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STUDIES IN THE AGE OF CHAUCER Finally, Vantuono's glossary supplies pertinent data "for every form of every word, with specific grammatical elements noted in every instance" (1:xiv), not the etymological roots of words. Furthermore, bracketed words-Middle English headwords-direct the reader's attention to the appropriate reference in the OED and the MED; in many instances the medieval pronunciation of words is indicated by brackets following indi­ vidual entries. Although the editor's scrupulous attention to detail is indeed admirable, his deletion of "common words" (2:449�55) from the glossary mars an otherwise exemplary effort. Despite this reviewer's qualified praise for the introductory essay on Patience and Gawain, the bibliographic citations, and the glossary, Van­ tuono has produced the most comprehensive edition of the Pearl poet's works, a true lodestar for scholars and students of medieval literature. ROBERTJ. BLANCH Northeastern University LINDA E. VOIGTS and MICHAEL R. McVAUGH. A Latin Technical Phle­ botomy and Its Middle English Translation. Vol. 74, Pt. 2, 1984. Philadelphia, Pa.: American Philosophical Society, 1984. Pp. 69. $10.00. The present volume contains aLatin technicalbloodlettingmanual written about 1225 and ascribed to the Montpellier physician Henry ofWinchester and a Middle English translation made about 1400 and comprising part of a medical miscellany now Cambridge, Gonville and Caius College MS 176/97. These texts, along with a synopsis of their contents, an appendix with another Middle English phlebotomy, a glossary of certain Middle English words, and three miniatures showing the process of venesection, and bloodletting men account for the second half of Voigts' and McVaugh's monograph. The first thirty-four pages consist of a detailed discussion of bloodletting as a medical technique and of the texts themselves. "Of Phlebotomie" instructs its users in the art of letting blood-since the four humours are contained in the blood-to prevent or control an excessive concentration of a particular humour leading to illness. It also 260 REVIEWS indicates for which diseases, for example, gout and certain fevers, phle­ botomy is indicated as well as appropriate times of the year in which to perform it. Thissmallbook will be thestandardwork on the subject for sometime to come. The introductorymatter, togetherwiththetexts, givesaclearideaof phlebotomy and is logically presented and well documented, showing the authors' wide reading in the medical literature ofthe late Middle Ages. As far as is possible to judge without having compared their transcriptions with the originals, Voigts and McVaugh were very careful and rational editors, adhering closely to the rather unsettled orthography ofthe Middle English, for example, yet not putting an excessive amount of apparatus between the reader and the text. There are about one thousand works on medicine in Middle English. The authors classify this material into treatises which are essentially aca­ demic and those which are remedy books intended for popular audiences. It is to the former class that "Of Phlebotomie" belongs, though, inter­ estmgly, the Middle English text seems to have been translated from the Latin academic original by a certain Austin for Thomas Plouden, d. 1413, a London barber-surgeon. The editors claim that "Of Phlebotomie" can teach us much about the problems which Middle English translators faced in dealing with technical or scientific Latin works, and perhaps this is true, though the work could profit from a longer discussion of this point to support their contention. Voigts and McVaugh show very well, however, the way medieval phle­ botomy developed from a debased Hippocratic and Galenic medical tradi­ tion. Indeed, there are vestiges ofGreek terminology in "OfPhlebotomie" in words like "apofresis" for the technique of successive bloodlettings. "Henry of Winchester" shows a knowledge of Constantine Africanus's Pantechni and Megatechni in his discussion ofthe veins ofthe arm and of the different sorts offevers aided by phlebotomy. Curiously, Constantine was a rather old-fashioned source for the period in which the Latin text was composed, and even more so for that ofthe translation. Its editors feel that the English academic tradition was not as up to date as that of the Continent and that the English universities had far less regulatory power over practitioners than had Continental ones. Thus texts of a somewhat outmoded type might be quite current in an...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1949-0755
Print ISSN
0190-2407
Pages
pp. 260-262
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-03
Open Access
No
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