Ancient Babylonian Medicine: Theory and Practice (Ancient by Markham J. Geller

By Markham J. Geller

Using a very good number of formerly unknown cuneiform capsules, historical Babylonian drugs: thought and perform examines the way in which drugs used to be practiced by way of a variety of Babylonian pros of the second and 1st millennium B.C. Represents the 1st evaluate of Babylonian medication using cuneiform resources, together with records of courtroom letters, scientific recipes, and commentaries written through historical scholarsAttempts to reconcile the ways that medication and magic have been relatedAssigns authorship to varied different types of clinical literature that have been formerly thought of anonymousRejects the strategy of different students that experience tried to use smooth diagnostic how to old health problems

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Babylonian physicians made clear typological distinctions between recipes aimed at specific ailments. For example, rectal-disease texts employed much more oil in recipes, while kidney-disease texts employed more minerals, and eye-disease recipes used more salves. 23 The great bulk of Babylonian medical recipes are concerned with pharmacological methods of alleviating symptoms, and there is quite a variety of methods for drugs to be administered. One of the most effective methods of administering drugs was through fumigation, by which drugs were inhaled and could rapidly be absorbed into the bloodstream.

The texts give many different reasons for a ghost to reemerge, usually involving not being buried with the proper funerary rites because the person died at sea or in the steppe, or simply had no living descendants to make the required periodic funerary offerings. Of particular danger was the Ardat Lilî, the Maiden Lilith, who never married or had children and died before having normal sexual relations, and she thus returns to seek out sex with susceptible human partners. The Maiden Lilith is no demon, however; she is a ghost, which means that she was not created by the gods with the expressed purpose of causing harm, but she herself was a victim in her own life and she is looking for compensation among the living.

Indd 18 2/4/2010 1:37:32 PM Medicine as Science 19 The next important burst of scientific discovery occurred before the middle of the first millennium BC, when astronomers in Babylon began to make much more accurate charts of the movements of stars and planets in relation to each other and to the sun and moon, to the extent that accurate predictions became possible. In this regard, complex calculations of heavenly phenomena became increasingly important and moved mathematics on from its close association with algebraic geometry, with its origin in surveying of fields.

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