Theophilus Protospatharius: Byzantine forerunner of urology

Here we present the ‘Abstract‘ of the corresponding paper by Androutsos G.


Theophilus Protospatharius was a physician in the court of the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius (610-641). His interesting medical manuscripts have been studied by many historians, although very little is known about his life. In Byzantium it was not unusual for prominent people to have many surnames according to their work, political status etc. For his piety two surnames were given to Theophilus : Philotheus (the person who loves god) and Philaretus (Virtuous). These last surnames gave rise to confusion and historians believed that two different medical men lived in Byzantium during the seventh century. Theophilus and Philaretus. This probably was the result of an error in the copies of ancient codes and erroneous translations to the old Latin manuscripts. These errors have been corrected after the studies of Corlieu who stated in 1885 that Theophilus and Philaretus were the same person. The written work left by Theophilus is very extensive. He continued the work of famous physicians of the Hellenistic period and contributed by his writings to the flourishing of the Medical School of Salerno which was founded on the 9th century D.C. Theophilus could be considered as one of the original forerunners of modern Urology.



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