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Toxicology in Antiquity is the first in a series of short format works covering key accomplishments, scientists, and events in the broad field of toxicology, including environmental health and chemical safety. This first volume sets the tone for the series and starts at the very beginning, historically speaking, with a look at toxicology in ancient times. The book explains that before scientific research methods were developed, toxicology thrived as a very practical discipline. People living in ancient civilizations readily learned to distinguish safe substances from hazardous ones, how to avoid these hazardous substances, and how to use them to inflict harm on enemies. It also describes scholars who compiled compendia of toxic agents.
- Provides the historical background for understanding modern toxicology
- Illustrates the ways ancient civilizations learned to distinguish safe from hazardous substances, how to avoid the hazardous substances and how to use them against enemies
- Details scholars who compiled compendia of toxic agents
About the Author
Philip Wexler retired from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) after a long and eminent federal career in its Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program. While there, he participated in and led intra- and inter-agency teams in the development, enhancement, and maintenance of a broad array of toxicology databases, taking advantage of continuously evolving information technologies. He collaborated on the development of the World Library of Toxicology, the ToxLearn educational tutorial, the Toxicology History Room, and the Toxicology History Association. Mr. Wexler served as Editor-in-Chief for all five editions of Information Resources in Toxicology and served in the same role for editions 1-3 of the Encyclopedia of Toxicology, and the ongoing monographic series, History of Toxicology and Environmental Health, all Elsevier publications. A 4th edition of the Encyclopedia is being planned. In addition, he is co-editor of the book, Chemicals, Environment, Health: A Global Management Perspective and the journal, Global Security: Health Science and Policy, both published by Taylor and Francis. He has authored numerous technical journal articles related to toxicology informatics, education, communications, and history, and chaired sessions, lectured and taught widely on these subjects throughout the globe. Mr. Wexler has been a strong advocate of toxicology public outreach and has organized events at various venues to enhance the public's understanding of the role of toxicology in society and people's lives. He is a trustee of the Toxicology Education Foundation and past chair of the Society of Toxicology's World Wide Web Advisory Team. He is a recipient of the NLM Regents Award for Scholarly or Technical Achievement, the Society of Technical Communications's Distinguished Technical Communication Award, and the Society of Toxicology's Public Communications Award.
Table of Contents1. Toxicology in Ancient Egypt
2. The Death of Cleopatra: Suicide by Snakebite or Poisoned by Her Enemies?
3. Mithradates of Pontus and His University Antidote
4. Theriac Magna: The Glorious Cure-All Remedy
5. Nicander, Theriaka and Alexipharmaka: Venoms, Poisons and Literature
6. Alexander the Great: A Questionable Death
7. Harmful Botanicals
8. The Case Against Socrates and His Execution
9. The Oracle at Delphi: The Pythia and the Pneuma, Intoxicating Gas Finds and Hypotheses
10. The Ancient Gates to Hell and Their Relevance to Geogenic CO2
11. Lead Poisoning and the Downfall of Rome
12. Poisons, Poisoning and Poisoners in Ancient Rome