The Hippiatrika

The Hippiatrika is a compilation of the veterinary writings of several different authors in the 5th and 6th century. An anonymous author compiled these texts in the 10th century during the reign of Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus. Among these early writers was Apsyrtus, a prominent army officer of the Byzantine era. He left a detailed written record of his diagnostics and taught principles of veterinary medicine to his cavalrymen. Apsyrtus was the first to describe with a degree of accuracy the etiology of disease and infection in the horse.  At the point in history at which the Hippiatrika was compiled, horses fared better than man - their treatment was based in more scientific values rather than hope in a rabbit's foot. The text continued to be produced throughout the centuries and spread across the world. It set the stage for science, informing and giving birth to modern medicine.

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