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By J.C. McKeown

There are few disciplines as interesting and forward-looking as drugs. regrettably, although, many sleek practitioners have overlooked the origins in their self-discipline. A cupboard of historic scientific Curiosities aspires to medication this lapse by means of taking readers again to the early days of Western drugs in historic Greece and Rome. Quoting the particular phrases of historic authors, usually from texts that have by no means sooner than been translated into English, J. C. McKeown bargains a desirable glimpse on the origins of surgical procedure, gynecology, pediatrics, pharmacology, vitamin and nutrients, and plenty of different fields of medication.

This e-book gains countless numbers of passages from Greek and Roman authors, with mild information from McKeown, giving a vividly direct photo of the traditional clinical global, an international within which, for instance, a health care provider needed to be strong-minded sufficient to disregard the screams of his sufferer, ailments have been assumed to be despatched via the gods, medication and magic have been usually indistinguishable, and no skills have been required sooner than environment oneself up as a physician. nevertheless, McKeown unearths that a few historical scientific attitudes have been additionally strangely just like our personal. past the perform of drugs, McKeown highlights historic perspectives on time-honored subject matters, corresponding to clinical ethics and the position of the health care professional in society. a desirable exploration of the unusual - and occasionally ugly - clinical ideals of the prior, A cupboard of historical scientific Curiosities will satisfaction somebody with an curiosity within the heritage of medication or the traditional world.

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Additional info for A cabinet of ancient medical curiosities: strange tales and surprising facts from the healing arts of Greece and Rome

Example text

The amulet did Pericles no good, for he died of the plague. Despite dozens of suggestions by modern scholars, the precise nature of the Athenian Plague has not been determined; it has been identified most recently with Ebola. An amulet of green jasper is good for the stomach and the esophagus. Some people even wear it in a ring with a radiate serpent engraved on it, just as King Nechepsos prescribes in his fourteenth book. I have myself tested this stone carefully: I made a necklace of little pieces of green jasper that I hung round my neck in such a way that they reached down to the opening to my stomach.

Make a strong thread out of the fur, and use it to tie the foot to the sick person’s body. This produces a marvelous cure. 35). 12 12 A Cabinet of Ancient Medical Curiosities Motas vaeta daries dardares astataries dissunapiter and huat hauat huat ista pista sista dannabo dannaustra and huat haut haut istasis tarsis ardannabou dannaustra are incantations approved by the elder Cato for use in treating dislocations and fractures (On Agriculture 160). The text of these apparently quite meaningless charms is inevitably in doubt.

He gathers information from the sick person and at the same time keeps him informed, as far as he is able, and he does not give instructions for a cure until he has persuaded his patient to go along with it (Plato Laws 720a). Julian, the last pagan emperor of Rome, makes much the same point rather more bluntly: Doctors who are free men simply order their patients to follow the necessary course of treatment, but if someone has the bad luck to be a slave and the good skill to be a doctor, he needs to bestow both flattery and treatment on his owner at the same time (Julian Against Heraclius 3).

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