Toxicology in the Middle Ages and Renaissance - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128095546, 9780128095591

Toxicology in the Middle Ages and Renaissance

1st Edition

Editors: Philip Wexler
eBook ISBN: 9780128095591
Paperback ISBN: 9780128095546
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 20th March 2017
Page Count: 192
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Table of Contents

  1. Paracelsus (1494 – 1521) –Ibn Wahshiya’s Book on Poisons and Medieval Arabic Toxicology
    2. Moses Maimonides (Treatise on Poisons and their Antidotes) (1135-1204)
    3. “Liber de Venenis” by Pietro d’Abano (1402)
    4. Borgias (1400 – 1500)
    5. Toffana (died 1659)
    6. Catherine de Medici (1519 – 1589)
    7. Agricola – De Re Metallica (1556)
    8. Alchemy
    9. Unicorn Horn as Antidote
    10. Bezoar Stones
    11. Women and Poisons in 17th Century France (incl. La Voisin)


Toxicology in the Middle Ages and Renaissance provides an authoritative and fascinating exploration into the use of toxins and poisons in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Part of the History of Toxicology and Environmental Health series, this volume is a follow-up, chronologically, to the first two volumes which explored toxicology in antiquity.

The book approximately covers the 1100s through the 1600s, delving into different aspects of toxicology, such as the contributions of scientific scholars of the time, sensational poisoners and poisoning cases, as well as myths. Historical figures, such as the Borgias and Catherine de Medici are discussed. Toxicologists, students, medical researchers, and those interested in the history of science will find insightful and relevant material in this volume.

Key Features

  • Provides the historical background for understanding modern toxicology
  • Illustrates the ways previous civilizations learned to distinguish safe from hazardous substances, how to avoid them, and how to use them against enemies
  • Explores the way famous historical figures used toxins


Toxicologists, environmental health professionals, science historians, general audience


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© Academic Press 2017
Academic Press
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About the Editors

Philip Wexler Editor

Philip Wexler is a Technical Information Specialist at the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program. A recipient of the NLM Regents Award for Scholarly or Technical Achievement and the Distinguished Technical Communication Award of the Washington chapter of the Society for Technical Communication, he is team leader for the development of the ToxLearn online multi-module tutorials, a joint activity with the SOT. Mr. Wexler is also project officer for the LactMed file on drugs and lactation, and the IRIS and ITER risk assessment databases.

He is federal liaison to the Toxicology Education Foundation (TEF), past Chair of SOT’s World Wide Web Advisory Team, and past President of its Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues Specialty Section. Mr. Wexler led the World Library of Toxicology project prior to its migration to the INND/Toxipedia group, and remains a federal liaison to the project. He was a member of the Education and Communications Work Group of the CDC/ATSDR’s National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposure. A co-developer of the Toxicology History Room, he is co-founder and federal liaison to the Toxicology History Association.

Mr. Wexler has lectured and been published widely in the U.S. and abroad on toxicology and toxicoinformatics. He is the Editor-in-Chief of three editions of the Encyclopedia of Toxicology (Third Edition, 2014) and four editions of Information Resources in Toxicology (Fourth edition, 2009), as well as numerous other books and articles. In 2010, he was named the recipient of the US Society of Toxicology’s Public Communications Award. Mr. Wexler also serves as an associate editor for a toxicology journal.

Affiliations and Expertise

National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program, Bethesda, MD, USA