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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 practiceslike checking a patient’s pulseare 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.
|Publisher:||Johns Hopkins University Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Susan P. Mattern is an associate professor of history at the University of Georgia.
Table of Contents
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
Medical Time 62
Time and Narrative Structure 65
The Contest: Rivals, Spectators, and Judges 69
Other Physicians 72
Demonstrating Superiority 76
Witness and Judge 80
The Addressee 83
Rivals and Patients 87
Family and Household 88
Husbands, Fathers, and Masters 90
Case History and Healing Narrative 95
The Patient 98
Presenting the Patient 99
Names and Terms 99
Temperament and Constitution 102
Sex: Female Patients 112
Social Information 115
The Patient as Character 119
The Patient's Perspective 119
The Patient's Lifestyle 126
Character and Emotion 132
Physician and Patient 138
The Physician's Perspective: "I" and "We" 138
Physician and Patient 140
Perceiving the Patient 149
Works Cited from Galen's Corpus 163
Table of Cases 173
What People are Saying About This
"An illuminating portrait of a man and his patients in a particular historical context. A rich, nuanced, and entirely original approach, this book leaps across disciplinary boundaries to introduce those working on medicine in other historical periods to the richness of the sources for Rome in the age of Galen. "