By Malcolm Laurence Cameron
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Additional info for Anglo-Saxon Medicine
This remedy is powerful against every temptation of the fiend. ' 3 One gets the impression that the procedures may have been such as to raise doubts in the mind of a priest that it was proper for him to do them. Of course, the operator of a charm need not have been a physician, so that this caveat does not necessarily imply that an unwilling priest was also a physician. 5 A few physicians are mentioned by name. 6 We do not know whether he was a member of her monastery or was called in from outside.
That is, the book is not without order, but the order is interrupted frequently by the insertion of remedies which really belong elsewhere in the book. In this it follows the pattern of medieval books of its kind and probably reflects (to some extent) the order in which remedies were gathered for inclusion. In it the number of remedies containing only native ingredients is high and these ingredients are usually given native English names, not Anglicized Latin ones. This implies that they are native remedies, not borrowed from Graeco-Roman cultures.
24 4 The earliest notices of Anglo-Saxon medical practice Apart from a few fragments, all surviving Anglo-Saxon medical texts belong to the last two centuries of the Anglo-Saxon period. Whatever we can learn about earlier medical practices, we must glean from non-medical sources. The earliest surviving writings of an Englishman are those of Aldhelm of Malmesbury, who wrote in the late seventh and early eighth centuries. In his Enigmata we find a few references to medicine which give a glimpse into the medical practices of his day.
Anglo-Saxon Medicine by Malcolm Laurence Cameron