ABOUT THIS BOOK
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.
[The book's] essays, relating early Western medicine to the surrounding thought and culture, were originally published in Italian. But thanks to translator Anthony Shugaar they retain all their clarity and energy.
-- New Scientist
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...They are complementary, not competitive.
-- T. P. Gariepy Choice
Here we have a number of lively and interesting discussions, based on sound methodology, ranging from the time of Hippocrates to the Black Death, dealing with the important subjects of disease, drugs, surgery, and hygiene, the whole accompanied by an extensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources.
-- Virginia Quarterly Review
There is no equivalent survey of ancient and medieval medical writing in Europe and the Mediterranean world. The contributors are among the most respected historians in the field.
-- Katharine Park, Harvard University