The Vienna Papyrus, is also known by a variety of other names, such as:
Although the Vienna medical papyrus was written around 200 AD (and thus not really an ancient Egyptian papyrus) its main importance is that it is actual a composite of ALL other Egyptian medical knowledge from before when.
“The Medical Papyrus is the only document of its kind which could be identified among the scientific material that has survived from the temple library of Suchos. It is not without interest for the history of ancient Egyptian medicine, in particular for medical practice in Hellenistic times.LANGUAGE
The language of papyrus is the language of the Egyptian people (200 AD) during the Greco-Roman era, with the actual script itself being the Demotic (used at the time) as oppose to Roman alphabet.
“Headings of prescriptions were in many respects retained in their original wording which comes to such an extent that even prepositions with their use in the Middle Egyptian have been retained. Also a good number of idiomatic expressions of earlier date recur there with their original spellings . . . Names of ingredients, however, show much that is new; many of those which are familiar to us from the texts of Pharaonic date were replaced, perhaps under the influence of new medical practice, or by combining traditions. In this respect our papyrus as a scientific document reveals much that is new, and hitherto unparalleled in medical works of earlier date. On the whole it is an invaluable contribution for the richness of its technical vocabulary. Of special importance are Demotic transliterations of Greek names of plants and metals.”
The Papyrus Itself:
The Papyrus itself (what’s left of it) is not really a scroll so much as a bunch of bits and pieces:
“This roll of papyrus is made up from a material of very fine and good quality, transparent, medium brown in color, changing into pale brown, with darkish patches, and with smooth surface. All the sheets of papyrus from which this roll was composed, show trends of the same manufacturing which is of high standard, . . . The Demotic writing shows in all the fragments in question features which are identical to such an extent that it is possible to conclude that the were written by a single hand.” . . . In its present state of preservation the Medical Book in question consists of 16 partly preserved columns of text . . . The text is only recorded on the recto of the papyrus.”DATING:
“The external features of this roll of papyrus, and the evidence in the palacegraphy of its writing suggests the second part of the 2nd A.D . . . [However] the date of the original text [that this is a copy of] seems to go back to the 6th century B.C. The tendency to codify manuscripts of earlier date into one composite whole is manifest in Egyptian medical and magical texts of all times of history; they are in general heterogenous compositions drawn from various sources. These trends are applicable to the Fayyum Medical Book."
Quiz - Can you locate all five MSY mentions
Pharm., No. 76 = Medical Cannabis
- Specifically page 76, states a Cannabis mention on plate XIV, Line 24 ; this should read plate XIV, Line 23. Also while a modern day drawing (using the Roman alphabet) of plate XIV is provided, somehow or another, in the section showing photographs of the original, a totally different image has been substituted with no original shown. [but with this authors bad spell + grammar abilities, I should speak]
- Suchos is also spelled as Sobek Sobeq, Sebek, Sochet, his usually depicted as being half man half alligator and was the God of water.
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