June 29, 1970

Medicine in Medieval England

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago


by C. H. Talbot, 222 pp, $6.75, New York: American Elsevier Publishing Co., Inc., 1970.

JAMA. 1970;212(13):2268. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170260064027

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The physician today who wants to acquire a good foundation in medical history will have the greatest difficulty with the medieval period. For medicine in ancient Greece and Rome, or the Renaissance, or the more modern times, there are abundant books available. But for the medieval era, despite the many scholarly monographs and articles, there are relatively few books that will appeal to the general reader or the non-specialist. Professor Talbot's book, providing an excellent overview, is particularly welcome.

Although the main emphasis rests on British medicine in the medieval period, the consideration of this topic necessarily involves relationships to continental medicine. Talbot traces the transmission of Greek medicine to the Arab world, its further development, and reintroduction back into the west. There is an excellent discussion of medical education. Other chapters take up various aspects of more narrowly medical character, such as anatomy and surgery, and more general topics