Medicine, Health, and Healing in the Ancient Mediterranean (500 BCE–600 CE): A Sourcebook (Paperback)

Medicine, Health, and Healing in the Ancient Mediterranean (500 BCE–600 CE): A Sourcebook By Kristi Upson-Saia, Heidi Marx, Jared Secord Cover Image

Medicine, Health, and Healing in the Ancient Mediterranean (500 BCE–600 CE): A Sourcebook (Paperback)


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This sourcebook provides an expansive picture of medicine, health, and healing in ancient Greece and Rome. Covering a wide array of fascinating topics—such as ancient diagnostic practices using the pulse and urine, gynecological theories of women’s illness, treatments involving drugs and surgery, the training and work of physicians, the experiences of patients, and various sites where healing took place—this volume will engage readers interested in the rich history of health and healthcare.
The volume brings together textual sources—many hard to access and some translated into English for the first time—as well as artistic, material, and scientific evidence, including:
  • Medical treatises
  • Case studies
  • Artistic works
  • Material artifacts
  • Archaeological evidence
  • Biomedical remains
  • Funerary monuments
  • Miracle narratives
  • Spells and magical recipes
With substantial explanation of these varied materials—through background chapters, introductions to the thematic chapters, a timeline, and a glossary—the volume is accessible to a broad audience.
Readers will come away with a nuanced understanding of the illnesses people in ancient Greece and Rome experienced, the range of healers from whom they sought help, and the various practices they employed to be healthy.  
Kristi Upson-Saia is David B. and Mary H. Gamble Professor of Religion at Occidental College. She is also Co-Founder/Co-Director of ReMeDHe, an international working group on religion, medicine, disability, and health in late antiquity. 
Heidi Marx is Professor of Religion and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Manitoba. She is also Co-Founder/Co-Director of ReMeDHe.

Jared Secord is Coordinator of Scholars Programs at the University of Calgary. He previously taught at the University of Chicago and Washington State University and is author of Christian Intellectuals and the Roman Empire: From Justin Martyr to Origen.
Product Details ISBN: 9780520299726
ISBN-10: 0520299728
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: June 27th, 2023
Pages: 487
Language: English
"An admirably imaginative, clear, wide-ranging, informative and stimulating introduction to ancient medicine."
— Classics for All

"Plentiful illustrations, pedagogically soundly placed and well discussed definitions, helpful maps, concise and clear glossaries, and tabular overviews will greatly facilitate acquisition of knowledge relating to many basic aspects of ancient medicine."
— Greece & Rome

"The authors of this source book have compiled a significant and helpful corpus of both texts and images for the study of ancient health. It will prove useful and informative for undergraduate courses focusing on ancient health, and could easily be incorporated into larger survey courses at the upper undergraduate and graduate level."
— Bryn Mawr Classical Review