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Fevers in Babylonia

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes fever in Babylonia. It first presents all the information on fever, and then discusses some diseases with fever as an important symptom. It shows that ummu "fever' is never a diagnosis; it is just a concomitant symptom. The word ṣētu actually serves as diagnosis. In a study of Babylonian fever, the author investigates the meaning of "sun-heat", which appears to be a complicated matter. The chapter describes everything about "sun-heat", which gives the outsider an idea about Babylonian taxonomy of symptoms and diseases. The chapter makes a few philological remarks on the Babylonian word for sun-heat, ṣētu. It literally means "what is coming out" and refers to the rising and shining sun; this way it got its meaning "heat of the sun".

Keywords: ṣētu; Babylonian text; epidemic disease; Babylonian fever; sun-heat



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