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2008/09 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CLAS3620 Ancient Medicine

20 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Prof Robert Maltby
Email: R.Maltby@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2008/09

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module is suitable for Level 2 or 3 students with some basic knowledge of the Classical world. It provides a survey of the history of medical thought as reflected in Greek and Roman medical texts, from the pre-Socratics, via Celsus and Pliny, to Galen; this is followed by a detailed analysis of specific areas of medical practice in the Roman Empire. Students will be brought to appreciate the importance of archaeological as well as literary evidence, particularly in the areas of diet, ancient surgical instruments and techniques and the effects of disease on human remains. The module is worth 20 credits and runs over both semesters, with one lecture per week and a total of four seminars. For further information, visit us at the Electives Fair or contact the Department of Classics, situated on the first floor of the Parkinson Building, south end (email: classics@leeds.ac.uk; website: www.leeds.ac.uk/classics/; telephone: 0113 343 3537).

Objectives

To enable students to acquire a detailed knowledge of the theoretical background of ancient Greek and Roman medicine and its practical application in the Roman Empire. On completion of the module students should be able to understand in broad terms the main developments in medical thought from the pre-Socratic philosophers and Hippocrates, via the great Hellenisitic Greek practitioner Diocles, Herophilus and Erasistratus and the Roman encyclopedists Celsus and Pliny the Elder through to the final culmination of ancient medical writing in the works of Galen. Students will be brought to appreciate the importance of archeological as well as literary evidence, particularly in the areas of diet, ancient surgical instruments and techniques and the effects of disease on human remains.

Syllabus

A survey of the history of Greek medical thought as reflected in Greek and Roman medical texts will be followed by a detailed analysis of specific areas of medical practice in the Roman Empire. These will include surgery, pharmacology, diet, hygiene and aspects of women's heath and childbirth. The organisation and provision of medical care both in civilian life and in the army will be investigated. Finally the importance of magic and religion in ancient medical thought and the effects of certain traditional beliefs on the progress of anatomical research will be investigated.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Lecture201.0020.00
Seminar21.002.00
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
EssayAn essay of not more than 3,000 words to be submitted at the end of semester 133.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)33.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins67.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)67.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 13/03/2009

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