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Protologue of The Boenninghausen Repertory

The Bönninghausen Repertory
George Dimitriadis
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Protologue of The Bönninghausen Repertory by George Dimitriadis. One of the best repertories to have!

Our continued research over the years has confirmed many of our previous findings, but more importantly, has uncovered the error of views trustingly inherited from our predecessors[2] and so-called collaborators,[3] and firmly implanted our position that all decisions taken for this present work be based solely on evidence with specific reference to primary source literature.[4] This has meant a complete review of the entire work, which allowed us to consolidate our understanding and gain the authority to make necessary changes in both re-forming and re-naming a number of rubrics in order to clarify their meaning and to better reflect the provings data from which they derive.[5]

1.  Changes from the first edition

The Bönninghausen Repertory

1.  Removal of additions (& changes) from Innominate copy TT (I-copy)

An annotated Hempel (English language) edition of TT, obtained and supposed[6] to be Carroll Dunham’s own copy[7] into which he transcribed all additions from Bönninghausen’s personal working copy of TT. But for a number of reasons,[8] we have since determined this was not the original Dunham copy, and instead refer to it as the Innominate copy (I-copy). Our concerns over these additions from I-copy were made clear in our first edition TBR Preface,[9] But the most significant sticking point relates to the changes in remedy grade indicated by a system of underlinings. As we ourselves discovered during a close examination of Bönninghausen’s own manuscripts, he used a system of underlinings to indicate grade. Throughout his works, from his early unpublished manuscripts of 1830, to his 1846 TTm, Bönninghausen uses a system of underlinings to indicate remedy grade: no underlining indicates grade 1; one underlining, grade 2; two underlinings, grade 3; three underlinings, grade 4. In this way, Bönninghausen would write down the remedy, and choose the numbers of lines according the grade he wished to indicate to the typesetter (who would translate this into a particular type-style). Bönninghausen never used more than 3 underlinings in any of his numerous manuscripts. This however, is not the case with the I­copy – there are numerous examples where even rubric titles are underlined, as well as instances where 3 and 4 grade remedies have been given numerous underlinings which would raise these much higher than 4­grade (refer image no.).[10] This fact alone is sufficient to dismiss the I-copy as stemming from Bönninghausen.[11] It is for these reasons that all changes and additions from I-copy have been expunged from this edition TBR.

2.  Removal of additions (& changes) from Bönninghausen’s later works

It was during this extended process wherein we came to realise that all additions to TT, which we had accepted[12] into TBR,[13] not only mis-represented the intention of Bönninghausen, but further, by incorporating information from various works with differing inclusion & grading criteria, acted to undermine the integrity of his TT, and thereby reduce its certainty.[14] All these additions have been herein removed for this second edition TBR,[15] for example:

Aggr. Injuries, head [Verschlimmerung, von Verletzung, Kopf]:

This rubric, added from AHP531, removed for this second edition.

Tongue coated (or furred) [Zungen­Belegtheit]:

Veratrum, added from I-copy, removed for this second edition

This process involved the reversal of around 1,700 remedy entry and grading changes which we had incorporated into the first edition TBR, but the fact we had individually marked each such change made this a relatively simple exercise.

3.  Removal of duplicates & synonymous rubrics

Bönninghausen’s inclusion of duplicate rubrics also increased the likelihood of inconsistency, as is evidenced by numerous discrepancies (of grade and remedy) between duplicates, both within TT itself, and across TTm/TT. For this edition we have removed a number of duplicates not previously noticed,[16] including synonymous rubrics using different (dialectic)[17] terms to say the same thing, and which, in their primary (German) pharmacography, were indistinguishable[18] – whenever these were quite different in their medicine listings, we combined them into a single rubric.[19] Some notable examples:

Sweat, coloured, red (bloody; hæmathidrosis, sweating of blood):

Schweiss, färbender roth [TTm339] (sweat colour red) + blutiger [TTm162,260,339, triplicates] (sweat bloody). We have combined these rubrics because they are indistinguishable clinically, and contained identical remedy entries (except for Dulcamara which was not under bloody sweat).

Excrescences, Horny (hard; cornu cutaneum, etc.)

This rubric appeared in quadruplicate as:

TTm251/TT216 Ausschlag, hornartige [Eruption, horny]

TTm258/TT222 Auswüchse, hornartige [Excrescences, horny]

TTm285/TT244 Hühneraugen, hornartige [Corns, horny]

TTm301/TT257 Warzen, hornartige [Warts, horny]

These four rubrics listed the same remedies in differing grades, and we have (according to our policy in such cases to favour repertorial notice) herein accepted the higher grades.

Flatus, odour, offensive (fœtid, putrid, etc.) [Blähungen stinkende, TTm80] (+ evacuation, offensive)

This rubric has been combined with the smaller Flatus, foul odour (Blähungen faulriechende), since these two terms cannot be separated in a practical sense – as may be clearly seen from the fact that the smell of rotten eggs is described as stinking [stinken] under Calc.1473, and as foul [fauler] under Mur­ac.176. Moreover, the identical rubric Evacuation, offensive odour [Stuhlausleerung, Uebelriechende], with 7 minor grading discrepancies, has been removed.

Amel. half­asleep, during [Besserung, im Halbschlafe, TTm423 + im Schlummer, TTm431].

The rubric amel. in slumber (im Schlummer) listed only Helleborus, and from its single proving symptom (Helleborus24 [RA6]) we see it refers to an amelioration during a half-sleep, when the prover becomes completely relaxed (but still aware), and that there is therefore no distinction between the two rubrics (amel. in half-sleep/in slumber).

The skin section proved amongst the most difficult, many of the obsolete terms having required much scrutiny in order to define them sufficiently for our purpose, and consequently, this section has received a most thorough review for this edition,[20] – we may mention for example, our integration of the rubrics under Tetters (Flechten) with their synonymous entries under Eruptions (Ausschlag), or our clarification of lack of reactivity of the skin, of Varicella, Erysipelous, etc., the details of which will be found in their respective endnotes.

4.  Reduction of rubric numbers

As we can see, this process has seen a reduction of rubric numbers for this edition. The reader will not find any other repertorial work boasting such reduction – a total of 444 rubrics less,[21] from 2695 in the first edition, to 2251 in this second edition TBR – this represents a milestone in homœopathic literature, by seeking quality over quantity, certainty over reservation,[22] and by removing anything superfluous or confounding, and at the same time correcting any errors and retaining the intention of its originator.

We remind the reader that no changes have been undertaken without, in each case, documented supporting evidence from primary sources. Before closing on this point, there is one noteworthy exception to the reduction of rubric numbers, namely, the single addition of the following rubric:

Evacuation, yellow [Stuhlausleerung, Gelbe (SRA113 + SRN143)]. [23]

TT inexplicably omitted this rubric which is found in both its SRA and SRN precursors. The clinical significance of this symptom has induced its addition, but it should be noted that the SRA/SRN remedy gradings are generally not precisely consistent with those of TT, and this must be kept in mind when considering the grading consistency across rubrics (described in our DHD, p.54) in using this TBR.

5.  Concordances un-reciprocated

Having determined to replace the TT Concordances with BKV, we further noted that the lack of perfect reciprocity in the remedies listed in both these works,[24] and we provided argument in support of our decision to reciprocate all such entries for our first edition TBR.[25]

But after a further 10 years of constant study and almost exclusive application of this repertorial method, we are now in a position to offer the following comment:

The relationships listings were formed and re-formed from Bönninghausen’s clinical experience, and it makes perfect sense that, in his experience, Agaricus, given in a particular case, may have (even frequently) produced a response which indicated Sulfur as the next remedy, whilst the converse was never seen, i.e. that a patient given Sulfur did never, in his experience, produce a response to indicate Agaricus as the subsequent remedy.[26]

In this way, Bönninghausen’s relationships listing not only provides a correlation of medicines evidenced in a practical sense (following their homœopathic application), but it further provides an indication of their clinical sequencing,[27] and with the added marker for the observed frequency of such correlation (via the grading).

We therefore now accept the error of our previous action in reciprocating this work,[28] and have, for this edition, returned this Concordances list back to its original form, as Bönninghausen intended it.

2.  TT manuscript (TTm)



Following the publication of TBR we obtained a copy of the TT manuscript (TTm),[29] and from our initial comparison with the printed TT, and with other manuscripts in our possession,[30] soon recognised it was written by Bönninghausen himself, to send to the printer for typesetting.[31] The initial excitement was soon tempered by our realisation of the task ahead – to undertake a three way comparison between TTm/TT/TBR,[32] rubric by rubric, remedy by remedy, which process extended over more than 2 years.[33]

In short, TTm has proven a most valuable reference source and afforded a degree of certainty which was otherwise not possible. The following observations, drawn from our thorough examination of TTm, from first page to last, may help the reader to appreciate its importance in improving this second edition TBR.

About the author

George Dimitriadis

George Dimitriadis

Founding Vice-President and later President, Society of Classical Homœopathy (SCH), 1985-1995.
Chief Editor Australian Journal of Homœopathic Medicine during publication life (1992-95)
Honourary Member Bönninghausen-Arbeitsgemeinschaft (headed by K.-H.Gypser)
Founder Hahnemann Institute Sydney (graduate teaching and literary research institution)
George lectures since 1983, at various colleges around Sydney and at his own post-graduate course at New South Wales College of Classical Homœopathy and later Hahnemann Institute Sydney. He has authored five books covering various subjects, viz:
- Some Essays on Homœopathy
- Gleanings of Homœopathic Philosophy
- The Theory of Chronic Disease according to Hahnemann **
- The Bönninghausen Repertory – Therapeutic Pocketbook Method (TBR, now in its second edition) *
- Homœopathic Diagnosis – Bönninghausen through Hahnemann *

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  • Dear Dr. George Dimitriadis,
    Great and admirable work, great selfless team spirit, pray that many will benefit from this beautiful work.

    Like to emphasize through the works written above as they are more appropriate and accurate to every reader and student of Hahnemannian homoeopathy as regards the accurate v/s inaccurate …

    …. “These works, which seem to spring up like weeds in a unprotected soil, lack reference to primary source literature, and are instead built upon information from manifold previous repertorial (non-primary) sources – thereby forming opinion upon opinion, and adding error upon error, whilst at the same time diluting any useful data which may have been present.”

    Hope to procure a copy of this beautiful work myself.

    Yours in Homoeopathy,
    Dr. Prasad