Ancient Medicine

Medicine in the Bible:

Healing Bible Verses: This site lists a collection of Bible passages that discuss disease and healing in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Passages from the Old Testament include Proverbs 4:20-22, Exodus 15:26 and 23:25, Psalm 107:19-21 and 30:2, and Isaiah 53:4-5. These passages highlight how healing was attributed to the Lord.

Medicine and the Hebrew Bible: Bible Odyssey highlights passages in the Hebrew Bible that illustrate medical beliefs that were held in ancient Israel. The author describes how the approach to healing in the Old Testament differs from the approach taken today. The site is run by the Society of Biblical Literature, which aims to research the Bible objectively.

Medicine: This site describes ancient Jewish knowledge about various diseases and their treatments, knowledge about anatomy, and the role of the physician. This site is maintained by a Jewish organization, and so presents information strictly relevant to the Hebrew Bible. However, the information is presented objectively and in great detail, which allows the reader to develop a thorough understanding of Old Testament medicine.

Scientific Foreknowledge and Medical Acumen of the Bible: This site describes various aspects of Old Testament medical information, which includes the importance of blood, the cleanliness of water, and the use of quarantine. While this organization has a specific religious attitude that is outlined on the background page of the site, this article provides unbiased information and covers a wide range of medically relevant topics.

Medicine in Ancient Greece:

Greek Medicine: This site presents information on the Greek approach to medicine, and analyzes beliefs that the Greeks held with regard to healing. The author highlights how medicine was seen in both the spiritual and physical domain. This website is maintained by a non-religious organization that aims to present unbiased and objective information.

Medicine and Superstition in Ancient Greece: This video presents a lecture on medicine in ancient Greece by a professor at the University of Wisconsin. The lecturer discusses what can be taken from ancient Greek medicine, and what can only be taken as historical information. This is a long lecture, but it presents the information in a way that is approachable to people who lack a medical background.

Medicine in Ancient Egypt:

Health Hazards and Cures in Ancient Egypt: BBC describes the health hazards faced by the ancient Egyptians, including threats such as parasites, poor nutrition, infection, and injury. It analyzes a variety of sources such as written records and bones. This publication—written in 2011—was written by an expert in the field with advanced education in this particular topic and was published by a reliable and well-known educational organization.

Ancient Egyptian Medicine: This article, written by a team of physicians, describes the roles and ranks of physicians in ancient Egypt, as well as their study of anatomy and focus on the head. The information was written recently, and presents a great deal of detail about the topic at hand, while still being approachable to someone who lacks medical knowledge. Readers will need to sign up for a free account to access this site.

Medical Practices of Multiple Cultures:

Medicine in the Ancient World: This site presents information on medical practices in ancient Greece and other ancient cultures from an archaeological standpoint, using ancient writings and human remains. This organization is unbiased and is not associated with a particular religious background. The information is presented in an educational format with writing that is simple and accompanied by photographs that highlight the text.

Ancient Medicine: This site highlights medicine in ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, and ancient Rome. It presents a comparison of these cultures in a simplified and readable way. The various beliefs of each culture are defined with respect to diet, surgery, and healing. This site is written by various authors and is a good initial source of information for people who wish to obtain a rudimentary background on ancient cultures.

7 Unusual Ancient Medical Techniques: This site outlines ancient medical practices such as bloodletting, skull boring, mercury use, dung ointment, the use of human remains, pregnancy remedies, and psychiatric illness. It presents a brief description of each, the culture in which they were found, and the reasoning behind the belief. This is also a good source for obtaining a rudimentary background before doing further research.

This list was compiled by: NK

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