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January 13, 1962

A History of Medicine, vol. 2: Early Greek, Hindu, and Persian Medicine

JAMA. 1962;179(2):182. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050020076025

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Ten years ago the first volume of a proposed 8-volume work on the history of medicine by Dr. H. E. Sigerist appeared. In the meantime, Dr. Sigerist died. The second volume, which he partially completed, is a study of primitive Greek, Indian, and Persian medicine and has just been published.

Fortunately for medical history, Dr. Sigerist analyzed and synthesized material about primitive medicine from a miscellany of folklore, monographs, isolated reports, and museum items. The results are definitive. His broad field of knowledge in sociology, economics, public health, religion, philosophy, and medicine are evident in his treatment of the material.

This excellent work, written as much for the layman as the physician, contains history, philosophy (especially as it pertains to medicine ), biography, and medicine. Occasionally the personal pronoun interrupts the flow of the narration, but when it intrudes, Dr. Sigerist is merely giving his opinion on a very controversial point.

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