Ianto Jocks

Email  i.jocks.1 [at] research.gla.ac.uk

Research title

Scribonius Largus' Compositiones medicamentorum - Context, Translation, Commentary, Pharmacology, and Reception

Research summary

My PhD research is concerned with the Compositiones Medicamentorum of Scribonius Largus, a 1st century CE Latin medical, specifically pharmacological, text. In addition to providing an English translation of this important but little studied work of Roman pharmacology, I am investigating its broader medical context by comparing and contrasting to the near-contemporary works of Celsus (De Medicina), Dioscorides (Materia Medica), and Pliny the Elder (Naturalis Historia), as well as providing a commentary on Scribonius' pharmacological and therapeutic approach. I am furthermore analysing the reception of the Compositiones, placing particular emphasis on the text’s transmission in medieval prescription literature (Rezeptliteratur), the 17th century commentary of Joannes Rhodius, and the Scribonian scholarship of the late 19th and early 20th century, particularly the German studies of Felix Rinne and Wilhelm Schonack.

My research interests in general pertain to most aspects of the medical humanities and the history of medicine, particularly concerning pharmacology, anatomy, surgery, the material culture of medical history, and the terminology of science and medicine. I take a keen interest in the multidisciplinary aspect of this field and the resultant potential for interdisciplinary communication and collaboration, drawing on a background in both the sciences (chemistry, anatomy) and the humanities (history, classics). My previous research has been concerned with the history of 19th century military surgery as illustrated by English- and German language medical literature, and I continue to work on the application of visualisation and digitisation techniques to historical medical and anatomical collections in order to increase their accessibility as well as educational and research impact, a topic which formed the basis of my Master’s dissertation.


Jocks, I. (2012) ‘Are the Works of Hippocrates, Vesalius and Bell relevant in the modern age? On the importance of the History of Medicine for the 21st Century.’ Essay submitted for the University Short Essay Competition 2012. The Scholar 1



  • AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership Scotland PhD Studentship 2014-2017. Funded 3-year PhD Research, £ 17,859 p.a.
  • Scottish Funding Council, 2013-2014. £9,000 award to obtain MSc in Medical Visualisation and Human Anatomy at the Glasgow School of Art
  • Edward Caird Bursary, University of Glasgow, 2012-2013. £1,000 award to contribute to tuition fees for MRes Classics at the University of Glasgow


  • Tutor for Latin Level 1 (Beginning Latin 1A +B, Basic Latin for Honours 1 & 2, Basic Latin for Postgraduates 1 & 2)
  • Tutor for Classical Civilisation 1A - Early Greece, from Troy to Plataea, 776-479 B.C.
  • Invigilator for Greek Unprepared Translation

Additional information


  • Jocks, I. (2012) ‘Aspects of Healing and Curing in mid- Nineteenth Century Military Surgery.’ Conference Paper.  Healing and Curing, Medieval to Modern, University of Glasgow, August 27-28, 2012

Electronic Resources


  • The Lock Room Display for the Faculty of Travel Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (research 2010-2011, exhibition permanent) On display in the Lock Room at the RCPSG. Exhibition illustrating the history of travel medicine and its relevance to the College, drawing on archival and library resources, created together with Rachael Eagan under the supervision of Carol Parry and Jon Cossar as part of a University of Glasgow Club 21 Internship. The project finds discussion in Cossar, J. H. and Parry, C. (2012), 'Travel Medicine Through the Centuries', Empodiatrics. News, views, and reviews from the Faculty of Travel Medicine. Autumn/Winter Issue, pp. 8-9.
  • Digitising the Hunterian and Cleland Collections of Human and Comparative Anatomy - Potential for Education, Research, Conservation, and Public Engagement (2014) Interactive dissertation project (interactive PDF including digitised museum objects and interdisciplinary information) completed for the MSc in Medical Visualisation and Human Anatomy and exhibited as part of the Glasgow School of Art Degree Show, 6-12 September 2014, Reid Building, Glasgow. A brief description of the project is available on the Degree Show website