The International Tinnitus Journal


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The International Tinnitus Journal

Official Journal of the Neurootological and Equilibriometric Society
Official Journal of the Brazil Federal District Otorhinolaryngologist Society

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ISSN: 0946-5448


Ancient voices on tinnitus: the pathology and treatment of tinnitus in Celsus and the Hippocratic Corpus compared and contrasted

Author(s): Maryanne Tate Maltby

The object of the paper is to analyse the treatment of tinnitus in two ancient works, Celsus De Medicina and the Greek Hippocratic Corpus. Whilst reviews of historical references to tinnitus have identified this material, this is the first detailed treatment of the subject in these authors. Design: The paper considers the material relating to tinnitus and suggested treatments in the Roman medical writer Celsus (mid first century AD) in contrast with those found in the Greek Hippocratic Corpus (late fifth, early fourth century BC). Results and Conclusion: The lifestyle change, diet and pharmacological treatments suggested by Celsus are analysed and shown as likely to be effective. Celsus is shown to be remarkably modern in his understanding of the aetiology of the disease and his suggested dietary and pharmacological treatments appear to be soundly based. Celsus’ pharmacological approach differs from the more theoretical stance of the Hippocratic Corpus based on humoural theory. The Hippocratric Corpus is more detailed in its descriptions of otological pathology and more concerned with a humoural explanation of the disease, but offers useful advice on diet and regimen and also provides the first detailed description of what appears to be Ménière’s Syndrome.