Sailor Madroes recovered

Surgeon’s journal

On the 20th of this month Alonso Madroe from Cadiz came to me with complaints. He had pain in all his limbs, a fever and I also found out that he had an overall stiffness over his body. Because he also had a fever, mainly every other day, I prescribed a sudorific mixture (prescription 2). I also gave him something pulverized against the fever (prescription 1). Furthermore I boiled an extract (Prescription 7) for him, and for several days he used a stomach elixir. He took his shift again on the 9th of November.


Prescription 1: Against ordinary fevers

R/ Misce fac pulvis antefebrilis [mix and make a powder against fever]; dose ℈ II

  • Oculi cancri [gastro stones of the crayfish]: ℥ III
  • Corallum rubrum [red coral; antipyretic]: ℥I
  • Cornu cervi usti [burnt cornu-cervi]: ℥ ß
  • Antimonium diaphoreticum [diaphoretic antimony]: ʒ III
  • Sal nitri [saltpetre]: ℥I
  • Croci orientales [saffron]: ʒI
  • Oleum macis [nutmeg oil]: guttae XXX


  • ℈ scruple = 20 grain, so approximately 1,3 g
  • ʒ drachma = 3 scruple, so approximately 4 g
  • ℥ uncia = ounce = 8 drachmae, so approximately 31 g
  • ß = ½ of the given amount

Prescription 7

R/ Misce fac aposema, cum satis quantum aquae pluvialis [mix and make as much as needed]

  • Herba tussilago [butterbur herb]
  • [Herba] agrimonia[e]  [agrimony]: ana manipulum unam
  • [Herba] althea [common marshmallow herb]
  • [Herba] hijsopi [hyssop herb]
  • [Herba] cardui benedicti  [herb of a blessed thistle]: pugillos duos


  • āā en ān: and ānn = ana (Gr.) take an equal amount of all
  • man: = manupulus = a handful
  • pug: = pugillus, plural: pugilli = between thumb and index finger