Medicine in the Days of the Pharaohs

Medicine in the Days of the Pharaohs

by Bruno Halioua, Donald Redford, M. B. DeBevoise, Bernard Ziskind
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674017021

ISBN-13: 9780674017023

Pub. Date: 04/15/2005

Publisher: Harvard University Press

At the temple of Kom Ombo near Aswan, an enigmatic frieze depicts the deified pharaoh Imhotep receiving a set of elaborate implements, some of which strikingly resemble modern surgical instruments: side by side with eye-of-Horus amulets one finds what surely must be forceps. Evidence of the medical practice of ancient Egypt has come down to us not only in

Overview

At the temple of Kom Ombo near Aswan, an enigmatic frieze depicts the deified pharaoh Imhotep receiving a set of elaborate implements, some of which strikingly resemble modern surgical instruments: side by side with eye-of-Horus amulets one finds what surely must be forceps. Evidence of the medical practice of ancient Egypt has come down to us not only in pictorial art but also in papyrus scrolls, in funerary inscriptions, and in the mummified bodies of ancient Egyptians themselves.

Bruno Halioua and Bernard Ziskind provide a comprehensive account of pharaonic medicine that is illuminated by what modern science has discovered about the lives (and deaths) of people from all walks of life--farmers, fishermen, miners, soldiers, scribes and priests, embalmers, construction workers, bakers, prostitutes. From mummies and medical papyri we are able to recognize the aches of osteoarthritis, imagine the occupational hazards faced by press-ganged stonemasons, and learn of the gynecological complaints of courtesans. In presenting these stories Halioua and Ziskind throw light on some of the most enduring questions about life and death in antiquity: about physicians whose skills predate Hippocrates by twenty-five centuries and were first made famous by Homer; about the remedies and techniques they employed, at once strange and strangely familiar; about the men, women, and children they treated; and about the diseases and injuries they were called upon to heal.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674017023
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
04/15/2005
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
7.14(w) x 8.58(h) x 0.81(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword by Donald B. Redford

Translator's Note

Introduction

Part I. The World of the Physician

1. The Medical Profession

2. Medical Training and Practice

Part II. Revelations of Paleopathology

3. Mummification

4. The Modern Study of Mummies

Part III. From Cradle to Grave

5. Mothers and Children

6. Childhood and Adolescence

7. Old Age and Deformities

Part IV. Professional Risks

8. Fishermen and Farmers

9. Construction Workers, Miners, Soldiers

10. Bakers, Priests, Scribes, Embalmers, Prostitutes

Epilogue: The Transmission of Egyptian Medical Knowledge

Primary Sources for Egyptian Medicine

Interpreting the Ten Plagues of Egypt

Chronology of Ancient Egypt

Notes

Works Cited

Illustration Credits

Acknowledgments

Index

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