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October 1961

Aulus Cornelius Celsus: His Contributions to Dermatology

Author Affiliations


The City of New York Department of Health.

Arch Dermatol. 1961;84(4):613-618. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580160077013

During a third of a century of teaching dermatosyphilology, the terms kerion celsi and area celsi, among others, have been frequently invoked. It finally appeared appropriate, and more than timely, to gain some information about Celsus, with whom a confused association with Celsius (the Swedish astronomer [1701-1744] to whom we are indebted for centigrade thermometry) regretfully persisted.

Biographical Data  Classical literature, greatly enriched by Celsus' contributions, fails to provide much information on his person and his life. The exact dates of his birth and death are unknown, and even the period in which he lived can only be inferred from indirect evidence; the best opinion today is that he was a contemporary of the Emperor Tiberius (42 B.C.-37 A.D.), which means that he flourished in Rome in the first half of the first century A.D.1 Some would place his birth in the year 25 B.C. He was born of