Knowing the body: renaissance medicine and the classics

King, Helen (2012). Knowing the body: renaissance medicine and the classics. In: Olmos, Paula ed. Greek Science in the Long Run: Essays on the Greek Scientific Tradition (4th c. BCE – 16th c. CE). Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 281–300.



In this paper I would like to address the themes of the conference through three, related, areas. The first of these concerns identifying the fundamentals of Greek medicine, including gynaecology. In the second section, I will illustrate how the Renaissance represented the classical medicine on which it drew. Finally, by looking at the transmission of a single Hippocratic case history, I will give a few examples of the multiple ways in which the medicine of the sixteenth century – and indeed the seventeenth century, as there is no clear break in this topic at 1600 – worked to retain Hippocratic content, even while developing from it different theory. I will thus demonstrate the continuing versatility of Greek medical science in the age of observation

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