Mesopotamian Medicine (History of Medicine)

Mesopotamian Medicine (History of Medicine)

Although the Mesopotamian civilisation is as old as that of Egypt and might even have predated it, we know much less about Mesopotamian medicine, mainly because the cuneiform source material is less well researched. Medical healers existed from the middle of the 3rd millennium. In line with the strong theocratic state culture, healers were closely integrated with the powerful priestly fraternity, and were essentially of three main kinds: baru (seers) who were experts in divination, ashipu (exorcists), and asu (healing priests) who tended directly to the sick. All illness was accepted as sent by gods, demons and other evil spirits, either as retribution for sins or as malevolent visitations. Treatment revolved around identification of the offending supernatural power, appeasement of the angry gods, for example by offering amulets or incantations, exorcism of evil spirits, as well as a measure of empirical therapy aimed against certain recognised symptom complexes. Medical practice was rigidly codified, starting with Hammurabi’s Code in the 18th century BC and persisting to the late 1st millennium BC. Works like the so-called Diagnostic Handbook, the Assyrian Herbal and Prescription Texts describe the rationale of Mesopotamian medicine, based predominantly on supernatural concepts, although rudimentary traces of empirical medicine are discernible. There is evidence that Egyptian medicine might have been influenced by Mesopotamian practices, but Greek rational medicine as it evolved in the 5th/4th centuries BC almost certainly had no significant Mesopotamian roots. Although early Mesopotamian civilisation possibly predated that of Egypt, we know much less of the art of medicine in the ‘Fertile Crescent’ than in the Nile valley. This is largely because Mesopotamian literary sources are still grossly underexplored and underdeveloped. (1) The visiting Greek historian, Herodotus, (2) wrote in the 5th century BC that the Babylonians were without physicians or specialised medicine and that ill persons were taken to public places where passers-by were requested to advise on the nature of the illness and its treatment. In this overview it will be shown that the country did indeed have a system of medicine and healers, but that it was so different from the Egyptian and Greek medicine known to Herodotus that he did not recognise it as such.

Mesopotamian Medicine (History of Medicine)



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Sourcebook For Ancient Mesopotamian Medicine


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Author by : JoAnn Scurlock
Languange Used : en
Release Date : 2014-07-11
Publisher by : Society of Biblical Lit






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Author by : Annie Attia
Languange Used : en
Release Date : 2009-09-24
Publisher by : BRILL






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Author by : Jo Ann Scurlock
Languange Used : en
Release Date : 2010-10-01
Publisher by : University of Illinois Press






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Languange Used : en
Release Date : 2019-07-11
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The Comparable Body Analogy And Metaphor In Ancient Mesopotamian Egyptian And Greco Roman Medicine


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Author by : John Z Wee
Languange Used : en
Release Date : 2017-11-13
Publisher by : BRILL






Ancient Babylonian Medicine


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Author by : Markham J. Geller
Languange Used : en
Release Date : 2015-07-21
Publisher by : John Wiley & Sons






Assyrian And Babylonian Scholarly Text Catalogues


Assyrian And Babylonian Scholarly Text Catalogues Read Online Download

Author by : Ulrike Steinert
Languange Used : en
Release Date : 2018-06-11
Publisher by : Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG






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