Actuarius, John

. The name Actuarius was given to all the court physicians of Constantinople, although the subject of this article is the only one known by it. His father’s name was Zacharias. Authors are not agreed as to the time in which he lived. Wolfgang Justus places him in the eleventh century; Moreau in the twelfth; Fabricius in the thirteenth, and Lambecius in the fourteenth. He was the first Greek author who recommended the use of cassia, senna, manna, and other mild purgatives, and the first who mentions distilled waters. He is reckoned superior to the Arabian physicians, but inferior to the great physicians of his nation. He wrote 1. A work on “Therapeutics,” in six books, of which there is no Greek edition; but a Latin translation by Henry Mathisius of Bruges, entitled “Methodi Medendi libri Sex,Venice, 4to, 1554; Paris, 1566, 8vo. The work was composed by Actuarius for the use of an ambassador in the north. | 2. Two books on “Animal Spirits,” of which Goupil published a Greek edition, Paris, 1557, 8vo, with a Latin version by Mathisius. This was reprinted by Fischer, Gr. and Lat. Leipsic, 1774, 8vo, with the addition of two books of Actuarius on regimen. 3. Seven books “On Urines,” of which there is no Greek edition; but Ambrose Levon de Nole published a Latin version, 1519, 4to. and this was revised by Goupil, illustrated with notes, and reprinted under the title “De Urinis Hbri septem.Paris, 1548, 8vo; Basil, 1558, 8vo; Utrecht, 1670, 8vo. 4. A Treatise on the “composition of Medicines,” with the commentaries of John Ruellius; but this is little more than the fifth and sixth books of the Therapeutics. The medical writings of our author were collected and printed, Paris, 1526, 8vo; and again in 1556. In 1567, Henry Stephens published an edition of the whole of his works, fol. translated by different authors amongf the “Medicae artis Principes.” We have also “Actuarii opera,Paris, 8vo; Leyden, 1556, 3 vols. 12mo. There are some of his works in many libraries which remain in manuscript. 1


Biographic Universelle.—Gen. Dict.—Moreri.—Fab. Bibl. Græc.