Chapter

Puzzling Parallels

Paul U. Unschuld

in What Is Medicine?

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780520257658
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944701 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520257658.003.0022
Puzzling Parallels

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This chapter focuses on Greek antiquity and explains the thesis of the counterfeit three centuries of the Early Middle Ages. It is quite strange that something totally identical to what happened in Greece happened in China three centuries later. It is assumed that both events occurred independently of one another, or, considering the transportation situation of the time, it may have taken just that long for the innovation from the West to finally find its way to the East. It is also assumed that both China and the Eastern Mediterranean received external impulses that originated somewhere between the two areas and flourished, first in Greece and then later in China. The era of the creation of medicine in ancient Greece, which can be dated much less satisfactorily and with far fewer verifiable written sources than for that of ancient China, nevertheless allows a differentiation that has already been useful for the observations in China.

Keywords: Greek antiquity; Early Middle Ages; medicine; ancient Greece; nonmedical therapeutics; medical therapeutics

Chapter.  1527 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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