A Cabinet of Ancient Medical Curiosities: Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from the Healing Arts of Greece and Rome

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Oxford University Press, 2017 - Greek World - 268 pages
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There are few disciplines as exciting and forward-looking as medicine. Unfortunately, however, many modern practitioners have lost sight of the origins of their discipline. A Cabinet of Ancient Medical Curiosities aspires to cure this lapse by taking readers back to the early days of Western medicine in ancient Greece and Rome. Quoting the actual words of ancient authors, often from texts which have never before been translated into English, J. C. McKeown offers a fascinating glimpse at the origins of surgery, gynecology, pediatrics, pharmacology, diet and nutrition, and many other fields of medicine.

This book features hundreds of passages from Greek and Roman authors, with gentle guidance from McKeown, giving a vividly direct picture of the ancient medical world, a world in which, for example, a surgeon had to be strong-minded enough to ignore the screams of his patient, diseases were assumed to be sent by the gods, medicine and magic were often indistinguishable, and no qualifications were required before setting oneself up as a doctor. On the other hand, McKeown reveals that some ancient medical attitudes were also surprisingly similar to our own. Beyond the practice of medicine, McKeown highlights ancient views on familiar topics, such as medical ethics and the role of the doctor in society. A fascinating exploration of the bizarre - and sometimes grotesque - medical beliefs of the past, A Cabinet of Ancient Medical Curiosities will delight anyone with an interest in the history of medicine or the ancient world.
 

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A Cabinet of Ancient Medical Curiosities: Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from the Healing Arts of Greece and Rome

User Review  - J C McKeown - Publishers Weekly

McKeown, professor of classics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and compiler of A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities and A Cabinet of Greek Curiosities, goes for a weird-but-true trifecta with this ... Read full review

Contents

CHAPTER I Medicine Religion and Magic
1
CHAPTER II The Doctor in Society
19
CHAPTER III Attitudes to Doctors
37
CHAPTER IV Some Famous Doctors
57
CHAPTER V Anatomy
71
CHAPTER VI Sex Matters
83
CHAPTER VII Women and Children
93
CHAPTER VIII Preventive Medicine
113
CHAPTER X Particular Ailments and Conditions
143
CHAPTER XI Treatment and Cures I
175
CHAPTER XII Treatment and Cures II
197
CHAPTER XIII General Medicine
229
CHAPTER XIV Respice Finem
249
Glossary
253
Coin Images
265
Illustration Credits
267

CHAPTER IX Prognosis and Diagnosis
133

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About the author (2017)


J.C. McKeown is Professor of Classics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, coeditor of the Oxford Anthology of Roman Literature, and author of Classical Latin: An Introductory Course, A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities, and A Cabinet of Greek Curiosities.

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