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Some Notes On Medical Information Outside The Medical Corpora

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Chapter Summary

To date, discussions of healing in Mesopotamia tend to focus on ancient "professional" medical literature that is on the corpora of medical (therapeutic and diagnostic) tablets. It is important to note that there are significant qualitative limitations to the information which the currently known medical corpora can yield. This chapter first spotlights some of the limitations of the medical corpora, then discusses selected aspects of healing about which non-medical sources are informative, sometimes more so than the medical ones. It examines the location of therapy, the availability and affordability of healers activities outside healing, the role of divination in healing, and the composition of prescriptions. Cumulatively, it is hoped that the medical corpora's proper place in the overall study of Mesopotamian illness and healing will be discerned with greater clarity, and that students of these topics will be encouraged to make greater and more systematic use of non-medical sources.

Keywords: medical corpora; medical literature; Mesopotamian illness



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