A Disease Once Sacred: A History of the Medical Understanding of Epilepsy

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Epilepsy has been known to afflict human beings throughout most of the span of recorded history. In ancient times it was referred to as the sacred disease, and this was the title of what was, until quite recently, the earliest known surviving written work on the disorder. However, an that ancient account the term sacred disease was used ironically, the argument being that the disorder was anything but sacred in its nature. It was simply a physical illness and not the product of some supernatural intervention into the course of human life.

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