Cover image for Western medical thought from antiquity to the Middle Ages
Western medical thought from antiquity to the Middle Ages
Grmek, Mirko D. (Mirko Dražen), 1924-2000.
Uniform Title:
Storia del pensiero medico occidentale. English.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Ma. : Harvard University Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
478 pages ; 25 cm
Birth of Western medical art / Between knowledge and practice : Hellenistic medicine / Paths of knowledge : medicine in the Roman world / Reception and tradition : medicine in the Byzantine and Arab world / Charity and aid in medieval Christian civilization / Medical scholasticism / Concept of disease / Therapeutic strategies : drugs / Therapeutic strategies : surgery / Regimens of health / Diseases in Europe : equilibrium and breakdown of the pathocenosis

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
R135 .S83513 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
R135 .S83513 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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A landmark work, this history of medical thought from antiquity through the Middle Ages reconstructs the slow transformations and sudden changes in theory and practice that marked the birth and early development of Western medicine.

Editor Mirko Grmek and his contributors adopt a synthetic, cross-disciplinary approach that conveys a complete and varied vision of our medical past, with attention to cultural, social, and economic forces as they have affected the historical flow of knowledge and the practice of medicine. The various chapters by an international group of scholars, isolate key ideas behind the history of medicine in the West: charity and aid for the sick; medical scholasticism; the concept of disease; intervention with surgery or drugs; and the regimen of health. Throughout, they highlight the links between socioeconomics in general, with a focus on the physician, and the scientific ideas, beliefs, and techniques behind prevailing medical practices. The result is a multifaceted history, unparalleled in its scope, of the myriad influences on the development of medical thought, and of the impact of that thought on other branches of knowledge and on human behavior across the centuries.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

First appearing in 1993 as Storia del pensiero medico occidentale: antichita e medioevo, this book is a compilation of 12 monographs on classical and medieval medicine by 12 experts. Grmek's editing and especially Shugaar's translation provide the English-speaking reader with the best in-depth coverage of this field yet provided. Unlike other joint efforts that sometimes lack unity of theme or depth of knowledge, these essays can be read individually to introduce or brush up on a topic, or they can be read as a whole. The scope is wider and the treatment deeper than Nancy G. Siraisi's Medieval & Early Renaissance Medicine (CH, Feb'91); they are complementary, not competitive. An excellent bibliography adds to its value. Subsequent volumes in this series--and their translations--have a high standard to meet. General readers; upper-division undergraduates through professionals. T. P. Gariepy Stonehill College

Table of Contents

IntroductionMirko D. Grmek
The Birth of Western Medical Art Jacques Jouanna Between Knowledge and Practice: Hellenistic Medicine
The Paths of Knowledge: Medicine in the Roman WorldDanielle Gourevitch
Reception and Tradition: Medicine in the Byzantine and Arab WorldGotthard Strohmaier
Charity and Aid in Medieval Christian CivilizationJole Agrimi and Chiara Crisciani
Medical ScholasticismDanielle Jacquart
The Concept of DiseaseMirko D. Grmek
Therapeutic Strategies: DrugsAlain Touwaide
Therapeutic Strategies: SurgeryMichael McVaugh
The Regimens of HealthPedro Gil Sotres
Diseases in Europe: Equilibrium and Breakdown of the PathocenosisJean-Noeuml Biraben