The Western Medical Tradition

The Western Medical Tradition : 800 BC to AD 1800

3.84 (26 ratings by Goodreads)
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This text, written by members of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine and first published in 1995, is designed to cover the history of western medicine from classical antiquity to 1800. As one guiding thread it takes, as its title suggests, the system of medical ideas that in large part went back to the Greeks of the eighth century BC, and played a major role in the understanding and treatment of health and disease. Its influence spread from the Aegean basin to the rest of the Mediterranean region, to Europe, and then to European settlements overseas. By the nineteenth century, however, this tradition no longer carried the same force or occupied so central a position within medicine. This book charts the influence of this tradition, examining it in its social and historical context. It is essential reading as a synthesis for all students of the history of medicine.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 574 pages
  • 170 x 244 x 33mm | 968g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 20 Tables, unspecified; 4 Maps; 66 Halftones, unspecified; 5 Line drawings, unspecified
  • 0521475643
  • 9780521475648
  • 592,893

Table of contents

List of illustrations; Acknowledgments; Introduction; 1. Medicine in the Greek world, 800-50 BC; 2. Roman medicine, 250 BC-200 AD; 3. Medicine in late antiquity and the early Middle Ages; 4. The Arab-Islamic medical tradition; 5. Medicine in medieval western Europe, 1000-1500; 6. Medicine in early modern Europe, 1500-1700; 7. The eighteenth century; 8. Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.
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Review quote

'The Western Medical Tradition is an extremely important publication which is certain to remain the best introduction to the history of pre-1800 western medicine for the next decade. Elegantly written and beautifully illustrated, it is a delight to read and re-read. Even the copious index is a work of art.' Laurence Brockliss, Medical History '... a book which many non-professional historians, especially doctors, will find challenging and provocative.' Pietro Corsi, British Medical Journal 'From the healers of ancient Greece to the first innoculations, this definitive book spans the history of treating ailments within the cultural, political and religious contexts of historical Western Europe. An essential book for those with a medical slant.' New Scientist 'This excellent book paints a picture of the history of medicine as a vital and complex interaction between sick people, society and, to a lesser degree, doctors. In doing so it makes an excellent case for the subject being an integral part of modern medical education and for its relevance to many of the pressing medical issues of today. I hope this beautifully written and illustrated work is read widely and appreciated for what it is - a genuine contribution to our understanding of the complexities and difficulties of the provision of health care in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It is a major tribute to the Wellcome Unit and to the work of the Wellcome Trust in maintaining and developing this discipline.' Sir David Weatherall, The Times Higher Education Supplement 'The Western Medical Tradition is a beautifully produced book ... and has what I call a high 'caressability' factor.' Pia Pini, The Lancet '... this book is invaluable ... The authors, publishers and the Wellcome Trust are to be congratulated on a timely, attractive and inexpensive contribution towards a public understanding of medicine's deeper past.' J. V. Pickstone, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 'There is much to admire in The Western Medical Tradition. It is an excellent, comprehensive work which easily supersedes the existing standard survey histories. The scholarship is up to the minute ... the text is well written, and the expertise of the authors is obvious.' British Journal for the History of Science 'This is an excellent book which we strongly recommend to the readers of this journal. it is clearly a 'must' for everybody who takes a serious interest in the history of medicine, but it can also be read as intellectual entertainment by anyone who wishes to know something about the traditions of medicine.' Henrik R. Wulff and Morten Skydsgaard, Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy ' ... for all those who now seek an authoritative account of the western tradition, who want to read a series of subtle essays, or who wish to look up answers to key questions, this book is invaluable. The authors, publishers and the Wellcome Trust are to be congratulated on a timely, attractive and inexpensive contribution towards a public understanding of medicine's deeper past'. J. V. Pickstone, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine "The Western Medical Tradition is a beautifully produced book....It should not, however, be regarded as a book only for doctors and medical students, for it would sit just as easily on the shelves of anyone with an interest in health and disease." The Lancet "...probably the best and most authoritative social history of Western medicine available in one volume." Gary B. Ferngren, New England Journal of Medicine "...the lively presentation, a style that rescues each subject from cliche while it places the history of medicine in a wide social context, one that includes alternative healing, the complicated relationship between religion and medicine, the development of hospitals and medical schools, and an account of how doctors tracked the authentic but hidden world of disease as biological pathology. I highly recommend this book for all physician-philosophers and medical libraries." Alan T. Marty, Jounal of the American Medical Association "...authoritative, up-to-date, and broad-minded survey....The Western Medical Tradition will no doubt leave its mark on the study and on the teaching of the discipline at universities." Joseph Shatzmiller, Journal of the History of Medicine "Far more than a historical treatise, this is an interpretive text to broaden the horizons of any serious student of the history of medicine." G. Eknoyan, Choice "The emphasis on detail may make this text a difficlut one for undergraduates but extremely rewarding..." Alexandra M. Lord, Historical Studies in the Physical Biological Sciences "...a treasure..." The Historian
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Rating details

26 ratings
3.84 out of 5 stars
5 23% (6)
4 50% (13)
3 19% (5)
2 4% (1)
1 4% (1)
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