Galen and the Rhetoric of Healing [NOOK Book]

Overview

Galen is the most important physician of the Roman imperial era. Many of his theories and practices were the basis for medical knowledge for centuries after his death and some practices—like checking a patient’s pulse—are still used today. He also left a vast corpus of writings which makes up a full one-eighth of all surviving ancient Greek literature. Through her readings of hundreds of Galen’s case histories, Susan P. Mattern presents the first systematic investigation of ...

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Galen and the Rhetoric of Healing

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Overview

Galen is the most important physician of the Roman imperial era. Many of his theories and practices were the basis for medical knowledge for centuries after his death and some practices—like checking a patient’s pulse—are still used today. He also left a vast corpus of writings which makes up a full one-eighth of all surviving ancient Greek literature. Through her readings of hundreds of Galen’s case histories, Susan P. Mattern presents the first systematic investigation of Galen’s clinical practice.

Galen’s patient narratives illuminate fascinating interplay among the craft of healing, social class, professional competition, ethnicity, and gender. Mattern describes the public, competitive, and masculine nature of medicine among the urban elite and analyzes the relationship between clinical practice and power in the Roman household. She also finds that although Galen is usually perceived as self-absorbed and self-promoting, his writings reveal him as sensitive to the patient’s history, symptoms, perceptions, and even words.

Examining his professional interactions in the context of the world in which he lived and practiced, Galen and the Rhetoric of Healing provides a fresh perspective on a foundational figure in medicine and valuable insight into how doctors thought about their patients and their practice in the ancient world.

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Editorial Reviews

Social History of Medicine - Caroline Petit
Rich, colourful material for a medical historian and indeed for a narratologist... provides a useful collection of material and, for a wider audience, an entertaining introduction to the world of Galen.
Bryn Mawr Classical Review - Shelley Reid
Mattern's work is well-organized, well-argued, and clearly presented... The book will appeal equally to historians, whether of ancient medicine in particular or of the social history of the time period, and to the general reading public
Isis - Laurence Totelin
A nuanced, detailed, and most enjoyable narrative.
Phoenix - Tana Allen
Susan Mattern's contribution to the ever-growing scholarship on Galen is worthy of commendation. Mattern has provided a rich reading of Galen's writings and the ways in which his medical reality existed within the Roman social context.
Social History of Medicine
Rich, colourful material for a medical historian and indeed for a narratologist... provides a useful collection of material and, for a wider audience, an entertaining introduction to the world of Galen.

— Caroline Petit

Isis
A nuanced, detailed, and most enjoyable narrative.

— Laurence Totelin

JAMA
It is difficult to make a highly scholarly analysis an enjoyable and entertaining tale, Susan P. Mattern, however, skillfully dissects the rhetorical structure of Galen's case histories of his patients to offer a delightfully intriguing view not just of the great physician's medical practice but of his character and his social world... A fascinating journey into the past.
Bryn Mawr Classical Review
Mattern's work is well-organized, well-argued, and clearly presented... The book will appeal equally to historians, whether of ancient medicine in particular or of the social history of the time period, and to the general reading public

— Shelley Reid

Phoenix
Susan Mattern's contribution to the ever-growing scholarship on Galen is worthy of commendation. Mattern has provided a rich reading of Galen's writings and the ways in which his medical reality existed within the Roman social context.

— Tana Allen

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801896347
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 7/18/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 300
  • File size: 13 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Susan P. Mattern is an associate professor of history at the University of Georgia.

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Table of Contents


Preface     ix
The Stories in Context     1
Society and Culture     2
Galen's Life     2
Diseases and Death in Rome     4
Galen and Greek Culture     7
Galen's Corpus     11
Galen's Audience: "Friends and Companions"     14
Professionalism and Social Status     21
Narrative and Medicine     27
Hippocratic Case Histories     28
Case Histories after the Hippocratic Corpus     31
Inscriptions and the Cult of Asclepius     36
Written Tradition and Clinical Experience     37
Case Histories in Galen's Work     40
Memory and Autobiography     43
Place and Time     48
Context and Authenticity     48
Place     49
City     49
Country     53
Houses     56
Time     60
Chronology     60
Medical Time     62
Time and Narrative Structure     65
The Contest: Rivals, Spectators, and Judges     69
Agon     69
Rivals     72
Other Physicians     72
Confrontation     74
Demonstrating Superiority     76
Audience     80
Witness and Judge     80
The Addressee     83
Friends     84
Rivals and Patients     87
Family and Household     88
Husbands, Fathers, and Masters     90
Failure     92
Case History and Healing Narrative     95
The Patient     98
Presenting the Patient     99
Names and Terms     99
Temperament and Constitution     102
Age     105
Sex: Female Patients     112
Social Information     115
Conclusion     118
The Patient as Character     119
The Patient's Perspective     119
The Patient's Lifestyle     126
Character and Emotion     132
Conclusion     136
Physician and Patient     138
The Physician's Perspective: "I" and "We"     138
Physician and Patient     140
Intimacy     140
Obedience     145
Perceiving the Patient     149
Fever     155
Conclusion     159
Works Cited from Galen's Corpus     163
Table of Cases     173
Notes     203
Bibliography     253
Index     269
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