Early Medicine

Course Material 2022/23
 A physician sitting before a table, holding a urine flask, with two women, a boy and several other figures in the room

This course considers medicine in the ancient, medieval and early modern periods, and covers a wide geographical space, focusing on a number of different cultures of medicine, centred on Europe, and extending to China and the Americas. We discuss theories and practices of healing, conceptualizations of the human body, people's manifold experiences of disease, and the methodological approaches of cultural, social, intellectual and media histories of medicine. We study the formation of medical knowledge and authority, anatomical and natural historical knowledges, the large variety of healing options (including domestic medicine, drugs, preventative regimens, astrology and prayer) available to different strata of society, as well as the transmission and mediality of knowledge. We are attentive to paper technologies, print, material culture and the use of digital resources for studying the history of medicine. 

This is Part II paper BBS113 of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Tripos

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Image: Painting by Gérard Thomas entitled 'A physician sitting before a table, holding a urine flask'.