It was an old superstition that if the fourth book of the Iliad was laid under the head of a patient suffering from quartan ague it would cure him at once. Sernus Sammoncus, preceptor of Gordian and a noted physician, vouchee for this remedy.
“Mæoniæ Iliados quartum suppone timenti.”
—Præcepta de Medicina, 50.
The subject of this book is as follows: While Agamemnon adjudges that Menelos is the winner, and that the Trojans were bound to yield, according to their compact, Pandros draws his bow, wounds Menelaos, and the battle becomes general. The reason why this book was selected is because it contains the cure of Menelos by Machon, “a son of Æsculapius.”