An Interactive Annotated World Bibliography of Printed and Digital Works in the History of Medicine and the Life Sciences from Circa 2000 BCE to 2022 by Fielding H. Garrison (1870-1935), Leslie T. Morton (1907-2004), and Jeremy M. Norman (1945- ) Traditionally Known as “Garrison-Morton”

16018 entries, 14076 authors and 1941 subjects. Updated: July 14, 2024

ARETAEUS OF CAPPADOCIA, (Ἀρεταῖος Καππάδοκος)

2 entries
  • 6976

Libri septem, nunc primum e tenebris eruti a Junio Paulo Crasso Patavino accuratissime in Latinum sermonem versi. Ruffi Ephesii medici clarissimi, De corporis humani partium appelationibus libri tres.

Venice: apud Iuntas, 1552.

Aretaeus, a Greek physician who lived during the reign of Nero or Vespasian, wrote a general treatise on diseases which displays great accuracy in the detail of symptoms, and is of great value in the diagnosis of disease. His work, written in Ionic Greek, survived in relatively complete form. It consists of 8 books, the Latin translation of the titles of which are De causis et signis acutorum morborum (2 books), De causis et signis diuturnorum morborum (2 books), De curatione acutorum morborum (2 books), and De curatione diuturnorum morborum (2 books). Aretaeus's works were first published in Latin translation by Junius Paulus Crassus (Giunio Paolo Grassi) along with Grassi's translation of Rufus of Ephesus, in 1552. Rufus's work is the earliest treatise on the anatomical nomenclature of the human body. Digital facsimile from Google Books at this link.

Aretaeus's Greek text was first published in Paris by classical scholar and printer Adrianus Turnebus (Adrien Turnèbe or Tournebeuf) in 1554.Though the editor of that edition is unidentified, the work has been attributed to Jacques Goupyl. In 1723 a major edition in folio was published at the Clarendon press at Oxford, edited by John Wigan, containing an improved text, a new Latin version, learned dissertations and notes, and a copious index by Michel Maittaire. In 1731, Herman Boerhaave brought out a new annotated edition, of which the text and Latin version had been printed before the appearance of Wigan's; this edition contained annotations by Pierre Petit and Daniel Wilhelm Triller, as well as all the notes in Wigan's edition. The edition by C. G. Kühn, Leipzig 1828, included Wigan's text, Latin version, dissertations, etc., together with Petit's commentary, Triller's emendations, and Maittaire's index.The more recent standard edition is by Karl Hude (1860–1936) in the Corpus medicorum graecorum (2nd ed., Berlin, Akademie-Verlag, 1958, online at this link.The four books, De causis et signis, were published in an annotated bilingual edition in Greek and French, Arétée de Cappadoce, Des causes et des signes des maladies aiguës et chroniques, trans. R.T.H. Laennec, ed. and comm. Mirko D. Grmek, pref. by Danielle Gourevitch, Geneva, 2000.


Subjects: ANCIENT MEDICINE › Greece, ANCIENT MEDICINE › Roman Empire
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  • 2433
  • 3162
  • 3163
  • 3612
  • 3925
  • 4484
  • 4510
  • 4808
  • 4915
  • 5046
  • 5089
  • 5146

Тα ∑ωζομενα. The extant works of Aretaeus, the Cappadocian. Edited and translated by Francis Adams.

London: Sydenham Society, 1856.

Aretaeus left many fine descriptions of disease; in fact Garrison ranks him second only to Hippocrates in this respect. In the printed editions of this bibliography, before the present online version, the Adams edition was cited no less than 12 times for individual diseases, plus its first citation in "Collected Works" (No. 22.) This number of citations is, of course, greater than any other specific work by any other author, though the number of citations may be a reflection of idiosyncracies of the compilers rather than a proportionate measure of the significance of Aretaeus in the history of medicine. The citations are as follows:


3162. On angina, or quinsey. In his Extant works, ed. F. Adams, 249-52, 404-07.

3163. On pleurisy. In his Extant works, ed. F. Adams, 255-58, 410-16.

2433. On elephas, or elephantiasis. In his Extant works, ed. by F. Adams, 366-73, 494-98. Classic description of “elephantiasis Aretaei”, nodous leprosy.

5046. On ulcerations about the tonsils. In hiis Extant works, ed. F. Adams, 253-55. Aretaeus’s description of ulcerations about the tonsils, which he called “ulcera Syrica”, clearly referred to diphtheria, of which it was the first unmistakable description. For his treatment of the disease, see pp. 409-10 of the same work.

5089. On dysentery. In his Extant works, ed. F. Adams. 353-57. Prior to Lösch’s discovery of E. histolytica, all forms of dysentery were differentiated only on clinical grounds.

4915. Extant works. Ed. F. Adams. Aretaeus wrote important accounts of melancholy (298-300, 473-78) and madness (301-04).

5146. On tetanus. In his Extant works, ed. F. Adams,  246-49, 400-04. Aretaeus left a full account of tetanus.

4484,  On arthritis and sciatica. In his Extant works, ed. by F. Adams,  362-65, 492-93,

3612. On jaundice, or icterus. In his Extant works, ed F. Adams, 324-28.

4510. On paralysis. In his Extant works, ed. F. Adams.

4808. On epilepsy, in his Extant works, ed F. Adams,  243, 296, 399, 468. Aretaeus was well acquainted with hemi-epilepsy from local injury in the opposite half of the brain; partly from this knowledge he formulated the “decussation in the form of the letter X” of the motor path. He first described epilepsy resulting from a depressed fracture of the skull. In his excellent description he made the first mention of the aura.

3925. On diabetes.In his Extant works, ed. F. Adams. 338-40, 485-86. The first accurate account of diabetes, to which Aretaeus gave its present name; he insisted on the part which thirst plays in the symptomatology. 

According to the Wikipedia article on Headache, Aretaeus also provied the first recorded classification system for headaches: "He made a distinction between three different types of headache: i) cephalalgia, by which he indicates a shortlasting, mild headache; ii) cephalea, referring to a chronic type of headache; and iii) heterocrania, a paroxysmal headache on one side of the head." 

Digital facsimile of Adams's Greek and Latin edition from the Internet Archive at this link.


Subjects: ANCIENT MEDICINE › Greece, ANCIENT MEDICINE › Roman Empire, Collected Works: Opera Omnia, HEPATOLOGY › Diseases of the Liver, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › Bacillary Dysentery, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › Diphtheria, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › Leprosy, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › Tetanus, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › VECTOR-BORNE DISEASES › Mosquito-Borne Diseases › Lymphatic Filariasis (Elephantiasis), Medicine: General Works, Metabolism & Metabolic Disorders › Diabetes, NEUROLOGY › Chronic Pain › Headache, NEUROLOGY › Chronic Pain › Sciatica, NEUROLOGY › Epilepsy, NEUROLOGY › Paralysis, PSYCHIATRY, RESPIRATION › Respiratory Diseases, RHEUMATOLOGY › Arthritis