History of Toxicology and Environmental Health

1st Edition

Toxicology in Antiquity Volume I

Print ISBN: 9780128000458
eBook ISBN: 9780128004630
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 27th May 2014
Page Count: 154
23.95 + applicable tax
18.99 + applicable tax
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Toxicology in Antiquity is the first in a series of short format works covering key accomplishments, scientists, and events in the broad field of toxicology, including environmental health and chemical safety. This first volume sets the tone for the series and starts at the very beginning, historically speaking, with a look at toxicology in ancient times. The book explains that before scientific research methods were developed, toxicology thrived as a very practical discipline. People living in ancient civilizations readily learned to distinguish safe substances from hazardous ones, how to avoid these hazardous substances, and how to use them to inflict harm on enemies. It also describes scholars who compiled compendia of toxic agents.

Key Features

  • Provides the historical background for understanding modern toxicology
  • Illustrates the ways ancient civilizations learned to distinguish safe from hazardous substances, how to avoid the hazardous substances and how to use them against enemies
  • Details scholars who compiled compendia of toxic agents


Toxicologists and other professionals working in environmental health fields, as well a more general audience interested in the history of toxicology

Table of Contents

  • Toxicology in Antiquity
  • List of Contributors
  • Foreword

    • References
  • Preface to the Series and Volumes 1 and 2
  • Chapter 1. Toxicology in Ancient Egypt

    • 1.1 Introduction
    • 1.2 Snakes as Described in the Brooklyn Papyrus
    • 1.3 Scorpions
    • 1.4 Tetanus
    • 1.5 Plant and Mineral Toxins
    • References
  • Chapter 2. The Death of Cleopatra: Suicide by Snakebite or Poisoned by Her Enemies?

    • 2.1 Cleopatra’s Ancestry and Historical Background of the Era
    • 2.2 Cleopatra’s Reign. Her Downfall and Her Death
    • 2.3 Epilogue
    • References
  • Chapter 3. Mithridates of Pontus and His Universal Antidote

    • 3.1 Influences
    • 3.2 Pharmacological and Toxic Riches
    • 3.3 Avoiding Assassination by Poison
    • 3.4 The Secret Antidote
    • 3.5 Mithridatium’s Legacy
    • References
  • Chapter 4. Theriaca Magna: The Glorious Cure-All Remedy

    • 4.1 Introduction
    • 4.2 Theriac in Antiquity
    • 4.3 Theriac in the Medieval Period
    • 4.4 Theriac in the Renaissance
    • 4.5 Conclusion
    • References
  • Chapter 5. Nicander, Thêriaka, and Alexipharmaka: Venoms, Poisons, and Literature

    • 5.1 The Thêriaka
    • 5.2 The Alexipharmaka
    • 5.3 The Nicandrean Question
    • 5.4 Ancient Toxicology
    • 5.5 Venoms, Poisons, and Art
    • Reference
  • Chapter 6. Alexander the Great: A Questionable Death

    • 6.1 Alexander’s Last Days
    • 6.2 Modern Theories of Natural Causes
    • 6.3 Modern Theories of Poisoning
    • 6.4 The Styx River Poison Plot
    • References
  • Chapter 7. Harmful Botanicals

    • 7.1 Classical Toxicology
    • 7.2 Sources and Data
    • 7.3 Analysis
    • 7.4 Conclusion
    • <l


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© Academic Press 2014
Academic Press
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"Phil Wexler’s latest book...is riveting. The book focuses on toxicology/poisons/venoms/religion and the surrounding mystery found in antiquity to the fall of the Roman Empire." --International journal of Toxicology