October 1964

Das Reich des Asklepios. (The World of Asclepios) Eine Geschichte der Medizin in Gegenständen. (A History of Medicine in Objects.)

Author Affiliations

By E. H. Ackerknecht. Price, not given. Pp 92, with 70 illustrations. Verlag Hans Huber, Bern, Switzerland, 1963.

Arch Intern Med. 1964;114(4):565. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.03860100147029

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This attractive little volume of 92 pages proves the author's contention that "The written word is not the only way back into the past. There is the picture, there is the object. And though the latter may be poorer in precise meaning and more ambiguous than the written word it compensates by being more direct and of greater emotional impact." In this handsome book, the author has collected a series of illustrations from classical works and photographs of objects in the Collection of the History of Medicine in Zurich, making their meaning precise by judicious comments. The illustrations begin with primitive medicine, carry us down through the Egyptian, Hellenic, Graeco-Roman, Medieval, Renaissance periods, into the modern era of Laennec, Pasteur, and Roentgen.

The book is not a pictorial history of medicine, not an exhaustive or comprehensive pictorial atlas; it does not pretend to be. It is a judicious selection of

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