A time to extract and a time to compile: the therapeutic compendium tablet BM 78963

Justin Johnson, Henry Stadhouders

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The medical compendium BM 78963 presents us with a series of extracts drawn, in part, from standard handbooks for the treatment of digestive and intestinal difficulties as well as diseases of the oesophagus and lungs, two distinct forms of the suālu-disease, respiratory diseases like šīqu and uq(q)u and concludes with a rather involved case history (a combination of strangury, kidney and anus ailments, combined with two types of fever), and a man vomiting up blood. There are clear indications it was not simply of academic or intellectual interest, but rather was oriented to practical use in real world therapeutic procedures. This practical orientation is particularly visible in (i) its use of exact measurements for the ingredients in its recipes, (ii) elaborate descriptions of the processes of ingestion (including taking a medicine in several doses, sucking on lozenges and the like), and (iii) a series of global comments interspersed throughout the text that speak to the origin, domain of use or effectiveness of individual recipes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMesopotamian medicine and magic
Subtitle of host publicationstudies in honor of Markham J. Geller
EditorsStrahil V. Panayotov, Luděk Vacín, Gene Trabich
Place of PublicationLeiden
Number of pages67
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-04-36808-8
ISBN (Print)978-90-04-36806-4
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameAncient Magic and Divination
ISSN (Print)1566-7952


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