged eye in the form of ointments or pastes. Fresh roses were needed for two of the eye remedies. These are described by Dioskurides and Pliny the Elder as astringent and cooling and are mentioned for use in eye complaints. The Austrian National Library owns the Vienna Dioscorides (Codex medicus graecus 1) an important late antique copy of his work, which is part of the UNESCO-World Documentary Heritage.


This parchment leaf was originally part of a codex. Even today, tiny traces of the original page number A can be recognised at the top right of the leaf and B on the reverse. (The Greek script uses letters instead of Arabic numerals. So A stands for 1, B for 2, ...) The text is written in a beautiful book script. Remains of an ornamental line have also been preserved.

Our database entry  provides further literature references and a digitalisation of the object.


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