Classics 144 – The Legacy of Ancient Medicine

Published: February 26, 2020

Spring 2020
MW 2:00-3:15 PM

According to a widely diffused opinion medicine was among the major achievements of the ancient Hellenic culture and it provided the foundations of the Western art of healing. However exact this idea might be, it does not explain why and how ancient medicine could have been the source of present-day medicine. This class will investigate such topics as how ancient medicine was transmitted through the centuries, how it was assimilated into–and/or determined–Western medicine and science, or whether it can be considered the source of modern medicine and, if so, why and how. To approach these and other similar questions, the class will examine the history of medicine through the Mediterranean from the most remote Antiquity to the dawn of modern medicine and even later. It will study such components as transmission of knowledge, translation, adaptation, criticism or rejection of classical medicine; also it will examine the teaching of medicine, ethics, apprenticeship and professionalization, and it will analyze discoveries traditionally considered as fundamental to the development of modern medicine.

Dr. Alain Touwaide, instructor.