Doaa Elalfy

Historically Marginalized Greco-Roman Physicians

This dissertation examines the phenomenon of historical marginalization of some of the physicians and medical providers in the Greco-Roman world from the second century BC to the sixth century AD. This work takes into consideration the material aspects of Greco-Roman medicine considered in light of the testimony offered by Greek and Latin papyri, ostraca, manuscripts and funerary inscriptions. Documents related to physicians and medical providers are examined to establish what their material aspect was, trying to give a brief picture of the collateral problems that lead to the marginalization which occurred in multiple patterns and forms. Some works are completely lost, while only fragments and quotations remain in others, and for some we have even lost the names of the authors and know very little information about their contributions in the field of medicine.

This dissertation is a multi-method interpretative framework, integrating a historiographical approach and an archival investigation of classical archaeology, the history of medicine and socio-psychological theory to produce a perspective that is closest to the realm of the medical community in Greco-Roman times, using papyri, ostraca, manuscripts, and surviving books as main references.

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