The History of Medicine: From Hippocrates to Harvey (HIS2312.01)

Carol Pal

How did premodern culture understand the human body? How did it work? Where did it fit in the Great Chain of Being, and what differentiated men from women? Medicine has always been a hybrid of thinking, seeing, knowing, and doing. But what defined medicine in the past? Was it a science, an art, or a random assortment of practices? Between the age of Hippocrates and the age of Enlightenment, medicine very slowly detached itself from philosophy to become empirical and experimental. Using documents, art, and images, we follow patients and practitioners over two millennia – and, as we trace the history of healing, we chart changing perceptions of the body in the premodern world.


Learning Outcomes:
Students taking this course will engage with the joy of doing good history. Specifically, they will:
1. Learn about one facet of the mutlifaceted, neverending, and eternally surprising realities of the past.
2. Learn how to respectfully analyze historical facts and documents through an understanding of those who made them.
3. Learn how to express those respectful analyses in writing.



Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
T/F 2:10PM - 4:00PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: History , Fully In-Person , All courses
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