Ancient Babylonian Medicine: Theory and PracticeHardback Ancient Cultures
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- Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
- Format: Hardback | 234 pages
- Dimensions: 154mm x 230mm x 22mm | 499g
- Publication date: 17 May 2010
- Publication City/Country: Chicester
- ISBN 10: 1405126523
- ISBN 13: 9781405126526
- Illustrations note: b/w illus
- Sales rank: 739,696
This study provides an overview of Bablyonian medicine and analyses its religious, social and political context. Challenging the traditional view of ancient medicine that rigidly distinguishes between science and superstition, Geller shows how ancient healing methods and strategies embodied a vastly more complex relationship between medicine and magic. Geller also examines basic therapeutic concepts, utilizing medical commentaries ascribed to physician-scribes among Babylonian scholars.
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Markham J. Geller is Professor of Semitic Languages at University College London and Guest Professor at the Freie Universitat Berlin. He is the author of Evil Demons: Canonical Utukku Lemnutu Incantations (2007) and co-editor of Disease in Babylonia (2007) and Imagining Creation (2008).
"Markham J. Geller brings a welcome, dual expertise now rather rare in medical history (he is an MD as well as a Rabbi and Professor of Semitic Languages), and some of his previous studies of Talmudic texts led him to the discovery of medical loan-words that turned out to be embedded Akka-dian dating from the period known as the "Babylonian Captivity". (Times Literary Supplement, 21 January 2011) "He appends a commentary probably composed by the Uruk scholar Iqisa, who flourished in the latter part of the fourth century BC; the transcription, and possibly the translation, is from a 1924 edition by Campbell Thompson." (SciTech Book News, December 2010)
Back cover copy
Even in the twenty-first century, medicine remains something of a mystery. In a few significant areas we are hardly better informed than ancient and medieval practitioners. Yet when the topic of ancient medicine is broached, too often the tendency is to dismiss it solely as the product of ignorance and superstition. By delving into the way medicine was actually practiced by various Babylonian professionals of the 2nd and 1st millennium B.C., "Ancient Babylonian Medicine: Theory and Practice" shatters some of our preconceived notions about ancient medicine. Through the use of a great variety of extant cuneiform tablets -- many previously unknown -- noted Assyriologist and ancient language expert Markham J. Geller reveals the rich legacy of Babylonian healing techniques. Challenging the traditional view of ancient medicine that rigidly distinguishes between science and superstition, Geller shows how ancient healing methods and strategies embodied a vastly more complex relationship between medicine and magic. He theorizes that when viewed from the perspective of a patient concerned only with the efficacy of treatment, medicine and magic were simply dual approaches to healing. Geller also examines basic therapeutic concepts utilizing medical commentaries ascribed to physician-scribes among Babylonian scholars -- a source not previously researched. Original and provocative, "Ancient Babylonian Medicine: Theory and Practice" offers startling new insights into the dark and distant roots of modern medicine.
Table of contents
List of Illustrations. List of Abbreviations. Acknowledgments. Introduction to Babylonian Medicine and Magic. 1 Medicine as Science. 2 Who Did What to Whom? 3 The Politics of Medicine. 4 Medicine as Literature. 5 Medicine and Philosophy. 6 Medical Training: MD or PhD? 7 Uruk Medical Commentaries. 8 Medicine and Magic as Independent Approaches to Healing. Appendix: An Edition of a Medical Commentary. Notes. References. Subject Index. Selective Index of Akkadian and Greek Words. Index of Akkadian Personal Names.