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The Curriculum Of Studies In The Roman Empire And The Cultural Role Of Physicians

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Chapter Summary

A topic that seems of particular interest in the debate on the role of physicians in ancient society is the medical curriculum. Their cultural and professional training had in fact a significant effect on the manner in which they carried out their professional activities, their lives and their role in society. Several testimonies from both pagan and Christian sources, though generally neglected, allow us to reconstruct the medical curriculum in the Greek part of the Roman Empire, in particular Alexandria. This curriculum turns out to be remarkably comprehensive, as can be explained by the particular roles of physicians in classical society. This chapter clarifies the part played by several physicians in the cultural context of their time, even outside their professional domain, as well as the relations between the sciences and the humanities, which were entirely complementary in those days, even from a practical point of view.

Keywords: Alexandria; Christian sources; cultural context; medical curriculum; physicians; professional domain; Roman Empire; studies



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