MAGIC, MYTH AND MEDICINE by D. T. Atkinson

MAGIC, MYTH AND MEDICINE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A more extensive, and content-wise, less familiar history of the healing art than Kenneth Walker's The Story of Medicine (Oxford- 1955), here the long cavalcade of life and pain saving accomplishments is charted through their innovators. Dr. Atkinson concentrates on the earliest recorded minutes of medicine, from the superstitions and taboos of primitive peoples, to the Egyptians, Babylonians and Hebrews- while archeological findings and the Bible supplement other sources. The Greek Hippocrates, Roman Galen, Arabian Nestor precede some less known figures of the middle ages when the English Gilbertus Anglicus advanced ""barbery""; the Jewish Balavignus promoted sanitation to fight the plague; the Venetian de Covina established the first quarantine; the German Agrippa advocated mercy rather than abuse for the insane. Paracelsus, Pare, Vesalius, Harvey, Jenner and Semmelweis, Long, Lister, Reed and Gorgas, the diseases they isolated, therapies and techniques they introduced, bring this survey to the borderline of modern medicine....Responsible in scholarship, but not academic, Dr. Atkinson has a great deal of little known material at his disposal and its disposition is not dull. It does however predicate an established interest along these lines.

Publisher: World