By Markham J. Geller
Using a good number of formerly unknown cuneiform pills, historical Babylonian drugs: conception and perform examines the best way medication was once practiced through a variety of Babylonian execs of the 2d and 1st millennium B.C. Represents the 1st evaluation of Babylonian medication using cuneiform resources, together with files of courtroom letters, clinical recipes, and commentaries written by way of historical scholarsAttempts to reconcile the ways that medication and magic have been relatedAssigns authorship to numerous varieties of scientific literature that have been formerly thought of anonymousRejects the procedure of alternative students that experience tried to use glossy diagnostic easy methods to historic health problems
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Extra resources for Ancient Babylonian Medicine: Theory and Practice (Ancient Cultures)
The oldest surviving types of magical texts come from the mid-third millennium BC, but these early texts are too rudimentary to allow much scope for analysis (see Cunningham 1997: 5–43). The next important phase of magical texts is found in Nippur, towards the end of the third millennium BC, this time in Sumerian only, and the same workshop in Nippur appears to have produced the one complete Sumerian medical text which has survived from antiquity (van Dijk and Geller 2003; Civil 1960). These Sumerian incantations address medical problems, such as headache, along with many other types of catastrophic situations occasioned by the attack of demons, such as the interference with natural husbandry and even the malfunction of musical instruments (Krispijn 2008).
Drugs, consisting mostly of plants and minerals, were prepared in the form of potions, salves, powders, pills, tampons, and pessaries, to be ingested, rubbed onto the body, applied as a bandage, or inserted into the anus, urethra, ears, or vagina through lubricated copper tubes or reeds. Not only was there a large variety of drugs, but there was an equally important variety of ways in which drugs could be utilized, in both simples and compound recipes. Anatomical Science Anatomy posed serious problems, even for experienced doctors, since neither Babylonians nor Hippocratics engaged in dissection or autopsy on human corpses.
Labat 1951: 32–3, 1–5) The symptoms are described in a methodical but mechanical way, with no indication of the individual characteristics of a patient, or an awareness of other symptoms that might occur. indd 23 2/4/2010 1:37:32 PM 24 Medicine as Science here is whether the patient will live or die, a concern that is also found in Diagnostic Handbook symptoms derived from the patient’s face: If (a man’s) face is covered with a yellow paste, his lips are covered with a film, his eyes secrete yellow (stuff), and his right eye squints, he will die.
Ancient Babylonian Medicine: Theory and Practice (Ancient Cultures) by Markham J. Geller