Alumen (1)

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Alumen tres habet species medicine aptas .s. iameni et est scissum quod de pluma vulgo dicitur, et est rotundum quod zucarinum vocatur et ob similitudinem zucari et liquidum quod vocatur de rocha vel lipparinum ut Cassius felix ca. de stomachi morbis.

There are three kinds of alumen that are useful for medicine, that is to say: iameni {“Egyptian alum”} also called scissum {“split alum”} and in common parlance de pluma {“feather alum”}; {secondly} there is the round alum, which is called zuccarinum {“sugary”} because of its similarity to sugar; and {thirdly} alumen de rocha {“rock alum”} or alum from Lipari, an alum mentioned in Cassius Felix’s chapter “On stomach diseases”.


Cassius Felix, in his De medicina, chapter XLII Ad stomachi passiones {i.e. “For diseases of the stomach”}, § 12, p.113, gives instructions for a preparation, of which one ingredient is “alumen liparum id est liquidum” and he uses the same formulation in chapter XLVIII Ad dysenteriam {“For dysentery”} when listing the ingredients for a preparation against that affliction, {p.140}.