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On this page: Medimnus – Meditrinalia – Medix Tuticus



"by him to have received one hundred talents for curing king Antiochus, which (if we suppose the Attic talents of the standard of Alexander's coin­age to be meant, which, according to Hussey, was worth 243<?. 155.) would amount to 24,375<f.* It peems to have been not uncommon among the Greeks in those times (as afterwards in the later Roman empire, see archiater) for states to maintain physicians, who were paid at the public cost (Xen. Mem. iv. 2. § 5 ; Plato, Gorg. § 23 ; Strabo, iv. p. 125 ; Diod, Sic. xii. 13); and these again had attendants, for the most part slaves, who exercised their calling among people of low condi­tion. (Plato, De Leg. iv. p. 720, ed. Steph.)

The Romans derived their knowledge of me­dicine at first from the Etruscans, and afterwards from the Greeks. One of the most ancient cus­toms at Rome in order to ward off epidemic dis­eases, and to appease the anger of the gods, was the interrogating the books bought by Tarquin of the Sibyl. In the earlier times of the Roman republic physicians are said by Pliny to have been unknown (ff. N. xxix. 5) ; and for some time afterwards the exercise of the profession was in a great measure confined to persons of servile rank ; for the richer families having slaves who were skilled in all sorts of trades, &c., generally pos­sessed one or more that understood medicine and surgery. (Middleton's Essay, De Medicorum apud Romanos degentium Conditione, Cantab. 1726, 4to. and the various answers to it that appeared on its publication.) To this practice, however, there were many exceptions, e.g. the physician who was taken prisoner with Julius Caesar by the pirates at the island of Pharmacusa (Sueton. J. Caes. 4), and who is called his friend by Plutarch (see Casaubon's note on Sueton.); Archagathus, who being the first foreign surgeon that settled at Rome, had a shop bought for him at the public expense, and was presented with the Jus Quiritium b. c. 219 (Cassius Hemina, ap. Plin. H. N. xxix. 6); Artorius, who is known to have been a phy­sician (Gael. Aurel. De Morb. Acut. iii. 14. p. 224), and who is called the friend of Augustus (Plut. Brut. 41), where, however, it should be noticed that some editions read ^hvr&vios instead of 'Aprdopios) • Asclapo, whom Cicero calls his friend (ad Fain. xiii. 20) ; Asclepiades, the friend of Crassus the orator (Cic. de Orat. i. 14); Eude-mus, who is called by Tacitus (Annal. iv. 3) the friend and physician of Livia; and others. The hatred borne by Cato the Censor against the Greek physicians as well as the Greek philosophers at Rome is well known; but it is not true that he caused them to be expelled from Rome. (See Sprengcl, Hist, de la Med.) With respect to the income made by eminent physicians in the early times of Rome, the writer is not aware of any data for ascertaining it; at the beginning of the empire, we learn from Pliny (PI. N. xxix. 5) that Albutius, Arruntius, Calpetanus, Cassius, and Ru-brius gained 250,000 sesterces per annum, i. e. (reckoning with Hussey the mille nummi (sesier-tium) to be worth, after the reign of Augustus, 71. 16s. 3d.) 1953/. 2s. 6d.; that Q. Stertinius made it a favour that he was content to receive

* If, however, the Alexandrian standard, which is found in the coins of the Ptolemies, be meant, it would amount (reckoning the drachma as Is. to 39,375/.; an almost incredible sum.


from the emperor 500,000 sesterces per annum (or 39067. 5s.), as he might have made 600,000 sesterces (or 46871. 105.) by his private practice ; and that he and his brother, who received tho same annual income from the emperor Claudius, left between them at their death, notwithstanding large sums that they had spent in beautifying the city of Naples, the sum of thirty millions of ses­terces (or 234,375/.).

Of the previous medical education necessary to qualify a physician at Rome for the legal practice of his profession in the early times, we know no­thing; afterwards, however, this was under the superintendence of the archiatri. [archiater.]

Two other medical titles that we meet with under the emperors were latrosopJiista (see the word) and Actuarius, 'Atcrovdptos. The latter was a title at the court ojf Constantinople, given appa­ rently only to physicians, and quite distinct from the use of the word found in the earlier Latin authors. (See Du Cange, Gloss. Grace, vol. i. p. 46, and Possini, Gloss, ad Pachymer. Hist. An- droniei,VQ\. i. p. 366, &c. and vol. ii. pp. 468, 469.) Besides Joannes the son of Zacharias, who is better known by his title of Actuarius than by his real name, several other physicians are recorded as having arrived at this dignity. [W. A. G.]

MEDIMNUS ({JieSipvos or juefojuj/os owjpSs), the principal dry measure of the Greeks. It was used especially for measuring corn. It contained 6 hectes, 12 Jiemiecta^ 48 choenices, 96 testae (setf~ fara), 192 cotylae, and 1152 cydtJii. The Attic medimnus was equal to six Roman modii, or two amphorae (Nepos, Att. 2 ; Cic. in Verr. iii. 45, 4(>, 49 ; Suidas, s. v. ; Rhemn. Fann. v. 64.)

Suiclas makes the mediinnus= 108 litrae, con­ founding it apparently with the metretes, the chief Greek fluid measure, which was three quarters of the medimnus. The medimnus contained nearly 12 imperial gallons, or 1^- bushel. This was the Attic medimnus ; the Aeginetan and Ptolemaic was half as much again, or in the ratio of 3 : 2 to the Attic. For the values of the subdivisions of the medimnus see the Tables. (Bb'ckh, Melrol. Untcr- such. pp. 202—204.) [P. S.J

MEDITRINALIA was one of the festivals connected with the cultivation of vineyards. It took place on the eleventh of October, on which day the people of Latium began to taste their now wine (inustuni), and to offer libations of it to the gods. In drinking the new wine it was customary to pronounce the words: " vetus novum viinun bibo, novo veteri morbo medeor." (Varro, de Liwj. Lat. vi. 21 ; Festus, s. v. Meditrinalia.) Varro derives the name of the festival from the healing power of the new wine, but Festus speaks of a goddess Meditrina. [L. S.j

MEDIX TUTICUS, the name of the supreme magistrate among the Oscan people. Medina ap­pears to have signified a magistrate of any kind (meddix apud Oscos nomen magistratus est, Festus, s. v. p. 123, ed. Miiller), and tuticus to have been equivalent to magnus or summus. Livy, therefore, in calling the medix tuticus the summus magis-tratus, gives a literal translation of the word. In the time of the second Punic war, the Campanians were governed by the medix tuticus, who seems to have been elected annually (Liv. xxiii. 35, xxiv. 19, xxvi. 6); and we may infer from a line of Ennius (apud Fest. s. v.\ " Summus ibi capitur meddix, occiditur alter," that there was anothef

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