Paul of Aegina (Byzantine Greek Physician)

Paul of Aegina Demographics:
  • Name - Paul of Aegina or Paulus Aegineta
  • Other Names - Iatrosophistes & Periodeutes
  • Birth - 625? (Island of Aegina)
  • Death - 690?
  • Occupation - 7th-century Byzantine Greek physician.
Paul of Aegina Basic Facts:
  • Wrote the medical encyclopedia Medical Compendium in Seven Books.
  • Very little is known about his life.
  • The exact time when he lived is not known.
  • He quotes Alexander of Tralles and is quoted by Yahya ibn Sarafyun.
  • Said to have travelled a great deal, including a visit to Alexandria for studies.
  • Reported to have been educated at the University of Alexandria.
  • Known as a highly skilled physician especially regarding surgery & gynaecology.
Paul of Aegina Medical Compendium in Seven Books:
  • Latin: De Re Medica Libri Septem.
  • A compilation mostly from earlier medical writers.
  • During his time, the Medical Compendium contained the sum of all Western medical knowledge.
  • The sixth book on surgery was referenced widely in Europe & the Arab world, throughout the Middle Ages.
  • The 6th book also has a special place in surgical history, as many of the comments are based on personal observation. [see quote below]
Paul of Aegina Other Works:
  • "De Mulierum Morbis"
  • "De Puerulorum Vivendi Ratione atque Curatione"
Paul of Aegina Quote:
"It will often happen in eating that fishbones or other objects may be swallowed and get caught in some part of the throat. If they can be seen they should be removed with the forceps designed for that purpose. Where they are deeper, some recommend that the patient should swallow large mouthfuls of bread or other such food. Others recommend that a clean soft sponge of small circumference to which a string is attached be swallowed, and then drawn out by means of the string. This should be repeated until the bone or other object gets caught in the sponge and is drawn out. If the patient is seen immediately after eating, and the swallowed object is not visible, vomiting should be brought on by means of a finger in the throat or irritation with the feather, and then not infrequently the swallowed object will be brought up with the vomit."
Quote about Paul of Aegina:
"... he had special experience in women's diseases, and had devoted himself to them with great industry and success. The midwives of the time were accustomed to go to him and ask his counsel with regard to accidents that happen during and after parturition. He willingly imparted his information, and told them what they should do. For this reason he came to be known as the Obstetrician." ~ Arab writer, Abul Farag

Posted by ALCHEssMIST.
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