This course is made up of 6 modules focusing on specific topics. Each module encompasses as topic within ancient medicine and has its own objectives and texts. There are readings that link modules throughout the course, however, instructors should feel free to move things around as they see fit. Modules can be applied to courses in a variety of ways. They can be used to frame an entire course, or they can be shortened or lengthened in order to apply focus where you would like. Explore each of the six modules below.
The Gods and Medicine
Students will understand different modes of healing and types of healers, and, later in the course, this will inform their understanding of the development of the medical profession.
Students will be able to articulate the concurrent roles of gods and mortals during these time periods, and, later in the course, they will contrast this with the divisions between rationalists and non-rationalists.
Philosophy and Medicine
Students will gain an understanding of the historical and cultural context of early natural philosophy through selected readings in the PreSocratics.
Students will understand how Love and Strife operate as metaphors for physical and biological tenets of the natural world and how the principle of binary opposition becomes an important heuristic in Greek thought.
Students will encounter scientific thought across different genres and will understand the unique advantages and limitations of different generic forms.
Experimentation and Discovery
Students will articulate ways in which the creation and expansion of knowledge is conditioned by and subsequently affects cultural contexts.
Students will be able to describe both sides of the ethical debates surrounding dissection and vivisection.
Students will be able to differentiate between empiricist, rationalist, and methodist schools of thought.
Medical Practice: Who did what to whom?
Students will demonstrate a knowledge of how different aspects of medical practice in antiquity affected both patient and healer (doctor, midwife).
Students will become aware of another culture’s medical system through its practices.
Students will discuss important medical terms found in these readings, such as gynecology, pharmakos, etc.
Health and Disease
Students will articulate the difference between transmission and miasma.
Students will demonstrate an understanding of the impact of plagues on society and medicine.
Students will understand the importance of dietetics as a less invasive treatment in ancient medicine.
Medical Ethics/Doctor in Society
Given a document from a specific period of time, students will be able to extract and accurately summarize the basic ethical ideology.
Given the Hippocratic Oath, writings of Galen, or other texts reflecting cultural norms and a text describing medical practice, students will be able to interrogate the differences and similarities between ideal practice and reality.
Given a contemporary situation, students will be able to apply knowledge of ancient ethics and dilemmas to the condition of the contemporary world without fallacy.