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CLAS 3239 | Ancient Medicine: The Classical Roots of the Medical Humanities: Topics and Readings

Welcome to Ancient Medicine: The Classical Roots of the Medical Humanities, a course designed to introduce you to the main themes and ideas in the medical literature produced by the ancient Greeks and Romans.

About Topics and Readings

In this course, we analyze a diverse selection of readings from the Greek and Roman traditions, along with modern scholarship on ancient medicine. We also explore perspectives on medicine in a handful of readings from outside of the Greek and Roman traditions. Our analysis of these texts is designed to promote critical thinking and to foster a better understanding of Greek and Roman medical ideologies and practices, and a better understanding of classical antiquity more generally. Our investigations of the readings employ a multidisciplinary lens, exploring issues germane to the history of science, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, gender and sexuality, literary studies, et al. Our readings and discussions also draw comparisons between ancient and modern medical inquiry and practice, shedding light upon how the Greek and Roman medical traditions have influenced the development of modern medical and intellectual traditions, and in turn stimulating critical examination of present-day medical practices, ideologies, and institutions.

Unit 1: Hippocratic Medicine

Link to Unit 1: Hippocratic Medicine page

Asclepios

Unit 4: Medicine in the Roman Empire

Link to Unit 4: Medicine in the Roman Empire page

Unit 2: Gender and Sexuality in Ancient Greek and Roman Medicine

Link to Unit 2: Gender and Sexuality in Ancient Greek and Roman Medicine page

Unit 3: Plagues

Link to Unit 3: Plagues page

Unit 5: Other Medical Traditions

Link to  Unit 5: Other Medical Traditions page

Course Documents