By Markham J. Geller

Using a superb number of formerly unknown cuneiform pills, historical Babylonian medication: concept and perform examines the way in which medication was once practiced by means of numerous Babylonian execs of the 2d and 1st millennium B.C. Represents the 1st evaluate of Babylonian medication using cuneiform assets, together with information of courtroom letters, scientific recipes, and commentaries written via historic scholarsAttempts to reconcile the ways that medication and magic have been relatedAssigns authorship to numerous kinds of scientific literature that have been formerly thought of anonymousRejects the technique of alternative students that experience tried to use smooth diagnostic the way to old health problems

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Other kinds of incantations deal with fear of ghosts, bad dreams, sex with a succubus, or against dog-bite and snakebite, all of which intend to offer the patient some kind of relief against real or imagined harms. We have no incantations, on the other hand, specifically designated to treat depression or obsessive-compulsive behavior, although Babylonian therapists had enough grasp of human psychology to recognize these disorders, and it is likely that magic was employed to deal with such problems in an indirect way.

The epistemological question is how Babylonian scholars managed to recognize the chemical effects of plants, without the benefit of laboratories or clinical trials. g. 20 The question therefore remains, how Babylonians could have discovered the effective properties of plants and minerals and what effect they would have upon the human body. That the Babylonians did indeed have some idea of what changes plants and minerals were capable of producing in the body can be seen from Akkadian therapeutic texts themselves, which distinguish between “simple” and “complex” recipes.

The woman (=Ištar) shook the heavens and made the earth quake. indd 30 2/4/2010 1:37:33 PM Medicine as Science 31 several different Akkadian contexts, for which the most effective ritual appeared to be the use of a marriage between male and female figurines, to attempt to alleviate the maiden ghost’s sexual frustrations (Farber 2004: 117–32). Nevertheless, the actual descriptions of the attack of ghosts, like that of demons, is detached from any question regarding the patient’s own thoughts or fears.

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