"Combining, Mixing and Searching New Properties: Compound Medicines" - 13th-15th January 2011, Paris

Combining, Mixing and Searching New Properties: Compound Medicines

January 13th-15th 2011 – CNRS / Univ. Paris 7


Over the past twenty years, the history of the medicines used in Mediterranean societies
from Classical Antiquity to the dawn of modern science has been increasingly studied.
Research shifted from a documentary interest at the edge of cultural history to a scientific
investigation. Characteristically enough, however, historical investigation has been
almost exclusively devoted to simple medicines, that is, medicines made mainly of one active
substance (with an excipient so as to make it possible to administer such substance).
Composed medicines, that is, medicines made of several active ingredients, which were much used
in the past, have rarely been approached. – apart from Theriac and Mithridatum-- because
of methodological challenges.

Compound medicines have been a major component of therapeutic systems from probably the
2nd century AD to a recent time. Included among the antidotes by Galen, they have
generated a whole stream of theoretical reflection on what a medicine is, what it can achieve, and
how it achieves what it does. The latter question took the form of a specific reflection
on the actual medical property/properties of compound medicines: did it correspond to the
sum of the properties of the components or was it a new one, resulting from the
interaction of all compounds?

Based on the recent work on simple medicines, a first approach of compound remedies
seems possible. Diet, including the composition of meals and their combination with simple or
compound medicines be it for healthy or sick individuals, is also a part of medicine
therapy. This is what the present proposal is about. It aims to bring around the table
specialists from different fields (in a cross-disciplinary perspective), not so much to offer
methods and solutions for the analysis of compound medicines, but rather to define the field,
to identify its specificity/specificities, to formulate the specific problem(s) it poses,
and hopefully to delineate lines of exploratory investigations. Also, it aims to survey
the expertises currently available worldwide and, consequently, to lay down the basis for a
possible future international network.

From a practical viewpoint, the workshop should bring together historians of ancient and
medieval medicine and specialists on simple medicines. The workshop will the first of a
long-term project that will associate historians of medicine, pharmacy, natural sciences,
and sciences specializing on medical theories (including physiology and pathogeny),
pharmaceutical techniques, natural resources and environment, and physics (in the ancient and
medieval meaning of the word); historians of philosophy interested in the problems of
matter/substance, transformation (generation and corruption), and interaction between different
matters/bodies; botanists and specialists of materia medica (actually, pharmacognosy);
organic chemists and pharmaco-chemists specializing in drug development and drug design; and
clinicians, possibly specialists of clinical trials of new drugs (phases II and III).

The proposal is of an exploratory nature and is expected to better circumscribe the
field, to inventory and formulate the questions it poses, to identify the specialties best
qualified to contribute to the study of the questions in a border-crossing perspective, to
formulate hypotheses and to design methods aimed to solve the questions specifically raised
by compound medicines, and possibly also to identify the laboratories currently in the
best position to approach the problem.


Jeudi 13 Janvier 2011

Accueil des participants

Séance d’ouverture
Roshdi Rashed et Pascal Crozet (CNRS-SPHERE – CHSPAM , Univ. Paris 7 )

Présentation des journées sur « Mélanges et médicaments composés »
Mehrnaz Katouzian-Safadi (CNRS, SPHERE–CHSPAM, Univ. Paris 7) et Alain Touwaide (Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC)

Les animaux dans la pharmacopée arabe médiévale,
à travers l’œuvre "La grande vie des animaux" de Damîrî.
Ahmed Aarab (Univ. Abdelmalek Essaadi, Tanger / Maroc)

Les Argiles, terres de soins et supports de principes actifs
Michel Rautureau (Univ. Orléans, CNRS), Mehrnaz Katouzian-Safadi, et Dr. J.C. Charrié

12h00 : Repas au restaurant de Paris 7

Courte introduction sur la pharmacie médiévale latine après le XIIe siècle
Danielle Jacquart (EPHE, Paris)

Quando debeat addere, quando subtrahere : composition et action des médicaments composés dans le De uirtutivus et laudibus compositorum medicaminum de Gilles de Corbeil (fin XIIe siècle)
Mireille Ausecache (EPHE, Paris)

La place et la composition des remèdes dans la médecine chinoise
Florence Bretelle-Establet (CNRS, SPHERE–REHSEIS, Univ. Paris 7)

16h : Pause

Titre à préciser
Anne-Marie Moulin

Compound Medicines Between Historiographical Tradition and Skepticism / Les médicaments composes entre tradition historiographique et scepticisme
Alain Touwaide (Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC)

Vendredi 14 janvier 2011

! Exceptionnellement pour cette seule conférence : salle Klee, 454A, 4e étage ! Présentation du projet ANR “Terminologie du vocabulaire philosophique et scientifique hébreu prémoderne”
Silvia Di Donato (CNRS, SPHERE–CHSPAM)

A new chemical approach of honey and bees. / Nouvelle approche du miel et des abeilles
Jean-Marc Bonmatin (CNRS, CBM Orléans)

Have your Cake and Eat : The Concept of Remedying Foods in Medieval Islam
Nawal NASRALLAH (Independent researcher and cooking instructor, Boston)

12h15 - Repas

Interpénétration, sueur et scepticisme : sur le sens d’un argument plotinien à propos du mélange total stoïcien (Enn. II, 7 [37], ch. 1, l. 22-26)
Valérie Cordonnier (CNRS, SPHERE–CHSPAM , Paris 7)

Evaluer la force du médicament composé : L’exemple du Kitâb al-Musta`înî de l’andalousien Ibn Biklârish (XIe s.)
Joëlle Ricordel (CNRS, SPHERE–CHSPAM, Univ. Paris 7)

Adapter un médicament composé au patient ou le traitement du cas particulier : exemple de Hiéra chez Râzî (865 – 925) pour le traitement des maladies liées à la bile noire
Mehrnaz Katouzian-Safadi (CNRS, SPHERE–CHSPAM, Paris 7)

Usage de médicament composé Hiéra pour le traitement des maladies de femmes, dans le K. al-Hâwî
Mohammad SADR (Doctorant, EPHE, Paris)

Samedi 15 janvier 2011

Galien et les médicaments composés, Réflexions et remarques
Armelle Debru (CNRS, Univ. Paris 5 et Paris 7)

La viti-viniculture dans le monde arabo-musulman médiéval, à partir de l’exemple andalou
François Clément (CRHIA, Univ. Nantes et CESCM, Univ. Poitiers)

Examen d’un traité d’Al-Razi (865 –925) sur les aliments. Exemple de l’alimentation par la viande : adapter leurs qualités et rectifier leurs méfaits.
Asma BenGhachem (Doctorante Univ. Paris 7 / CNRS SPHERE-CHSPAM)

Substitute Drugs in Early Islamic Pharmaceutics
Younes Karamati (PhD Candidate, Institute of Humanities and Cultural Studies, Tehran)

la Thériaque : Un antidote sous condition : Al-Djahiz et Râzî
Meyssa Bensaad (post-doctorante Univ. Paris 7 / CNRS SPHERE-CHSPAM, )

12h45 : Repas

Organisé par / Organized by



CNRS - UMR 7219 / Université Paris 7

Bâtiment Condorcet

Université Paris-Diderot 75013


* Dr. Alain TOUWAIDE

- TOUWAIDA@si.edu - atouwaide@hotmail.com

Smithsonian Institution and Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions

Department of Botany-MRC 166, National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian Institution

PO Box 37012, Washington DC 20013, USA