Tag Archives: Antiquity

Love as illness: Symptomatology

Frank Gonzalez-Crussi Chicago, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. Sappho as imagined by Raphael in the fresco known as Parnassus in the Raphael rooms in the Palace of the Vatican (c. 1509–1511). She appears in a corner of the fresco, holding a scroll with her name. Via Wikimedia. Is love a disease? I mean erotic, […]

Tutankhamun’s androgynous appearance

Glenn Braunstein Los Angeles, California, United States   Gilded wood statues of Tutankhamun found in his tomb. The left figure shows him wearing the “white crown” as ruler of Upper Egypt (southern Nile Valley) while that on the right with the flattened “red crown” represents him as the king of Lower Egypt (Delta area).1 Photo […]

Carl Gustav Jung

Anne Jacobson Oak Park, Illinois, United States   Carl Jung. Photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Creative Commons. In the autumn of 1913, Carl Gustav Jung was traveling alone by train through the rust and amber forest of the Swiss countryside. The thirty-eight-year-old psychiatrist had been lately troubled by strange dreams and a rising sense of tension, […]

Obesity in the Middle Ages: Sancho el Craso

Nicolás Roberto Robles   Badajoz, Spain   Figure 1. Imaginary portrait. Sancho I El Craso. José María Rodríguez de Losada. between circa 1892 and circa 1894. Public domain. Via Wikimedia. “Severe obesity restricts body movements and maneuvers . . . breathing passages become blocked and do not pass good air . . . these patients […]

The influence of the text De Arte Gymnastica on the resurgence of medical gymnastics in Renaissance Italy: Girolamo Mercuriale (1530-1606)

Philippe Campillo Daniel Caballero Lille, France   Figure 1. Hieronymous Mercurialis (1530–1606). Line engraving by Theodor de Bry, 1528-1598. Credit: Wellcome Collection. (CC BY 4.0) The physicians of ancient Greece were aware that muscular exercise was a source of health and strength, as well as achieving corporal beauty through a balanced relationship between different parts of […]

In the heart of Damascus

Kera Panni Seaside, California, United States   Propaganda in support of President Bashar al-Assad between the Citadel of Damascus and the entrance to the suq, (May 2007). Personal archives, photo taken by author Even as a child in the American suburbs, I knew my blood flowed from Syria. Relatives said my Jiddoo’s parents were farmers […]

America’s Arab refugees: vulnerability and health on the margins

Richard Zhang New Haven, Connecticut, United States   Image used with permission of Marcia C. Inhorn. Arab refugees, like others throughout history, have grappled with issues of somatic and mental health, cultural belonging, and fertility. Timely and eye-opening, Marcia Inhorn’s America’s Arab Refugees is the first anthropological book to focus on the aforementioned refugees and […]

Medicine in the afterlife – The Egyptian Book of the Dead

Maureen Hirthler Bradenton, Florida, United States   “And therefore shall I neither be borne away, nor carried by force to the East to take part in the festivals of the fiends; nor shall there be given unto me cruel gashes with knives, nor shall I be shut in on every side, nor gored by the […]

Byzantine physicians

Greek physicians dominated medicine for almost two thousand years, beginning with the school of Hippocrates, of Herophilus and Erasistratus in Alexandria, and continuing after the Roman conquest. Celsus and Galen were in Rome; Dioscorides was in the Roman army during the reign of the Emperor Nero. Aretaeus of Cappadocia practiced sometime during the second century. […]

From the goddess of healing to hair of the dog: the role of canines in health myth and fact

Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, USA    “A sculpture of Gula, Sumerian deity of healing, with a dog at her side.” Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY The landscape of Mesopotamia was riddled with challenges, but for every problem that arose there was a deity to petition. Of these perhaps the most well-known was Inanna or Ishtar, who influenced […]