Show/hide main menu

Level 6

6AAH5001 History of Medicine from Antiquity to the Present

Credit value: 30
Module convenor/tutor 2017/18: Dr Petros Bouras-Vallianatos (semester one); Dr Caitjan Gainty (semester two)
Teaching pattern: 20 x 2 hour seminars (weekly)
Assessment: 1 x 3 hour examination (50%), 2 x 2,000 word essays (30%) & 1 x oral presentation (20%)

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

The modules offered in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand: there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary between years.

This module provides an introduction to the history of medicine and health from antiquity to the present. It offers students the opportunity to develop a specialized interest in medical history, and to understand changing cultures of health and healing in their social, cultural and political context. The module introduces key sources available to the medical historian, and the challenges in using and interpreting them. The module enables students to explore, for instance, the relationship between medicine and religion, the evolving role of states and local governments for public health, changing understandings of the body and disease, and the role of medicine in warfare. Previous knowledge of medicine or medical history is not required. 


Suggested introductory reading

This is suggested reading and purchase of these books is not mandatory.

Mark Jackson, ed. The Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine (Oxford: OUP, 2011) 

L. Conrad, M. Neve, V. Nutton, R. Porter, and A. Wear, eds, The Western Medical Tradition: 800 BC to AD 1800 (Cambridge: CUP, 1995)

Vivian Nutton, Ancient Medicine (London: Routledge 2013)

Luke Demaitre, Medieval Medicine: The Art of Healing, from Head to Toe (Santa Barbara, California: Praeger, 2013)

Nancy Siraisi, Medieval and Early Renaissance Medicine: An Introduction to Knowledge   and Practice (Chicago: Chicago UP, 1990)

W. F. Bynum et al., The Western Medical Tradition: 1800 to 2000 (Cambridge: CUP, 2006)

Peter Elmer (ed.), The Healing Arts: Health, Disease and Society in Europe 1500-1800 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003)

Mary Lindemann, Medicine and Society in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge: CUP, 2010).

Roy Porter, 'The Greatest Benefit to Mankind': A Medical History of Humanity from Antiquity to the Present (London: Fontana Press, 1997)

John Pickstone and Roger Cooter, eds, Companion to Medicine in the twentieth century (London: Routledge, 2003)

John Harley Warner, The Therapeutic Perspective (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014)

Sitemap Site help Terms and conditions  Privacy policy  Accessibility  Modern slavery statement  Contact us

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454