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  • Published: 3 September 2020
  • ISBN: 9780241277065
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 160
Categories:

The Invention of Medicine

From Homer to Hippocrates




A striking reappraisal of the beginnings of medicine, by one of the world's leading ancient historians

Medicine is one of the great fields of achievement of the Ancient Greeks. Hippocrates is celebrated worldwide as the father of medicine and the Hippocratic Oath is admired throughout the medical profession as a founding statement of ethics and ideals. In the fifth century BC, Greeks even wrote of medicine as a newly discovered craft they had invented. Robin Lane Fox's remarkable book puts their invention of medicine in a wider context, from the epic poems of Homer to the first doctors known to have been active in the Greek world. He examines what we do and do not know about Hippocrates and his Oath and the many writings that survive under his name. He then focuses on seven core texts which give the case histories of named individuals, showing that books 1 and 3 belong far earlier than previously recognised. Their re-dating has important consequences for the medical awareness of the great Greek dramatists and the historians Herodotus and Thucydides. Robin Lane Fox pieces together the doctor's thinking from his terse observations and relates it in a new way to the history of Greek prose and ideas.This original and compelling book opens windows onto many other aspects of the classical world, from women's medicine to street-life, empire, art, sport, sex and even botany. It fills a dark decade in a new way and carries readers along an extraordinary journey form Homer's epics to the grateful heirs of the Greek case histories, first in the Islamic world and then in early modern Europe.

  • Published: 3 September 2020
  • ISBN: 9780241277065
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 160
Categories:

About the author

Robin Lane Fox

Robin Lane Fox was born in 1946 and educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford. He is a Fellow of New College and University Reader in ancient History. Since 1979 he has been weekly gardening correspondent of the Financial Times. Alexander the Great won the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the W.H. Heinemann Award on its first publication in 1973.

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