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CLS 160 — Medicine in the Ancient Western World

Quarter: Summer
Instructor(s): Patrick Hunt
Duration: 6 weeks
Format/Location: Live Online
Date(s): Jun 24—Jul 29
Class Recording Available: Yes
Class Meeting Day: Mondays
 
Class Meeting Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Tuition: $405
   
Refund Deadline: Jun 26
 
Unit(s): 1
   
Status: Open
 
Quarter: Summer
Day: Mondays
Duration: 6 weeks
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Date(s): Jun 24—Jul 29
Unit(s): 1
Format/Location: Live Online
 
Tuition: $405
 
Refund Deadline: Jun 26
 
Instructor(s): Patrick Hunt
 
Recording Available: Yes
 
Status: Open
 
Ancient medicine sometimes appears surprisingly similar to modern medicine. At other times, it exposes what we regard as deep superstition and ignorance. The ancient Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Greeks, Romans, and other cultures often asked questions similar to the ones we pose about health and disease today. They also began developing surgical processes that still exist in some form, while also practicing pharmaceutical and psychiatric approaches that we can recognize in modern science. Medicine in prehistory, even before literacy, is also surprising as we see it preserved in Ötzi the Iceman, the 5,300-year-old ice mummy from the Alps.

This course offers a survey of ancient Western medicine, looking at both the cultures and the pioneering individuals. We will encounter ancient doctors such as Hippocrates, Celsus, Dioscorides, and Galen, and we will examine excerpts from Babylonian tablets and the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus and explore important texts (including De Materia Medica) and medical instruments that have been preserved from Pompeii to Northern Europe. Memphis, Babylon, Alexandria, Cos, Pergamon, and Epidaurus are only a few of the places we will study where medicine had a long and successful tradition.

PATRICK HUNT
Former Director, Stanford Alpine Archaeology Project; Research Associate, Archeoethnobotany, Institute of EthnoMedicine

Patrick Hunt is the author of 26 books and is a lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America. He received a PhD from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. Hunt is an elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers Club, and he is an explorer and expeditions expert for National Geographic. His Alps research has been sponsored by the National Geographic Expeditions Council.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) John Nunn, Ancient Egyptian Medicine (ISBN 978-0806135045)
(Required) Helen King, Greek and Roman Medicine (ISBN 978-1853995453)