AEMILIUS MACER, of Verona, Roman didactic poet, author of two poems, one on birds (Ornithogonia), the other on the antidotes against the poison of serpents (Theriaca), imitated from the Greek poet Nicander of Colophon.
The antidotes are mild alkalis, together with the use of opium to relieve pain.
An electuary of opium, known as Mithradatum, was invented by Mithradates VI., king of Pontus, who lived in constant fear of being poisoned, and tested the effects of poisons on criminals, and is said to have taken poisons and their antidotes every day in the year.
The oxide and carbonate of magnesium are also invaluable as antidotes, since they form insoluble compounds with oxalic acid and salts of mercury, arsenic, and copper.
In these cases lime-water, alkalis and magnesia should be used as antidotes, and opium may be required.