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John Riddle

Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus

Department of History

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The Publications of John M. Riddle, 1964–2021

“Amber: An Historical-Etymological Problem.” In Mary Francis Gyles and Eugene Wood Davis (eds), Laudatores Temporis Acti: Studies in Memory of Wallace Everett Caldwell, Professor of History at the University of North Carolina by His Friends and Students, 110–20. James Sprunt Studies in History and Political Science 46. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1964.

“Pomum Ambrae: Amber and Ambergris in Plague Remedies.” Sudhoffs Archiv für Geschichte der Medizin und Naturwissenschaften 48 (1964): 111–22.

“The Introduction and Use of Eastern Drugs in the Early Middle Ages.” Sudhoffs Archiv für Geschichte der Medizin und Naturwissenschaften 49 (1965): 185–98.

“Lithotherapy in the Middle Ages … Lapidaries Considered as Medical Texts.” Pharmacy in History 12 (1970): 39–50. Tiberius Gracchus: Destroyer or Reformer of the Republic? Problems in European Civilization. Lexington, MA: D. C. Heath, 1970.

“Dioscorides.” In Charles Coulston Gillispie (ed.), Dictionary of Scientific Biography, vol. 4, 119–23. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1971.

Review of John Scarborough, Roman Medicine (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1969). The Historian 33 (1971): 283.

“Amber in Ancient Pharmacy: The Transmission of Information about a Single Drug.” Pharmacy in History 15 (1973): 3–17.

“The Latin Alphabetical Dioscorides.” Proceedings of the XIIIth International Congress of the History of Science. Acts, Section 4, 204–9. Moscow: Nauka, 1974.

“Theory and Practice in Medieval Medicine.” Viator 5 (1974): 157–84.

Marbode of Rennes’ (1035–1123) “De Lapidibus” Considered as a Medical Treatise with Text, Commentary and C. W. King’s Translation, Together with Text and Translation of Marbode’s Minor Works on Stones. Sudhoffs Archiv, Beiheft 20. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner, 1977.

“Book Reviews, Lectures, and Marginal Notes. Three Previously Unknown Sixteenth Century Contributors to Pharmacy, Medicine and Botany—Ioannes Manardus, Franscisus Frigimelica, and Melchior Guilandinus.” Pharmacy in History 21 (1979): 143–55. (with James Mulholland)

“Albert on Stones and Minerals.” In: James Weisheipl (ed.). Albertus Magnus and the Sciences. Commemorative Essays 1980, 203-34. Studies and Texts 49 Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1980. Translated into Italian as Alberto, le pietre e I minerali. In: James Weisheiple (ed.) Alberto magno e le science, 219-53. Bologna: Edizioni Studio Demenicano. 1994.

“Dioscorides.” In F. Edward Cranz and Paul Oskar Kristeller (eds), Catalogus Translationum et Commentariorum: Medieval and Renaissance Latin Translations and Commentaries. Annotated Lists and Guides, vol. 4, 1–143. Washington, DC: Catholic University Press, 1980.

“Pseudo-Dioscorides’ Ex herbis femininis and Early Medieval Medical Botany.” Journal of the History of Botany 14 (1981): 43–81.

Review of Fred Rosner (trans.), Moses Maimonides’ Glossary of Drug Names (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1979).

Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 36 (1981): 352–4.

Review of Hedwig Schleiffer (ed.), Narcotic Plants of the Old World Used in Rituals and Everyday Life: An Anthology of Texts from Ancient Times to the Present (Monticello, NY: Lubrecht & Cramer, 1979). Pharmacy in History 23 (1981): 99–100.

“Gargilius Martialis as a Medical Writer.” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 39 (1984): 408–29.

“Ancient and Medieval Chemotherapy for Cancer.” Isis 76 (1985): 319–39.

“Byzantine Commentaries on Dioscorides.” In John Scarborough (ed.), Symposium on Byzantine Medicine, 95–102. Dumbarton Oaks Papers 38. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 1985.

Dioscorides on Pharmacy and Medicine. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985.

“Dioskurides im Mittelalter.” In Lexikon des Mittelalters, vol. 3, 1095–7. Munich: Artemis, 1985.

Review of G. E. R. Lloyd, Science, Folklore, and Ideology: Studies in the Life Sciences in Ancient Greece (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983).

Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 40 (1985): 220–221.

The Herbal in History. Pamphlet accompanying the fasimile Plates, of Hans Biedermann, MedicinaMagica: Metaphysical Healing Methods in Late-Antique and Medieval Manuscrpts with Thirty Facsimile Plates, trans. Rosemarie Werba. The Classics of Medicine Library; sub-series Notes from the Editors.. Birmingham, AL: Gryphon Editions, 1986.

Review of P. V. Taberner, Aphrodisiacs: The Science and the Myth (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985).

Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 41 (1986): 367–8.

“Folk Tradition and Folk Medicine: Recognition of Drugs in Classical Antiquity.” In John Scarborough (ed.), Folklore and Folk Medicines, 33–61. Madison, WI: American Institute of the History of Pharmacy, 1987.

Review of R. K. French and Frank Greenaway (eds), Science in the Early Roman Empire: Pliny the Elder, His Sources and Influence (Totowa, NJ: Barnes & Noble, 1986). American Historical Review 93 (1988): 398–402.

“The Pseudo-Hippocratic Dynamidia.” In Gerhard Baader and Rolf Winau (eds), Die hippokratischen Epidemien: Theorie—Praxis—Tradition. Verhandlungen des Ve Colloque International Hippocratique veranstaltet von der Berliner Gesellschaft für Geschichte der Medizin in Verbindung mit dem Institut für Geschichte der Medizin der Freien Universität Berlin, 10.–15.9.1984, 283–311. Sudhoffs Archiv, Beiheft 27. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1989.

Editor. Society for Ancient Medicine and Pharmacy Newsletter 17 (1989).

Co-Editor.Society for Ancient Medicine and Pharmacy Newsletter 18 (1990).

“Oral Contraceptives and Early-Term Abortifacients during Classical Antiquity and the Middle Ages.” Past and Present 132 (1991): 1–32. Review of Albert Dietrich (ed.), Dioscurides triumphans: Ein anonymer arabischer Kommentar (Ende 12 Jahrh. n. Chr.) zur Materia medica. Arabischer Text nebst kommentierter deutscher Übersetzung (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1988). Medical History 34 (1991): 120–121.

Review of Mirko D. Grmek, Diseases in the Ancient Greek World (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989).

American Historical Review 96 (1991): 143–4.

Review of José Luis Valverde and José A. Pérez Romero, Drogas americanas en fuentes de escritores franciscanos y dominicos (Granada: Universidad de Granada, 1988). Isis 82 (1991): 746–7.

(With J. Worth Estes.) “Oral Contraceptives in Ancient and Medieval Times.” American Scientist 80 (May–June 1992): 226–33. Contraception and Abortion from the Ancient World to the Renaissance. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992. Quid pro Quo: Studies in the History of Drugs. Collected Studies Series CS 367. Aldershot, UK: Variorum, 1992.

[reprints of previous article with new article: listed next:

“Methodology of Historical Drug Research.” In: John M. Riddle, Quid pro Quo: Studies in the History of Drugs, item 15.

“Spices.” In Silvio A. Bedini (ed.), The Christopher Columbus Encyclopedia, vol. 2, 648–50. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992.

“High Medicine and Low Medicine in the Roman Empire.” In Wolfgang Haase (ed.), Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt: Geschichte und Kultur Roms im Spiegel der neueren Forschung, pt II, vol. 37.1: Wissenschiften (Medizin und Biologie), 102–20. Berlin: De Gruyter, 1993.

“Introduction.” In Irene Jacob and Walter Jacob (eds), The Healing Past: Pharmaceuticals in the Biblical and Rabbinic World, 000–00. Leiden: Brill, 1993, xi-xv.

Review of Albert Dietrich (ed.), Die Dioskurides-Erklärung des Ibn al-Baitar: Ein Beitrag zur arabischen Pflanzensynonymik des Mittelalters. Arabischer Text nebst kommentierter deutscher Übersetzung (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1991). Medical History 37 (1993): 108–9.

Review of J. Worth Estes, Dictionary of Protopharmocology: Therapeutic Practices, 1700–1850 (Canton, MA: Science History Publications, 1990). Isis 83 (1993): 705–6.

Review of Mott T. Greene, Natural Knowledge in Preclassical Antiquity (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992). American Historical Review 98 (1993): 1213–14.

Review of Theophrastus, De causis plantarum, ed. and trans. Benedict Einarson and George K. K. Link, 3 vols (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1976–90). Isis 84 (1993): 557–8.

(With J. Worth Estes and Josiah C. Russell.) “Ever Since Eve … Birth Control in the Ancient World.” Archaeology 47, no. 2 (1994): 29–35.

“Everybody, the Historian, and the Scientist (President’s Address).” Pharmacy in History 37 (1995): 159–64.

“Historical Role of Herbs in Contraception.” In David L. Gustine and Hector E. Flores (eds), Phytochemicals and Health: Proceedings, Tenth Annual Penn State Symposium in Plant Physiology, May 18–20, 1995, 105-111. Current Topics in Plant Physiology 15. Rockville, MD: American Society of Plant Physiologists, 1995.

“Manuscript Sources for Birth Control.” In Margaret R. Schleissner (ed.), Manuscript Sources of Medieval Medicine: A Book of Essays, 145–58. New York: Garland, 1995.

(With Judith Wilcox.) “Qustā ibn Lūqā’s Physical Ligatures and the Recognition of the Placebo Effect, with an Edition and Translation.” Medieval Encounters 1 (1995): 1–48.

“Women’s Knowledge of Abortifacients from Antiquity to the Present,” in: Whose Choice is it? David F. Walbert and J. Douglas Butler, eds. American Bar Association, 2021, pp. 207-230.

Review of Hellmut Baumann, The Greek Plant World in Myth, Art, and Literature, trans. and augmented by William T. Stearn and Eldwyth Ruth Stearn (Portland, OR: Timber Press, 1993). American Scientist 83 (1995): 669–70.

Review of Mary Beagon, Roman Nature: The Thought of Pliny the Elder (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992). American Journal of Philology 116 (1995): 669–70.

“Contraception and Early Abortion in the Middle Ages.” In Vern L. Bullough and James A. Brundage (eds), Handbook of Medieval Sexuality, 261–77. New York: Garland, 1996.

“Dioscorides.” In Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth (eds), The Oxford Classical Dictionary, 483–4. 3rd edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.

“Geology.” In F. A. C. Mantello and A. G. Rigg (eds), Medieval Latin: An Introduction and Bibliographical Guide, 406–10. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1996.

“The Medicines of Greco-Roman Antiquity as a Source of Medicines for Today.” In Bart Holland (ed.), Prospecting for Drugs in Ancient and Medieval European Texts: A Scientific Approach, 7–17. Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1996.

Review of Albertus Magnus, De vegetabilibus, Buch VI, Traktat 2: Lateinish-deutsch, ed. and trans. Klaus Biewer (Stuttgart: Wissenschaftliche Buchverlagsgesellschaft, 1992). Isis 87 (1996): 720–724.

Review of 000000, Western Medieval Medicine: Medieval Latin Medicine (0000: 0000, 0000). Society for Ancient Medicine Review 24 (1996–97): 214–16.

Consulting editor, sections on Mesopotamian medicine, Egyptian medicine, Greek and Roman medicine. Ancient Healing: Unlocking the Mysteries of Health and Healing through the Ages. Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International, 1997.

Eve’s Herbs: A History of Contraception and Abortion in the West. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997.

“Old Drugs, Old and New History.” In Gregory J. Higby and Elaine C. Stroud (eds), The Inside Story of Medicines: A Symposium, 15–30. Madison, WI: American Institute of the History of Pharmacy, 1997.

Review of M. L. Cameron, Anglo-Saxon Medicine (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993). Speculum 72 (1997): 121–2.

“Classical, Medieval and Modern Uses of St. John’s Wort.” First International Conference on St. John’s Wort, March 16-17, 1998, Anaheim Marriott, Anaheim, California, 1–14. Silver Spring, MD: American Herbal Products Association, 1998.

Review of Joan Cadden, Meanings of Sex Difference in the Middle Ages: Medicine, Science, and Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993). Bulletin of the History of Medicine 72 (1998), 107–8.

Review of Clara Pinto Correia, The Ovary of Eve: Egg and Sperm and Preformation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997). Journal of the American Medical Association 280 (1998): 1961–2.

“Introduction.” In Jerry Stannard, Pristina Medicamenta: Ancient and Medieval Medical Botany, ed. Katherine E. Stannard and Richard Kay, ix–xiv. Variorum Collected Studies Series CS 646. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 1999.

“Introduction.” In Jerry Stannard, Herbs and Herbalism in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, ed. Katherine E. Stannard and Richard Kay, ix–xiv. Variorum Collected Studies Series CS 650. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 1999.

“Contraception and Abortion.” In G. W. Bowersock, Peter Brown, and Oleg Grabar (eds), Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Postclassical World, 392–3. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1999.

“Fees and Feces: Laxatives in Ancient Medicine with Particular Emphasis on Pseudo-Mesue.” In John A. C. Greppin, Emilie Savage-Smith, and John L. Gueriguian (eds), The Diffusion of Greco-Roman Medicine into the Middle East and the Caucasus, 7–26. Anatolian and Caucasian Studies. Delmar, NY: Caravan Books, 1999.

“Historical Data as an Aid in Pharmaceutical Prospecting and Drug Safety Determination.” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 5 (1999): 195–201.

“Abortion,” “Contraception,” and “Theophrastus.” In Graham Speake (ed.), Encyclopedia of Greece and the Hellenic Tradition, vol. 1, 1–2, 390–391; vol. 2, 1633–4. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2000.

Review of Anonymus Medicus, De morbis acutis at chroniis, ed. Ivan Garofalo, trans. Brian Fuchs (Leiden: Brill, 1997). Bulletin of the History of Medicine 74 (2000): 352–4.

Review of Annette Müller, Krankheitsbilder im Liber de plantis der Hildegard von Bingen (1098–1179) und im Speyerer Krāuterbuch (1456): Ein Beitrag zur medizinisch-pharmazeutischen Terminologie im Mittelalter (Hürtgenwald: Pressler, 1997). Bulletin of the History of Medicine 74 (2000): 148–9.

“Birth, Contraception, and Abortion.” In Peter N. Stearns (ed.), Encyclopedia of European Social History from 1350 to 2000, vol. 2, 181–91. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2001.

“Science, Technology, and Health.” In John T. Kirby (ed.), World Eras, vol. 3: Roman Republic and Empire, 264 B.C.E.–476 C. E., 375–414. Detroit: Gale Group, 2001.

Review of James Longrigg, Greek Medicine: From the Heroic to the Hellenistic Age. A Source Book (New York: Routledge, 1998). Isis 92 (2001): 152–3.

“History as a Tool in Identifying ‘New’ Old Drugs.” In Béla S. Buslig and John A. Manthey (eds), Flavonoids in Cell Function, 89–94. New York: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2002.

Review of Wilhelmina F. Jashemski, A Pompeian Herbal: Ancient and Modern Medicinal Plants (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1999).

International Journal of the Classical Tradition 8 (2002): 470.

Review of Peter Biller, The Measure of Multitude: Population in Medieval Thought (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000).

Journal of Social History 37 (2003): 555–6.

Review of Mark Grant, Galen on Food and Diet (New York: Routledge, 2000). Isis 94 (2003): 518.

Review of Michael J. O’Dowd, The History of Medications for Women: Materia Medica Woman (New York: Parthenon, 2001). Bulletin of the History of Medicine 77 (2003): 422–4.

“Kidney and Urinary Therapeutics in Early Medieval Monastic Medicine.” Journal of Nephrology 17 (2004): 324–8.

(With Eric J. Buenz, David J. Schnepple, Brent A. Bauer, Peter L. Elkin, and Timothy J. Motley.) “Techniques: Bioprospecting Historical Herbal Texts by Hunting for New Leads in Old Tomes.” Review article. Trends in Pharmacological Science 25 (2004): 494–8.

“The Great Witch-Hunt and the Suppression of Birth Control: Heinsohn and Steiger’s Theory from the Perspective of an Historian.” Appendix to Gunnar Heinsohn and Otto Steiger, Witchcraft, Population Catastrophe and Economic Crisis in Renaissance Europe: An Alternative Macroeconomic Explanation, 29–31. 2nd edn. IKSF Discussion Paper 31. Bremen: Institut für Konjunktur- und Strukturforschung, 2004. Translated into German as “Die Grosse Hexenverfolgung und die Unterdrückung der Geburtenkontrolle: Die Theorie von Heinsohn und Steiger aus der Sicht eines Geschictswissenschaftlers.” Appendix to Gunnar Heinsohn and Otto Steiger, Die Vernichtung der weisen Frauen: Beiträge zur Theorie und Geschichte von Bevölkerung und Kindheit, 471–3. 4th ed.. Erftstadt: Area Verlag, 2005.

Review of Helen King, Greek and Roman Medicine (London: Bristol Classical Press, 2001). Bulletin of the History of Medicine 78 (2004): 465–6.

Review of Jole Shackelford, A Philosophical Path for Paracelsian Medicine: The Ideas, Intellectual Context, and Influence of Petrus Severinus (1540–1602) (Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 2004). Pharmacy in History 47 (2005): 75–7.

Review of Pedanius Dioscorides of Anazarbos, De materia medica, trans. Lily Y. Beck (Hildesheim: Olms-Weidmann, 2005). Medical History 50 (2006): 553–4.

“Research Procedures in Evaluating Medieval Medicine.” In Barbara S. Bowers (ed.), The Medieval Hospital and Medical Practice, 3–17. AVISTA Studies in the History of Medieval Technology, Science and Art 3. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2007.

“Women’s Medicines in Ancient Jewish Sources: Fertility Enhancers and Inhibiters.” In I. L. Finkel and M. J. Geller (eds), Disease in Babylonia, 200–214. Cuneiform Monographs 36. Leiden: Brill, 2007.

“Early History and Leadership of the Padua Botanical Garden.” HerbalGram 77 (2008): 38–9.

A History of the Middle Ages, 300–1500. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008.

Review of Lester K. Little (ed.), Plague and the End of Antiquity: The Pandemic of 541–750 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 64 (2009): 250–252.

Goddesses, Elixirs, and Witches: Plants and Sexuality throughout Human History. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. Review of Gary B. Ferngren, Medicine and Health Care in Early Christianity (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009).

Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 65 (2010): 253–5.

“Women’s Medicines in Ancient Jewish Sources: Fertility Enhancers and Inhibiters,” in: Disease in Babylonia. I. L. Finkel and M. J. Geller, eds. Leiden: Brill, 2007, pp. 200-14.

“Early History and Leadership of the Padua Botanical Garden,” HerbalGram, 77 (2008): 38-9.

A History of the Middle Ages, 300-1500. 2nd ed. With assistance of Winston Black. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016, xxi, 527 pages.

“Amber, Amber ‘Apples,’ and Medicine,” in Amber in the History of Medicine: Proceedings of the International Conference. eds, I. A. Polyakova, Ch. J. Duffin et al. Kaliningrad, Russia: Kaliningrad Regional Amber Museum, 2018; pp. 39-47.

Russian translation of article above.. Separate printing. Pp.39-51.

“Doḡum Kontrolü ve Kürtaj,” Aktüel arkeoloji. 2018. Pp. 68-77 [Turkish; original article with color plate photographs.]

“Early History and Leadership of the Padua Botanical Garden,” HerbalGram, 77 (2008): 38-9.

A History of the Middle Ages, 300-1500 Lanham, Maryland: Roman and Littlefiedle,, 2009., xxvii. 509 pages.

A History of the Middle Ages, 300-1500. 2nd ed. With assistance of Winston Black. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016, xxi, 527 pages.

“Amber, Ambergris, ‘Apples,’ and Medicine,” in Amber in the History of Medicine: Proceedings of the International Conference. eds, I. A. Polyakova, Ch. J. Duffin et al. Kaliningrad, Russia: Kaliningrad Regional Amber Museum, 2018; pp. 39-47. Russian translation. Separate printing. Pp.39-51.

“Doḡum Kontrolü ve Kürtaj,” Aktüel arkeoloji. 2018. Pp. 68-77 [Turkish; original article with color plate photographs.

A History of the Middle Ages, 300-1500. 2nd ed. With assistance of Winston Black. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016, xxi, 527 pages.

“Amber, Amber ‘Apples,’ and Medicine,” in Amber in the History of Medicine: Proceedings of the International Conference. eds, I. A. Polyakova, Ch. J. Duffin et al. Kaliningrad, Russia: Kaliningrad Regional Amber Museum, 2018; pp. 39-47. Russian translation. Separate printing. Pp.39-51.

“Doḡum Kontrolü ve Kürtaj,” Aktüel arkeoloji. 2018. Pp. 68-77 [Turkish; original article with color plate photographs.

“Women’s Knowledge of Abortifacients from Antiquity to the Present,” in: Whose Knowledge Is It? David F. Walbert and J. Douglas Butier, eds. American Bar Association, 2021, [[. 207-230. Festschrift:

Herbs and Healers from the Ancient Mediterranean through the Medieval West: Essays in Honor of John M. Riddle. Anne Van Arsdall and Timothy Graham, eds. Medicine in the Medieval Mediterranean. Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2012. xv, 377 pages.

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