CLAS 2024 - Ancient Medicine and its Legacy

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

The course studies the rise of ancient medicine in Greco-Roman times as a prime example of the Western scientific tradition. In a non-technical way, it highlights important contributions to the fields of science and medicine, from the Hippocratics (fifth and fourth c. BC) to Hellenistic Alexandria (Herophilus) down to the late Roman empire (Soranus, Galen) but also its lasting legacy in medieval and Arabic culture. The lectures consider the material, social and intellectual conditions for the rise of rational medicine, influential medical authors and general issues such as the relation between religion and science, attitudes towards progress, medical theories and practices, and the transmission of scientific knowledge up to the early modern age in the 16th-18th c. (Vesalius, Harvey).

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code CLAS 2024
    Course Ancient Medicine and its Legacy
    Coordinating Unit Classics
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of level 1 Arts courses
    Incompatible CLAS 2003 or CLAS 3003
    Course Description The course studies the rise of ancient medicine in Greco-Roman times as a prime example of the Western scientific tradition. In a non-technical way, it highlights important contributions to the fields of science and medicine, from the Hippocratics (fifth and fourth c. BC) to Hellenistic Alexandria (Herophilus) down to the late Roman empire (Soranus, Galen) but also its lasting legacy in medieval and Arabic culture. The lectures consider the material, social and intellectual conditions for the rise of rational medicine, influential medical authors and general issues such as the relation between religion and science, attitudes towards progress, medical theories and practices, and the transmission of scientific knowledge up to the early modern age in the 16th-18th c. (Vesalius, Harvey).
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Han Baltussen

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Upon completion of the course the student will be able to
     
    1. Demonstrate a broad knowledge of the origins, nature and evolution of rational medicine from Hippocrates (fifth c. BC) up to the early modern age;
    2. Develop a critical understanding of the key historical questions, interpretations and scholarship concerning the evidence for the history of ancient medicine and its influence;
    3. Offer a clear, literate and logical exposition of ideas in independently researched written work, based on suitable primary and secondary sources, reflected in appropriate referencing;
    4. Explore, articulate and debate their views in small-group discussions;
    5. Relate the development of ancient Greek medicine across the ages to the social, cultural and ethical circumstances of early modern and modern times.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 2, 5
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 3
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2, 4
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 3, 4
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 2
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1, 5
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 2, 3, 5
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1, 5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Textbook

    V. Nutton, Ancient Medicine (Routledge 2013).
    Recommended Resources
    A quick and short introduction into the topic is Helen King, Greek and Roman Medicine (Bristol 2001) [in BSL 1 copy]. 
    A wide-ranging and magisterial work on the whole of the history of medicine is Roy Porter, The Greatest Benefit to Mankind: medical history of humanity from antiquity to the present (London : Harper Collins, 1997)
    Online Learning
    The powerpoints and recordings of lectures with be placed on MyUni.  Recordings, however, sometimes fail and students are advised not to rely on these as a substitute for lecture attendance.

    A substantial introduction to each week's topic can be found in the textbook. Reference to relevant pages will be made in the Course booklet. Other materials will be placed on MyUni or information will be provided on how to access it.

    Students are expected to consult the announcements board at least twice a week and must closely read all emails sent via MyUni.

    Guidelines to formatting footnotes and bibliography are placed upon MyUni. Students are expected to read and consult these.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The format of the course consists of two lectures per week supported by problem-oriented tutorials which develop topics covered in the lectures the week before.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information provied below is a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    2x1 hour lecture per week 24 hours per semester
    1x1 hour tutorial per week (or equivalent) 12 per semester
    5 hours reading per week 60 per semester
    4 hours written work per week 48 per semester
    1 hour revision per week 12 per semester
    TOTAL WORKLOAD 156 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    Besides the lectures, the learning activities are largely centred around the tutorials which involve close reading and discussion of a number of ancient texts and/or text excerpts that illustrate the emergence of scientific thinking (e.g. explanations based on "causes", the importance of empirical evidence, underlying assumptions, and taking notes and keeping records of observations). In addition, students will be engaged in ongoing comparative analysis between different periods of history on matters of social and ethical significance (the doctor-patient relationship, the precariousness of decisions regarding life and death) as well as intellectual progrees (or the lack thereof).

    Topics include Greek philosophy and medicine, Hippocratic medicine, humours and elements, healing centres and spas, medical ethics, Medical marvels, Hippocratic Oath, divine afflictions (epilepsy), health in the ancient city, famous Roman physicians (Galen, Soranus, Celsus), healing the soul, the bones of Pompei, doctors and emperors, medical tools, gynaecology, Galen of Pergamum (c. 129-216/219 CE), the language of science and medicine, the legacy of ancient medicine.
    Specific Course Requirements
    In order to facilitate discussion, students are expected to read the relevant primary source texts or text excerpts for each tutorial and bring these to the tutorials every week.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    While many tutorials will contain an element of small group discovery (group analysis and discussion of key issues or texts), the formal SGD element in this course will be undertaken during two lectures, one helping students to understand the typical aspects of pre-scientific worlds views (e.g. oral vs. literary), the other developing their ability to combine material and textual evidence.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Task Type of Learning Weighting Graduate Attributes
    1400 word essay formative and summative 20% 1-5
    1400 word essay formative and summative 20% 1-5
    8 tutorial summaries (150 words each) formative and summative 20% 1-4
    Exam summative 40% 1-5
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students are expected to attend the lectures and seminars.

    Tutorial topics will be allocated at an introductory tutorial. One of the papers must be chosen from the topics in weeks 3-7, the second from the topics in weeks 8-12. There will be a limit of the number of students who can write on each topic (a maximum of six students for each topic).

    Students are required to read the primary sources and primary source excerpts for all the tutorials in preparation for the discussion that will occur. They are also required to bring the relevant primary sources or primary source excerpts to the tutorials to refer to them during the discussion.
    Assessment Detail
    1400 word essay 1: students submit a tutorial essay chosen from the topics in the first half of the
    course.

    1400 word essay 2: students submit a tutorial essay chosen from the topics in the second half of the course.

    The tutorial summaries are intended to assist the student in reflecting on the material discussed in the tutorial. The focus in particular should be on what insight might be learned from them, both with regard to the specific topics as well as the overall scope of the course (in brief: what was discussed, what the student took away from it, and how does the topic fit into the larger framework of the course themes).
    Submission
    The essays are to be submitted online via MyUni. The essays must be submitted before the tutorial on that topic is held, the tutorial summaries have to be submitted via email within 48 hours of the tutorial ending.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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