Celsus, Aurelius Cornelius

, an ancient and elegant writer on the subject of physic, flourished in the first century, under the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius; but of his personal history, his family, or even his profession, we know little. It has been doubted whether he practised physic, but without the experience arising from practice, it is difficult to conceive how he could have so accurately described diseases and given the remedies. Dr. Freind, who studied his works with great attention, decides in favour of his having practised, and agrees with Le Clerc that he was a Roman by birth, and probably of the Cornelian family. He is said to have written on rhetoric and other subjects; but his “De iVlediciua iibri octo,” on which his fame rests, is the only work now remaining, and has gone through a great number of editions. The surgical part is most esteemed as corresponding nearest to the present practice; but the whole is written in a style so pure and elegant, as to entitle him to a place among the Latin classics. Dr. Clarke has enumerated nearly forty editions, the best of which are thought to be AUneloveen’s, Padua, 1722, 8vo, reprinted in 1750, and one by Krause, Leipsic, 1766, 8vo, with the notes of Scaliger, Casaubon, Almeloveen, Morgagni, &c. to which we may add a very recent edition published at Edinburgh and London in 1809, 8vo. In 1756, an English translation, with notes, was published by Dr. Grieve, the historian of Kamshatka. A short abridgement of rhetoric, “De arte dicendi,” attributed to Celsus, was first published at Cologne in 1569, 8vo, and is inserted in the Bibl. Lat. of Fabricius, but it is generally thought to have been the production of Julius Severianus. 2


Freind’s Hist. of Physic.—Haller Bibl, Med. et Chirurg. —Moreri.—Saxii Onomasticon, &c.