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Alain Touwaide

Working in the Library of St. John's Monastery, Patmos Island, Greece (2007)

Alain Touwaide

Research Associate

Phone: 202-633-0967
Fax: 202-786-2563
E-mail Address: TOUWAIDA@SI.EDU

Postal Address
(Mail and Packages):

MRC-166/Botany
Smithsonian Institution
PO Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012

Courier Address:
National Museum of Natural History
West Loading Dock
10th and Constitution Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20560-0166


Areas of Specialty
     My research deals with the history of botany, particularly the medicinal plants, in the cultures that flourished around the Mediterranean Sea from Antiquity to the 17th century A.D.: Greece, Rome, Byzantium, the Middle Ages, the Arabic World, and the Renaissance. I study ancient texts in their original language (Greek, Latin, Arabic), prepare critical editions of major works (with English translation and scientific analysis), search in libraries all across the world for unknown or overlooked texts in ancient manuscript books, and prepare reference works on ancient botany, therapeutics, and plant representations (paper and internet publications). My approach is trans-disciplinary; not only philological and historical, but also botanical and medical, ethnological and anthropological, constituting the historical ethnobotany and ethnopharmacology. My major research programs include A Flora of Classical Antiquity, Medicinal Plants of Antiquity, and World Catalogue of Greek Medical Manuscripts. To complete my research I have a constantly growing library collection specifically devoted to the topic and accessible to scholars. It includes reference works, monographs, journals, offprints, and pamphlets, black and white microfilms of ancient manuscripts, and color slides of plant representations from manuscripts, incunabula and 16th century printed books, plus paper files (documentation), computer data bases, and other instrumenta sudiorum, with a particular emphasis on primary sources. Since 2007, I have been the Scientific Director of the newly created "Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions", based in Washington DC.

Web Page

Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions

Recent Publications - (All Publications)

Arihan, Okan, Karaoz Arihan, Seda and Touwaide, Alain 2014. The Case Against Socrates and His Execution. In: Wexler, Philip, History of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Toxicology in Antiquity, vol. 1. New York, NY: Elsevier, pp.69-80.

Hayes, Antoinette and Touwaide, Alain 2014. The History of Toxicology. In: Wexler, Philip, Encyclopedia of Toxicology, vol. 4. Oxford: Elsevier, pp.731-745.

Touwaide, Alain 2014. Botany. In: Kalin, Ibrahim, The Encyclopedia of Islam and Philosophy, Science and Technology, vol. 1. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, pp.109-114.

Touwaide, Alain 2014. Nicander, Thêriaka, and Alexipharmaka: Venoms, Poisons, and Literature. In: Philip Wexler, History of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Toxicology in Antiquity, vol. 1. New York, NY: Elsevier, pp.44-51.

Touwaide, Alain 2014. Harmful Botanicals. In: Wexler, Philip, History of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Toxicology in Antiquity, vol. 1. New York, NY: Elsevier, pp.60-68.

Touwaide, Alain 2014. Collecting Books, Acquiring Medicines. Knowledge Acquisition in Galen's Therapeutics. In: Rothschild, Claire K. and Thompson, T. W., Galen's De Indolentia. Selected Essays. Tubingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, pp.79-88.

Touwaide, Alain 2013. Epidemiology and Treatment of Kidney conditions in Antiquity. Journal of Nephrology, 26(Suppl. 22): 175-179. doi:10.5301/jn.5000380

Touwaide, Alain 2013. Translation. A Case Study in Byzantine Science. Medievalia, 16: 165-170.

Touwaide, Alain and Appetiti, Emanuela 2013. Knowledge of Eastern materia medica (Indian and Chinese) in pre-modern Mediterranean medical traditions: A study in comparative historical ethnopharmacology. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 148: 361-378.

Touwaide, Alain 2013. Tractatus de herbis, Sloane MS. 4016. Volume of study accompanying the facsimile reproduction of manuscript London, British Library, Sloane 4016 Barcelona, Spain: M. Moleiro Editor. 512 pages.

Abraham, Curtis and Touwaide, Alain 2012. When Hippocrates had a headache .... The New Scientist, 213(2852): 30-31. doi:10.1016/S0262-4079(12)60422-9

Touwaide, Alain 2012. Quid pro Quo: Revisiting the Practice of Substitution in Ancient PharmacyQuid pro Quo: Revisiting the Practice of Substitution in Ancient Pharmacy. In: Ann Van Arsdall and Timothy Graham, Herbs and Healing, from the Ancient Mediterranean through the Medieval West. Papers in Honor of John M. Riddle. Farnham, UK: Ashgate, pp.19-61.

Touwaide, Alain 2012. Medicine, Greek and Roman. In: Roger Bagnall, Brodersen, K., Champion, C., Erskine, A. and Heubner, S., Encyclopedia of Ancient History. Oxford, UK: Blackwell, pp.4378-4386.

Touwaide, Alain 2012. Illustration, scientific. In: Bagnall, Roger, Brodersen, K., Champion, C., Erskine, A. and Heubner, S., Encyclopedia of Ancient History. Oxford, UK: Blackwell, pp.3404-3407.

Touwaide, Alain 2012. Disease, Conception of -. In: Bagnall, Roger, Brodersen, K., Champion, C., Erskine, A. and Heubner, S., Encyclopedia of Ancient History. Oxford: Blackwell, pp.2158-2163.

Touwaide, Alain 2012. Disease and health, Greece and Rome. In: Bagnall, Roger, Brodersen, K., Champion, C., Erskine, A. and Heubner, S., Encyclopedia of Ancient History. Oxford: Blackwell, pp.2163-2166.

Touwaide, Alain 2012. Perfumes and Unguents: Rome. In: Bagnall, Roger, Brodersen, K., Champion, C., Erskine, A. and Heubner, S., Encyclopedia of Ancient History. Oxford: Blackwell, pp.5152-5153.

Touwaide, Alain 2012. Printing Greek Medicine in the Renaissance. Scholars, Collections, Opportunities, and Challenges Introduction. Early Science and Medicine, 17(4): 371-377. doi:10.1163/1573382320120001

Touwaide, Alain 2011. Arabic into Greek: The Rise of an International Lexicon of Medicine in the Medieval Eastern Mediterranean?. In: Winowsky, Robert, Wallis, Faith, Fumo, James C. and Fraenkel, Carlos, Vehicles of Transmission, Translation, and Transformation in Medieval Textual Culture. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols,(Cursor Mundi) pp.195-222.

Touwaide, Alain 2011. A 15th-century treatise on kidney affections and their treatment? A first approach. Journal of nephrology, 24(Supplement 17): 108-113. doi:10.5301/JN.2011.7764

Touwaide, Alain 2010. History of Botany as Ethnobotany. Proposals toward a new approach to the ancient legacy. In: Pochettino, Maria L., Ladio, A. H. and Arenas, P. M., Traditions and Transformations in Ethnobotany/Tradiciones y Transformaciones en Etnobotanica - Proceedings of the ICEB 2009. San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina: CYTED - Programa Iberoamericano Ciencia y Tecnologia para el Desarrollo, pp.55-63.

Touwaide, Alain 2010. Botany. In: Classen, Albrecht, Handbook of Medieval Studies. Terms, Methods, Trends. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, pp.145-181.

Touwaide, Alain 2010. Byzantine Sciences. In: Classen, Albrecht, Handbook of Medieval Studies. Terms, Methods, Trends. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, pp.195-239.

Touwaide, Alain 2010. Codicology and Paleography. In: Classen, Albrecht, Handbook of Medieval Studies. Terms, Methods, Trends. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, pp.266-329.

Touwaide, Alain 2010. Pharmacy. In: Classen, Albrecht, Handbook of Medieval Studies. Terms, Methods, Trends. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, pp.1056-1090.

Touwaide, Alain 2010. Transfer of Knowledge. In: Classen, Albrecht, Handbook of Medieval Studies. Terms, Methods, Trends. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, pp.1368-1399.

Touwaide, Alain 2010. Pharmaceutical Literature. In: Classen, Albrecht, Handbook of Medieval Studies. Terms, Methods, Trends. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, pp.1979-2000.

Touwaide, Alain 2010. Pharmacology. In: Fantham, Elaine and Gagarin, Michael, Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, vol. 5. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.239-241.

Touwaide, Alain 2010. Botany. In: Fantham, Elaine and Gagarin, Michael, Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, vol. 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.20-22.

Touwaide, Alain 2010. Aphrodisiacs. In: Fantham, Elaine and Gagarin, Michael, Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, vol. 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.125-127.

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