a1 Athens University, Athens, Greece.
The knowledge of the Byzantine physicians in the field of otorhinolaryngology and especially of the eminent ones, Oribasius, Aetius of Ameda, Paul of Aegina and Alexander of Tralles is noteworthy. They knew an adequate number of diseases of the ear, nose and throat and treated them with a plethora of drugs and some of them, especially tonsillitis and tonsillar abscess, with operations. The writer, based on the texts of the Byzantine historians and chroniclers, presents information previously unknown. This includes analysis of cases of an epidemic of angina, speech defects, instances of otitis, epistaxis, ulcer of the mouth, acute laryngitis or pharyngitis and psychogenic aphonia. Most cases concern emperors and other prominent figures of the State and Church. This information complements, from the historical point of view, the scientific knowledge of the medical writersin the field of otorhinolaryngology.
(Accepted July 27 1996)
c1 Address for correspondence: Dr. John Lascaratos, M.D., 164B Hippocratous str, Athens 11471, Greece. Fax: (0301) 7796745