Roelof Siegers ill

Surgeon’s journal

On the 2nd day of this month Roelof Siegers, a sailor born in Norway, came to me with complaints. I learned that he had been ill for about four weeks in the fatherland. He had debris quotidiana, a regular fever; he was vomiting and he could not eat. I gave him a laxative and a powder against fever (prescription 1).


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]: ℥
  • Antimonium diaphoreticum [diaphoretic antimony]: ʒ III
  • Sal nitri [saltpetre]: ℥ I
  • Croci orientales [saffron]: ʒ I
  • Oleum macis [nutmeg oil]: Gutta, plural guttaedropguttae 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