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Lesley Dean-Jones, Chair 2210 Speedway, Mail Code C3400, Austin, TX 78712-1738 • 512-471-5742

Spring 2010

GK 390 • Ancient Medicine

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
32765 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
WAG 10

Course Description

The genesis of the Hippocratic Corpus is really a mystery. 60-70 treatises are collected into the Corpus, clearly written by many different authors at different periods in different parts of the Greek world, but at some point they were assembled and attributed to Hippocrates—or attributed to Hippocrates and assembled. The "egotism" of the treatises makes it unlikely that the original authors intended them to circulate under Hippocrates' name. In this course we will read in Greek selected treatises representative of each category of Hippocratic writing, e.g., protreptic, theoretical, diagnostic, case-histories, gynecology, aphoristic, as well as all the other treatises representative of that category in translation. We shall discuss the theories, style (some of the treatises are thought to be the earliest extant Greek prose), philosophic background, social context and intended audience of the texts. Students will develop a knowledge and understanding of the make-up and content of the Corpus and the differences between the treatises. Many of the issues we will touch upon in addition to medical theory, e.g. orality, education, realia of daily life, will be relevant to other texts and issues of the classical period and a student’s paper (80% of the grade) can center on other genres or fields as long as it utilizes information from the Corpus in arguing for its thesis. The remaining 20% of the grade will be allotted on the basis of an oral presentation (10%) and a translation exam at the end of the seminar (10%).


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