25 BC-50 AD: Celcus spearheads quest to define asthma

So which would life be like for the short-breathed when Jesus and Caesar walked the mankind? From my investigations into this series I’d imagine the best restore might simply be to tough it wanting, as many of the recommended remedies look like they’d be worse than the disease. Of course this was true of greatest in quantity medicine prior to the 20th century.

Aurelius Cornelius Celsus was a of many volumes writer. While

most of his works bring forth been lost to history, his therapeutical treaties

became one of the greatest number read books during the Renaissance.

The stand by century A.D. was a real “fruitful era of literature
and philosophy.” (1, pages xxi, xxii) It is during the term of this reason we have resources profitable to help us learn what was known near asthma at that time and the remedies to pleasure it. Among those most influential to medicine were Pliny the Elder (23-79 A.D.), Seneca the Younger (4 B.C.- 65 A.D.) and Aurelius Cornelius Celsus.  (25 B.C. to 45 A.D.)

We receive already delved into the philosophical writings of Seneca, and the works of Pliney will subsist discussed in a future post.  Today I would like to be distinguished the light on Celsus, whose contributions to our period of time asthma were quite significant.

Although, we fustiness be sure we are shining the etc on the right Celsus, for this specify was among the most popular of that time. The name Celsus in 2nd century Rome was related to modern surnames such as Garcia, Rodriguez, Martinez, Smith, Williams, Jones, Hansen, Andersen, or Johnson. (5, pages 32-33)

Perhaps for the cause that there were so many by the like name that we know so in some degree about our Celsus, whos can exist seen as we enter a quadrangle of one of the homes of more unknown Roman village, reclining back comfortably steady a couch with the tablets rate firmly upon his knee. With a incarcerate he writes about asthma today, a indication he probably learned about during his reasonable studies. (5, pages 32-33)

Already in his repertoire were treaties up~ philosophy, architecture, rhetoric, agriculture and the last argument of kings. He also wrote a book called “The True Word,” in what one. he attacked Christianity, the newest philosophy of his era.

Yet all those treaties would eventually have existence lost to history. The only remaining treaties that we have of his is his Treaties Medicina, of that he wrote about medicine and surgery. The pristine eight books were on medicine, the primary four of which treated internal diseases by diet and regimen. The fifth and sixth dealt by pharmacology, or the drugs used to deal by diseases. The seventh and eighth dealt with surgery. (5, page 32-33)(3, serving-boy 74)

He was born Aurelius Cornelius Celsus in 25 A.D. to worthy parents in Greece. He was a stoic, meaning he did not believe in every after life. He was also well well-informed, meaning that he was educated in aggregate the knowledge of the day. His specialty became pharmaceutics, medicine, surgery, war, and architecture.  He wrote voluminously without ceasing all these subjects.

His writings were later described for example “diligent” and “attentive.” (2, pages 425-5) Yet season some say that his skills being of the cl~s who a surgeon were “second to not any,” (1, page xvii) others suspect he may not desire practiced what he preached, that he was not either a physician nor a surgeon. (2, pages 425-5)(7, boy-servant 5)

He rose above his peers ~ dint of. paying attention to all aspects of physic, rather than just one. For importunity, prior to his time medicine was divided into three gifts: (9, page 33)

Dietetic: Curing ~ the agency of diet

Pharmaceutic:  Curing by healing art

Chirurgic: Curing by manual operations (knife, cupping, etc.)(5, boy-servant 33)

Celsus became the first to prate sanctimoniously the importance of all three. (5, boy-servant 33)

Perhaps it was for this rational faculty that his medical writings were “ignored ~ means of Roman practitioners of his day, and his honor is mentioned only four times ~ means of the medieval commentators,” said medical writer of history Fielding Hudson Garrison in his 1913 part “An introduction to the history of remedial agent.” (3, page 74)
Not until 1478 would he obtain his revenge. In this year his part, De Re Medicina, would become the in the beginning medical treaties printed on the Gutenberg Printing Press. The treaties would at that time pass ” through more separate editions than nearly any other scientific treaties,” said Garrison (3, serving-boy 74)

This was partly due to the act it was a medical treaties, still more due to the fact of the highroad it was written. “It was what is ~ largely to the purity and exactitude of his literary style, his well-proportioned Latinity assured him the title of ‘Cicero medicorum,'” uttered Garrison. (3, page 74)
Medical annalist Thomas Lindsley Bradford, in his 1898 main division “Quiz questions on the recital of medicine said that his of medicine treaties was a “test of Latin education, and of a liberal education, because if the student was familiar by Celsus he received the purest Latin of the Augustinian Age.” (5, page 33)

Along with his writings steady medicine and surgery, he also described the annals of medicine, giving descriptions of past 72 medical authors, although all be delivered of been lost except for the works of Hippocrates. He to boot provides us with the most scrupulous account of medicine at the time of Jesus, describing as well-as; not only-but also; not only-but; not alone-but the Dogmatic and the Empiric Schools of drug. (3, page 74)(5, page 33)

Celsus defended the model that anatomy was important in healing art, so he was definitely not every Empiric who did not support the concept that anatomy was important to medicine. Despite this, “his knowledge of structural form was somewhat superficial.” (5, page 33)  Some affirmation he more fittingly belonged to the eclectic school, or a combination of oracular and empiric. (7, page 6)

Regardless of in what manner he was perceived in the spent, Celsus remains an important figure in our narrative of asthma. It is thanks to him that we learn the sort of physicians knew about asthma during the time of Jesus.

As a healing writer Celsus emulated Hippocrates, and intellect of his books are word by means of word transcriptions from the “Hippocratic Corpus.”  In reality, Celsus did this so often that common later author, Nicholas Mondaris, referred to him in the same manner with the “Ape of Hippocrates” or the “Latin Hippocrates.” (1, pages 259-61)(7, serving-boy 5)

The Treaties on Medicine written by Celsus would become the first
medical treaties printed forward the Gutenberg Printing Press.
 It would fare on to pass through more editions than
some other scientific treaties.  

Yet he incorporated into his treaties the latest profundity of his day, plus some of his confess ideas. This is clearly evident in his writings put ~ asthma.
When asthma was first defined by Hippocrates in 400 B.C., it was often difficult to distinguish between the causes of dyspnea, and consequently they were grouped under the umbrella ~inus asthma. Thus, all that caused dyspnea were referred to since asthma.
Celsus, on the other employee, believed asthma was more than honest dyspnea, and for this reason he supposing us with our first description of asthma taken in the character of more than simply a blanket term.

Celsus wrote the following:

Est etiam circa posterior part of the mouth malum, quod apud Gracos aliud aliudque nomen habet. Orane in difflcultate spirandi consistit; sed haec dum modica est, neque ex toto strangulat, appellator. Cum vehementior est, ut spirare aeger sine sono et anhelatione non possit; cum accessit id quoque, ne nisi recta cervice spiritus trahatur. (4, boy-servant 10) By the above, which is taken from John Charles Thorowgood 1890 volume “Asthma and Chronic Bronchitis,” we learn that Celsus believed in that place were three thoracic disorders that resulted in controversy of breathing, and they varied through their “degree of violence”:

Dyspnea:  Moderate, unsuffocative breathing lacking a wheeze; it’s chronic

Asthma:  Vehement longing that is sonorous and wheezing; it’s distressing

Orthopnea:  Breathing only takes post in an erect position; it’s penetrating (1, pages 259-61) (4, serving-boy 10)

By the order above, Celsus implies that asthma is the “medium” level of difficulty of breathing, by dyspnea being less severe than asthma, and orthopnea vital principle more severe than asthma. (4, boy-servant 10)

He was also the foremost to describe asthma as a peculiar condition involving constriction of the open atmosphere passages in the lungs, and he was moreover the first to describe a breathe hard. He described an attack of asthma this tendency of action:

The symptoms common to these are, that up~ the body account of the constriction of the respiratory clause, the breath is emitted with a sibilous tumult (whistle or wheeze), there is uneasiness in the chest and precordia (through the heart), sometimes also in the shoulder; and that sometimes departs, sometimes returns; in etc. to these a slight cough accedes. (1, pages 260)

His remedies notwithstanding asthma included any of the following:

Blood letting (belonging to all remedy for just about any disorder)

Milk (to relax the bowels)

Purging of the midst with enemas (clysters) or injections whether or not necessary

Hydromel (honey diluted in supply with ~ )

Head must be kept high in em~

Thorax relieved by fomentations (warm, damp medicinal compress)

Thorax relieved by choleric cataplasms (a heated medical dressing, both dry or moist)

Malagma (lotion or heal) or iris ointment after fomentations and cataplasms (these act in the same manner with emollients to soften skin to move chest movements easier)

Hydromel as a drink (farrago of water and honey)

Bruised root of capers has been boiled

Nitre or unblemished cresses fried, bruised, then mixed up by honey and given as electuary (parole, by mouth)

Honey, galbanum, and turpentine resin boiled unitedly and, when they are coalesced to the largeness of a bean, dissolved under the language daily

Impure sulfur or southernwood triturated in the same place in a glass of wine and sipped sunny

Fox’s liver dried, hardened and pounded into a levigate and sprinkled on a drink (like as wine)

Eating the fresh, roasted lungs of a fox (no more than you can’t cook it with iron utensils)

Gruels (watery porridge) and lenitive food

Light austere wine

Sometimes a puke (Emetics)

Anything that promotes urine (diuretics practise you pee, but they probably believed they were abounding of poisons that caused the humors to exist imbalanced)

Gentle walking (nothing more) 

Massage (he referred to it to the degree that friction; it’s done to instigate poisons around the body to comparison the humors and to make alive easier) (1, pages 259-61)

While more of these were later proven to take medical significance, most were simply palliative, and some were downright barbaric.  Still, his ideas were well-versed and followed for many years hinder his death.

We asthmatics should exist thankful to Celsus for spearheading — be it so he didn’t know it at the time — a 3,000 year attempt to define asthma as a complaint of its own. You can decide toward yourself if you’d have been satisfied with his remedies for your asthma,  or granting that you would rather have just stayed home and suffered.


Celsus, Aurelius Cornelius, “De Medicina,” translated ~ dint of. L. Targa, London, pages xiiv-xxiii, “The Life of Cornelius Aurelius Celsus,” ~ means of J. Rhodius and translated from Almeloveen’s Lugduni Batavorum

Parr, Bartholomew Par, M.D., “The London Medical Dictionary,” 1809, London, Vol. 1, pages 425-5

Garrison, Fielding Hudson, “An preliminary part to the history of medicine: through medical chronology, Bibliographic data and touchstone questions,” 1913, Philadelphia and London, W.B. Saunders society

Thorowgood, John C., “Asthma and Chronic Bronchitis: A New Edition of Notes attached Asthma and Bronchial Asthma,” 1894, London, Bailliere, Tyndall, & Cox

Bradford, Thomas Lindsley, scribe, Robert Ray Roth, editor, “Quiz questions in c~tinuance the history of medicine from the lectures of Thomas Lindley Bradford M.D.,” 1898, Philadelphia, Hohn Joseph McVey

Celcus, Aurelius Cornelius, “The Eight Books of up~ Medicine of Aurelius Cornelius Celsus through a Literal and Interlineal Translation steady the Principles on the Hamiltonian System Adapted with respect to Students in Medicine,” volume II, 1830, London 

Bell, John, editor, “Retrospection in Medicine,” The Eclectic Journal of Medicine, November, 1836, volume 1, number 1, Philadelphia, Haswell, Barrington, and Haswell

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