Oribasius (fourth century) and early Byzantine perinatal nutrition

Here we present the ‘Abstract‘ of the corresponding paper by Lascaratos J, Poulakou-Rebelakou E.



The purpose of the study is the investigation of perinatal nutrition in the early Byzantine period.


The original Greek language works of the celebrated physician of the fourth century, Oribasius, were studied.


The first Byzantine author who studied perinatal nutrition, Oribasius, provided his own concepts about the topic, focusing on the suitable choice of wet nurse and evaluation of the quality of the milk. His research proves that physicians from early Byzantine times were greatly interested in perinatal nutrition. He was aware of the knowledge of eminent ancient Greek and Roman physicians, whose extracts he quoted and opinions he generally followed.


The study concludes that concepts of perinatal nutrition in the early Byzantine period followed those of the Hippocratic, Hellenistic, and Roman periods. The early Byzantine physicians then influenced later Byzantine and Arab physicians, and afterward, their research was introduced to European medicine.

(Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12548052)


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