Event Details

The Uses of Plants in Medicine in Ancient Greece and Rome

Fully booked

RCPE Lecture Edinburgh

Date: Wednesday, 18 October 2017


Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
9 Queen Street


Speaker: Dr Gavin Hardy (University of Edinburgh)

Plants have always played a prominent role in the field of medicine since the first recorded examples. From Dioscorides, a Greek physician and botanist who wrote extensively on the subject, to Hippocrates, "the father of modern medicine", medical practitioners of the ancient world recognised the importance of herbal remedies and embraced them.

Understanding of the uses and side-effects of plants in medicine underpins much of medicine today, but how was this knowledge originally gleaned thousands of years ago?

This talk will investigate the history of plants in medicine during the time of the Ancient Greeks and Romans, giving numerous examples of the plants used, adverse effects and the folk-lore invented to discourage the layperson from discovering this knowledge and collecting the herbs themselves. Examples of illuminated manuscripts of herbals from the sixth century until the appearance of printed herbals beautifully illustrates this exploration of plants and practitioners at the birth of modern medicine.

This event is part of the Edinburgh History of Medicine Group, a collaboration with the University of Edinburgh.

You can register for this lecture here on Eventbrite.

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This event begins at 4.30pm and ends at 5.30pm.

You can register for this lecture here on Eventbrite.

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This event is free.

You can register for this lecture here on Eventbrite.

Further information is available from:

Iain Milne


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Further Info


As a listed building, the College has restricted disabled access. A wheelchair lift is provided at the rear of the College giving access to the main historic rooms. For further information and assistance please contact the RCPE Co-ordinator responsible for the event.

Accommodation and Directions to the College

The College has negotiated special rates with a number of local hotels.

Interactive map and directions

Download pdf map and directions

Bicycle racks are available for cyclists at the door to 8 Queen Street. For access to further bicycle racks, please ask at reception.

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