The goal of Maddalena Rumor’s doctoral research is to prove the hypothesis that some elements of Assyro-Babylonian medicine and pharmacology may be present in the medical/pharmacological literature of the Early Roman Empire (1st-2nd centuries CE).


In so doing, it seeks to identify textual connections or interactions that can confirm this hypothesis, ultimately supporting the idea of a transfer of medical knowledge between the two cultures. With this purpose in mind, the study is conducted specifically by analysing the ancient application of a peculiar class of medical ingredients, generally labelled by historians of ancient medicine with the term Dreckapotheke.

The importance of the findings for the history of ancient medicine, and in broader terms, for the history of ancient science, consists in the contribution that these bring to a broader reconstruction of the historical/social context, which is essential for our understanding of how ideas circulated, how they developed, created a tradition, and eventually were transmitted in the ancient world.