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Medical Education In Late Antiquity. From Alexandria To Montpellier

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Chapter Summary

The training of medical students reflects current medical trends and has grave repercussions on the future development of the medical art. This is as true today as it was in Antiquity. There was, however, one period and place at the crossroads of civilisations and cultures in which the educational trends were to have a particularly important influence on how medicine evolved. This was Alexandria in Late Antiquity. Teachers used formal philosophical concepts in order to organise medical knowledge. Their educational techniques provided the tools with which Islamic authors during the medieval period such as Avicenna arranged their great medical encyclopaedias. These works in Latin translation later became the core curriculum in the nascent universities of Europe. In Montpellier, for instance, Avicenna still dominated the curriculum in the 1530s, when Rabelais was a student there, with four out of six lectures devoted to 'the prince of physicians'.

Keywords: Alexandria; Europe; Late Antiquity; medical art; Montpellier; philosophical



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