The Sick Child in his Family

Danielle Gourevitch

in Children, Memory, and Family Identity in Roman Culture

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199582570
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595271 | DOI:
The Sick Child in his Family

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Who took care of the Roman child when it was sick? The nanny, a doctor, the mother, both parents, the father alone? The chapter builds on the reflections of Galen, the second founder of Western medicine after Hippocrates, born in Asia Minor but a practitioner in Rome, where most of his case-histories take place. The study of his vocabulary relating to youth (baby, child, young man) reveals that not a single girl is described, and that it is impossible to compare attitudes towards boys and girls as one can do for Cicero's Marcus and Tullia: is it just a difference in emotional concern? Are ambitions for the sake of the family line and private memories involved? The testimony of a doctor who, by the very nature of his daily work, knew the secrets of the houses he entered, is very useful, especially at the end of a very long practice.

Keywords: case-histories; doctor; father; parents; sickness

Chapter.  6985 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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