Archelaus, governor of the town for King Mithradates



Archelaus, governor of the town for King Mithradates,

Original French:  Archelaus gouuerneur de la ville pour le roy Mithridates,

Modern French:  Archelaüs gouverneur de la ville pour le roy Mithridates,


mithridate [adopted from medieval Latin mithridatum, altered from late Latin mithridatium, pertaining to Mithridates, formed on Latin Mithrad¯tes, Greek Miqri-, Miqrada¯´thj. Cf. Old French metridat (modern French mithridate).]

Old Pharmacy. A composition of many ingredients in the form of an electuary, regarded as a universal antidote or preservative against poison and infectious disease. Hence, any medicine to which similar powers were ascribed. So called from Mithridates VI, king of Pontus (died c 63 b.c.), who was said to have rendered himself proof against poisons by the constant use of antidotes.

1528 Thomas Paynell, translator Schola Salernitania. Regimen sanitalis Salerni. This boke techyng al people to gouverne them in helthe (1541) 33 b, Auicen saythe; There be certeyne medicins… which wyl not suffre poyson to approche nere the harte, as triacle and Metridate.

1533 Sir Thomas Elyot The castel of helth (1541) A ij, Mithridates invented the famous medicine ageynst poyson, callid Mithridate.

1593 S. Kellwaye Defense against Plague 32 Take a great Onyon, make a hole in the myddle of him, then fill the place with Mitridat or Triacle, and some leaues of Rue, then [etc.].

1616 Richard Surflet and G. Markham, translators Estiennne and Liebault’s Maisson rustique, or the countrie farme 387 Some make a soueraigne mithridate against the plague… with two old walnuts, three figges [etc.].


mithridatic. Of or pertaining to Mithridates VI, king of Pontus. Mithridatic wars, the wars waged by Rome against this king.

1649 Ogilby translator Virgil’s Georgics ii. (1684) 79 note, This Tree was first shewn by Pompey to Rome in his Mithridatick Triumph.

1678 J. D. (title) The History of Appian… . In Two Parts. The First consisting of the Punick, Syrian, Parthian, Mithridatick,… and Hannibalick, Wars

Of, pertaining to, or of the nature of mithridate. Resembling Mithridates or his alleged immunity from poisons. Pertaining to or of the nature of mithridatism.

1868 Helps Realmah vi. (1869) 122 Poison has no more effect on my Mithridatic constitution than ginger-beer.

1889 E. R. Lankester in Nature 13 June 149/2 The mithradatic theory of inoculations.


mithridatism. The condition of immunity to a poison induced by administering to an organism gradually increased doses of it.


mithridatize. To render immune or proof against a poison by the administration of gradually increasing doses of it.

1866 Lowell Lett. I. 406 Our constitutions adapt themselves to the slow poison of the world till we become mithridatized at last.



Posted 25 January 2013. Modified 5 May 2018.

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