Tag Archives: Antiquity

Medicine in ancient Nineveh

Hussain A. Al-Sardar Essex, United Kingdom   A view of ancient Nineveh Introduction Mesopotamia is the land between the Tigris and Euphrates, currently in the southern part of Iraq. Many civilizations developed and vanished in this very fertile part of the world. The first civilization was that of the Sumerians, who invented the cuneiform tablets […]

Death in ancient times

George Dunea British Medical Journal, Volume 294, 18 April 1987   “Many a physician has slain a king!” the emperor Hadrian shouted aloud as he lay on his deathbed. But Augustus when he was near death gathered his friends to ask if, in the manner of actors, he deserved applause for having played well his […]

The death of Alexander the Great

Detail of the Alexander Mosaic, ca. 100 BCE Mosaic 5.82 x 3.13 m Naples National Archaeological Museum George Dunea Editor-in-Chief   Possibly the greatest warrior of all times, Alexander of Macedon died aged 32 at Babylon. Within 12 years he had overthrown an empire that had lasted two centuries, conquered the greater part of the […]

Eumenes: even horses need to take regular exercise

  Photography by Hector Guerra “During this siege, as he [Eumenes] perceived that the men, cooped up in such narrow limits and eating their food without exercise, would lose health, and also that the horses would lose condition if they never used their limbs. . . . He arranged the largest room in the fort […]

Many physicians have slain a king

George Dunea BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL – VOLUME 308  (January 29, 1994)   Modern tourists know Hadrian mainly for his mausoleum in Rome or for the wall that he built in the north of England to keep out the barbarians. Historians think of him as an effective emperor and a capable administrator. But he was also […]

The medical university of Jundi-Shapur

Andrew C. Miller Bethesda, Maryland, United States    Location of Jundi-Shapur  Modern-day Jundi-Shapur With the exception of the hospital at Jundi-Shapur, hospitals and medical centers as we know them are not known to have existed before AD 400.1 In the late Sassanid period, a considerable scientific movement grew in Persia.2 Jundi-Shapur (Genta Shapitra in Pahlavi, […]

Our attitudes towards disease, a Ciceronian legacy

Andrés D. Pelavski Barcelona, Spain   Bust of Cicero, 1st century Capitoline Museums, Rome Personal letters provide a window into the beliefs, perceptions, and patterns of interpersonal interaction within a society at a given period. Considering that health issues are part of humans’ daily concerns, epistles are a great testimony to the manner in which […]