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Mixing Medicines

The Global Drug Trade and Early Modern Russia

Intoxicating Histories


Montreal (QC): McGill-Queen’s University Press; .
ISBN-13: 978-0-2280-1193-4ISBN-13: 978-0-2280-1194-1ISBN-13: 978-0-2280-1283-2ISBN-13: 978-0-2280-1284-9ISBN-13: 978-0-2280-1476-8

Early modern Russians preferred one method of treating the sick above all others: prescribing drugs. The Moscow court sourced pharmaceuticals from Asia, Africa, Western Europe, and the Americas, in addition to its own sprawling empire, to heal its ailing tsars. Mixing Medicines explores the dynamic and complex world of early modern Russian medical drugs, from its enthusiasm for newly imported American botanicals to its disgust at Western European medicines made from human corpses. Clare Griffin draws from detailed apothecary records to shed light on the early modern Russian Empire’s role in the global trade in medical drugs. Chapters follow the trade and use of medical ingredients through networks that linked Moscow to Western Europe, Asia, and the Americas; the transformation of natural objects, such as botanicals and chemicals, into medicines; the documentation and translation of medical knowledge; and Western European influence on Russian medical practices. Looking beyond practitioners, texts, and ideas to consider how materials of medicine were used by one of the early modern world’s major empires provides a novel account of the global history of early modern medicine. Mixing Medicines offers unique insight into how the dramatic reshaping of global trade touched the day-to-day lives of the people living in early modern Russia.


Legal deposit third quarter 2022

Bibliothèque nationale du Québec

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

Title: Mixing medicines : the global drug trade and early modern Russia / Clare Griffin.

Names: Griffin, Clare, author.

Series: Intoxicating histories ; 4.

Description: Series statement: Intoxicating histories ; 4 | Includes bibliographical references and index.

Identifiers: Canadiana (print) 2022019906x | Canadiana (ebook) 20220199108 | isbn 9780228011941 (paper) | ISBN 9780228011934 (cloth) | isbn 9780228012832 (epdf) | isbn 9780228012849 (epub) | isbn 9780228014768 (oa)

Subjects: LCSH: Materia medica—Russia—History. | LCSH: Drugs—Russia—History.

Classification: lcc rs177.r9 g75 2022 | ddc 615.3/210947—dc23

This book was typeset by True to Type in 11.5/14 Arno Pro

© McGill-Queen’s University Press 2022.

This electronic version has been made freely available under a Creative Commons (CC-BY-NC-ND) licence, thanks to the support of the Wellcome Trust, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction provided the author and McGill-Queen’s University Press are fully cited and no modifications or adaptations are made. Details of the licence can be viewed at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.

Monographs, or book chapters, which are outputs of Wellcome Trust funding have been made freely available as part of the Wellcome Trust's open access policy

Bookshelf ID: NBK583764PMID: 36095097


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