Paper managers: Andrew Cunningham (Michaelmas Term), Natalie Kaoukji (Lent & Easter Terms)
This paper is also offered as Minor Subject 113 in Part II Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS).
|Thu 3pm (weeks 1–4)|
|Medicine and Society in Graeco-Roman Antiquity|
Rebecca Flemming, David Leith
|Fri 12noon (weeks 1–8)|
Peter Jones, Jennifer Rampling
|Thu 3pm (weeks 5–8)|
|Tue 2pm (weeks 1–4)|
|Early Modern Medicine|
Karin Ekholm, Natalie Kaoukji, Hannah Newton
|Fri 12noon (weeks 1–8)|
This paper covers medical knowledge and practices in the ancient, medieval and early modern periods. Themes include understandings of the body and of disease; the status of medical knowledge; patient-practitioner relationships; the medical marketplace; sex and reproduction; and medicine, magic and religion.
[Daniel Defoe,] A Journal of the Plague Year (1722; Penguin, 1966)
Andrew Cunningham (4 seminars, Michaelmas Term)
Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year ('being observations or memorials of the most remarkable occurrences, as well public as private, which happened in London during the last great visitation in 1665. Written by a Citizen who continued all the while in London. Never made public before') was first published anonymously in 1722 as a supposed account of the London plague of 1665. It is a fictional reconstruction based on true accounts, and has been the model of every historical account of great cities in times of epidemic siege or occupation. It is also a masterpiece of English writing.
Medicine and Society in Graeco-Roman Antiquity
Rebecca Flemming, David Leith (8 lectures, Michaelmas Term)
This course explores key themes in the development of the learned medical tradition in classical antiquity in its social and historical context, from the first Greek medical writings of the Hippocratic Corpus, through the explosion of medical activity (including systematic human dissection and vivisection) in Hellenistic Alexandria, to the great medical system building of Galen and his rivals in imperial Rome and beyond. These themes include relations between medicine and religion, questions of political patronage, and imperial context, the place of medicine, its theories and practices, within wider culture and society, women as patients and healers, and the construction of medical authority.
Peter Jones, Jennifer Rampling (8 lectures, Michaelmas & Lent Terms)
In medieval Europe, a new kind of medical learning, based on natural philosophy, resulted in new ways of talking about, teaching and practising medicine. This course investigates these changes from 1000–1500: from the early medieval 'medical landscape' of healers and the rise of university medicine, to the catastrophe of the Black Death and the rise of astrology and alchemy. Topics include Graeco-Arabic medicine, medical education and practice, religious and magical healing, pestilence, death, and the experience of being ill in the Latin Middle Ages.
Early Modern Medicine
Karin Ekholm, Natalie Kaoukji, Hannah Newton (8 lectures, Lent Term)
These lectures provide an overview of medicine in early modern Europe (1550–1750). We will examine ways in which Greek and Arab medicine, anatomy and natural philosophy were foundational to medical theory and practices, and how these ancient and medieval views came under attack. Central themes of the course include change and continuity in theories of the body and disease, practices of maintaining health and healing, experiences of patients, and in the broad spectrum of practitioners available. We will study how different practitioners were trained and how they interacted both with each other and their patients. During this period important discoveries were made in anatomical theatres, in alchemical laboratories, in the New World and under microscopes, and we consider their influence on medical theory and practice. In addition to drawing upon learned and vernacular medical, religious and literary texts, there will be significant attention on what contemporary illustrations and paintings can teach us about the history of early modern medicine.
For introductions to the subject, see:
- Porter, Roy, The Greatest Benefit to Mankind (1997)
- Siraisi, Nancy, Medieval and Early Renaissance Medicine (1990)
- Elmer, Peter (ed), Healing Arts: Health, Disease and Society in Europe, 1500–1800 (2004)
For studies of particular periods, places and practitioners, see:
- Cook, Harold, Trials of an Ordinary Doctor: Joannes Groenevelt in Seventeenth-Century London (1994)
- Cunningham, Andrew, The Anatomical Renaissance: The Resurrection of the Anatomical Projects of the Ancients (1997)
- Duden, Barbara, The Woman Beneath the Skin: A Doctor's Patients in Eighteenth-Century Germany, trans. Thomas Dunlap (1991)
- Fissell, Mary, Vernacular Bodies: The Politics of Reproduction in Early Modern England (2004)
- King, Helen, Hippocrates' Woman: Reading the Female Body in Ancient Greece (1998)
- Lloyd, Geoffrey, In the Grip of Disease: Studies in the Greek Imagination (2003)
- MacDonald, Michael, Mystical Bedlam: Madness, Anxiety and Healing in Seventeenth-Century England (1981)
- French, Roger, Medicine Before Science: The Rational and Learned Doctor from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment (2003)
- Nutton, Vivian, Ancient Medicine (2004)
- Pelling, Margaret, The Common Lot: Sickness, Medical Occupations and the Urban Poor in Early Modern England (1998)
- Siraisi, Nancy, The Clock and the Mirror: Girolamo Cardano and Renaissance Medicine (1997)
For lighter reading, see:
- Cobb, Matthew, The Egg and Sperm Race: The Seventeenth-Century Scientists Who Unlocked the Secrets of Sex and Growth (2006)
- Manzoni, Alessandro, The Betrothed (1827)
- Pears, Iain, An Instance of the Fingerpost (1997)
- Tomalin, Claire, Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self (2002)