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C1 Medical Systems (project completed)

Medical Systems in Transition: The Case of the Ancient Near East

Coordination: Stefan M. Maul, Joachim Friedrich Quack


The project investigates the relation of healing systems to shifting political constellations, and specifically the extend to which their waxing and waning popularity was related to their association with imperial and other powers on the one hand, and the therapeutic efficacy on the other. Focussing on the Ancient Near East and the Eastern Mediterranean including Egypt this study will provide a test case to search for the long-term structures standing behind many of the more modern cases of asymmetrical relations between European/Western and Asiatic healing systems. It will be of special interest to investigate in what kind of ‘packages’ a successful healing system is conveyed to another culture, e.g. whether or not the healing system is part of a greater exchange mode like sciences, political systems, or concepts of the world. It will be investigated what drives the flow, power relations as well as economics and personal desire.

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