In this course we will survey the history of ancient medicine in Greece and Rome, keeping in mind the chronological development of the field as it emerged in Greece in the writing of the Hippocratics, as it spread to Alexandria, and then developed Rome, especially in the writing of Galen and Soranus. By examining ancient Greek medicine in light of the modern fields of pathology, surgery, pharmacology, therapy, obstetrics, psychology, anatomy, medical science, ethics, and education, the student will gain not only a better understanding of the foundations of Western medicine but also an appreciation for how medical terms, theories, and practices take on different meanings with changes in science and society.
A series of online quizzes focusing on textual analysis and close reading; bibliographic research; objective tests (essay questions); and three brief writing assignments that facilitate cross-cultural comparison on topics of controversy (e.g., abortion; hysteria or other gender-specific diseases; mental health; disability and chronic disease; the professionalization of the physician; vivisection). Assignments may also include a web page colloboration on broader themes in the course.
Undergraduates interested in learning a broad and humanistic understanding of the meaning of health, disease, and medicine in Western culture.
Three hours of lecture a week plus a one-hour discussion section.