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December 2007 - Issue No.12

The Pan-Europeanism of Ancient Greek Medical Science in the Middle Ages
by Giorgio S. Marcou

A unique literary, scientific and at the same time rare artistic rendition, a collectors’ item, the second book of the Trilogy “The Ancient Greek Roots of Medieval Europe (5th-15th century) titled “The Pan-Europeanism of Ancient Greek Medical Science in the Middle Ages) has just been released by the Museum of the Hellenic Nobel Collection Publications (Athens, 2011), in a luxurious large-size (33x24), 302-page tome.

The work, which received an Outstanding Distinction from the Academy of Athens in 2008 and from other international scientific bodies (US, Britain, Italy), an exceptional treatise in all respects (scientific, artistic, publishing) is published in Greece in a very adverse point in time for our country and comes to boost the morale of our compatriots. It is the result, First, of the dynamic and visions of Professor Giorgio S. Marcou, the founder and President of the Museum of the Hellenic Nobel Collection, who has received many awards abroad, and, Second, the confidence (recognition) of the publication’s sponsor, the Athens Eye Hospital, founded by the eminent ophthalmologists Gerassimos and Haralambos. Rallatos together with Panayiotis Zafirakis. Zafirakis, with a strong Central European. tradition (35 years as a Professor at Italian universities and the Vatican) and the Rallatos brothers, graduates of Harvard University in the US, wished to measure up with the most eminent names of the entire academic community dealing with the European Middle Ages and give as a gift to the Greek public a unique, monumental work of national significance. I say ‘gift’ because this book is not sold at bookstores. The writer and sponsors agreed to “gift” it to the Greek and international scientific community.

For the writing of this scientific work and the publication of the previously unknown and unpublished manuscripts of Latin codes, engravings and rare full-color pages of works of medical content, it was necessary to seek “tens of licences for publication” from private and State Archives and Libraries. All these ‘printing licenses’ were given in the 1980s decade, and many are the personalities to whom the author gives thanks (see pp. 40-41).

We read that he was helped by the Cardinal of Venice and later Pope John Paul I, man Cardinals, Ministers, University Professors, European Parliament deputies, Presidents of the Italian Chamber of Deputies and Senate, and many representatives of the Letters and Arts who have supported him in his scientific work and have honoured him with their friendship.

The result, which is published today, is exceptionally honourable for the Medical Science and for Greece. The undersigned considers as the pinnacle of this second tome of G.S. Marcou’s Trilogy, which is prologued by eminent international scientists: First, the Statements by one hundred (100) personalities of the 20th century (Heads of State, Prime Ministers, Nobel Laureates) on Greece’s accession to the EEC (pp. 72-79), a journalistic work that prologues the publication, excerpts of which have been broadcast by the BBC, RAI and YENED (1976-1980) and on which Constantine Karamanlis spoke with great admiration when he visited the Pope in Rome in 1980. Second, the entire bulk of previously unpublished material, in other words all the Latin medieval codes manuscripts (more than 300) which formed the basis for the Greek author’s writing of this study, and especially the “forgotten” by the Greeks but renowned throughout Europe handwritten Latin code with Hippocrates’ “Prognostics” (pp. 246-262), which was taught in the first universities in Europe from the 14th to the 19th century and is kept at the Marciana Biblioteca (Library) in Venice.

As recently underlined by RAI: “…the second tome of Professor G.S. Marcou’s Trilogy surpasses every scientific, artistic and publishing precedent, and its translation into the English language, and not only, becomes absolutely necessary so that it may receive the honorary position it deserves in the Libraries and Universities all over the world, but also in order to stress with strong proofs and facts, to the entire global political scene, the true role of the Helleno-Roman civilisation in the foundation of Europe, because it appears that certain European politicians of the 21st century have forgotten and disdain their roots…”

 

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December 2007 - Issue No.12