CLST 314: Doctor, Bloodletter, Surgeon: The Beginnings of Western Medicine

Medical professional amputating a leg

CLST 314

Type: 300 level
Units: 3.00
Term: Winter 2023
Instructor: Daryn Lehoux
Delivery: In-Person

What goes on inside the human body? Why are we sometimes sick, sometimes healthy, and how can balance be restored or maintained? What causes epidemics and plagues, and how should they be treated? This class will look at how the human body was viewed in ancient medical theory and practice. Modern medicine as a rationalized scientific practice finds its origins in the ancient Greek philosophical and medical texts attributed to 'Hippocrates'. Through a close reading of selected ancient medical texts, this class will explore ideas of how the human body is constituted, how it relates to the world as a whole, what role of the physician was seen to be in prevention and treatment of disease, and how illness and healing were understood in ancient Greece and Rome.