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Paul of aegina

Paul of Aegina

(Science: person) He was the last and the most famous of all the byzantine physicians.

He remained in Alexandria after the arabic invasions. His writings and his works particularly influenced the Arabians who studied and translated them. He studied and practiced at Alexandria and also at Rome.

He wrote a medical encyclopaedia in seven books. Paul of Aegina is best known for his surgical diagnoses and techniques. He wrote extensively on bites and stings, which in general consisted of sucking the wound, cupping, and application of hot wine, onions and theriacs. For example: listen to this instructions for herniorrhaphy:

One makes an incision the length of three fingers' width in the inguinal region above the (hernia) swelling. One separates the skin and the fat (from the wound) and exposes the peritoneum, and then pushes aside the intestines with the tip of a sound. The bulges of the peritoneum, which are formed on the two sides of the wound (hernia), are united with sutures, after the wound (hernia) is withdrawn. One does not cut the peritoneum or touch the testicle, but one proceeds simply to the treatment of the wound (hernia).

This surgical description is not vastly different from our current described methods, and is much superior to the Arabian meth 660 od of applying the glowing cautery to the inguinal region.

The medical encyclopaedia (seven books) of paul of Aegina has been of particular importance to us, as it presents information relative to surgical progress since the time of Celsus.

Lived: 625-690.


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