JACKSON Ralph, « Doctors and Diseases in the Roman Empire »

Auteur : Ralph JACKSON

Editeur : British Museum Press

Date : 1988

Pages : 207

Présentation :

A rich variety of both written and archaeological sources are brought together in this book to give a fascinating picture of how medicine was practised in the Roman Empire. To the testimony of ancient medical authors have been added evidence from excavations, which have revealed hospitals and healing sanctuaries, and a wealth of sculptures, reliefs, vases and wall-paintings. A chilling array of surgical instruments offer their own grim commentary, while the remains of plants and bones can shed valuable light on diet and disease.

Drawing on all of these sources, Ralph Jackson traces the effects of disease and medicine on people at different levels of Roman society. The topics discussed include general theories of health and disease, the practice and status of physicians, drugs, women’s diseases, childbirth and surgery, military medicine, the healing deities and curative springs, and epidemic disease and mortality. Throughout the book two intriguing themes recur : the similarities and contrasts with modern medicine and the complex relationship between the healing profession and the healing deities.

This much-needed survey of Roman medicine fills a gap in the field, and will be welcomed by anyone with an interest in the history of medicine and of the Roman Empire.


Sommaire :

  1. Origins
  2. Fitness, food and hygiene
  3. Physicians and their medicine
  4. Women’s diseases, birth and contraception
  5. The surgeon and the army
  6. Gods and their magic
  7. Dying and death

Compte-rendus :

– Alain TOUWAIDE in L’Antiquité classique, 59, 1990, p.429-430 (Consultable en ligne)

– Peter GARNSEY in Medical History, 33-4, 1989, p.500-501

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