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Η Ιατρική Τέχνη στο Βυζάντιο / The Art of Healing in Byzantium

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Translated title of the contributionThe Art of Healing in Byzantium
Original languageOther
Pages (from-to)189-223
Number of pages35
PublishedDec 2016


King's Authors


This article provides a critical examination of the available diagnostic methods and therapeutic techniques in the Byzantine period. In the field of diagnosis primary role is given to the examination of pulse and urine. In contrast to the theory of pulse, which did not enjoy any considerable development in the Byzantine period, the Byzantines were innovative in the examination of urine (uroscopy), which held a central role in the middle and late periods. In the field of therapeutics, the use of diet, the administration of drugs, and surgery always played a significant role. In particular, the use of drugs became prominent, at least from the 12th c. onwards, with the introduction of new vegetal and animal exotic ingredients, as a result of the continuous enrichment of the Byzantine medical literature with Greek translations of Arabic and Persian treatises and the development of trade with Asia. The current study is accompanied by an updated introduction to Byzantine literature, which will help the reader to better understand the nature and contents of the various Byzantine medical manuals.

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