Medicine from Antiquity to the Medieval Near East
Value: half unit
Tutor: Dr Barbara Zipser
Taught through weekly
lectures and weekly follow-up seminars
Best Essay of 2 (30%) and 2-hour Exam (70%)
The course will provide an introduction to the main medical schools and writers from the Hippocratic Corpus to Galen, situating medical theory in the wider context of classical philosophy. It will also cover the reception of ancient medicine in Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Arabic world.
Two aspects of medical practice will be discussed in more detail, obstetrics and eye surgery.
The session on eye surgery will be of particular importance as it will reveal how medical writers attempted to reconcile a discrepancy between philosophical theory and actual surgical findings. Since vision is widely discussed in classical philosophical texts, this session would be of particular interest to students from Classics and Philosophy.