[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
August 1, 1977

The Double Face of Janus and Other Essays in the History of Medicine

JAMA. 1977;238(5):428-429. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280050068032

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Owsei Temkin, outstanding historian of medicine, is now celebrating his 75th birthday. In honor of the occasion, the Johns Hopkins Press has just republished some of his earlier papers, together with a new autobiographical essay that provides the title for the book.

Early in his university career in Leipzig, Temkin was undecided between medicine and philosophy. He chose medicine. Then, under the influence of Henry Sigerist, he became especially concerned with the history of medicine. After receiving his medical degree, he did not practice but devoted himself to the history of medicine, a field in which he was able to synthesize his interests in philosophy, history, and medicine. In 1932 he emigrated to this country, joining Sigerist at the then new Institute for the History of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Medical School, where he has spent his entire professional career. The autobiographical essay tells of his own development but