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This is the first book to make a comprehensive study of Old English medical texts. Professor Cameron compares Anglo-Saxon medical practice with that of the Greeks and Romans from whom the Anglo-Saxons borrowed freely. He analyses the position of physicians in society, the conditions under which their patients lived and the effectiveness of their remedies. He examines the ingredients of Anglo-Saxon prescriptions, their therapeutic efficacy and availability. The role of magic in medicine is dealt with in depth, but found to have played less part in medical practice than has sometimes been thought. Special attention is given to surgery, bloodletting, gynaecology and obstetrics. Professor Cameron concludes that Anglo-Saxon medicine, on the evidence of surviving texts, was as good as any previously practised in Western Europe. The author has written with the needs of medical historians and non-specialist readers as well as Anglo-Saxonists in mind. The numerous quotations from the surviving texts are given in English as well as in the original languages.
Cambridge University Press
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