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The Babylonian Physician Rabâ-ša-Marduk. Another Look At Physicians And Exorcists In The Ancient Near East

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Chapter Summary

The problem of the distinction between the two Mesopotamian healing professions is an epistemological one: any deductive theory can only be as convincing as its premises are valid, which means that all theoretical distinctions we make between the Magical-Expert and Physician rest on the quantity and quality of the available sources. One of the most interesting pages in the history of Ancient Near Eastern medicine tells of the sending of Babylonian physicians and exorcists to the Hittite court at Hattusa in the 14th and 13th centuries B.C. The medical tablet with a connection to Rabâ-ša-Marduk has been known for some time, as Erich Ebeling published it as early as 1920 and Franz Köcher republished it as number 11 in the first volume of his "Babylonisch-assyrische Medizin" in 1963.

Keywords: Babylonian physician; Erich Ebeling; Rabâ-ša-Marduk



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