This journey to the beginnings of the physician’s art brings to life the civilizations of the ancient world—Egypt of the Pharaohs, Greece at the time of Hippocrates, Rome under the Caesars, the India of Ashoka, and China as Mencius knew it. Probing the documents and artifacts of the ancient world with a scientist’s mind and a detective’s eye, Guido Majno pieces together the difficulties people faced in the effort to survive their injuries, as well as the odd, chilling, or inspiring ways in which they rose to the challenge. In asking whether the early healers might have benefited their patients, or only hastened their trip to the grave, Dr. Majno uncovered surprising answers by testing ancient prescriptions in a modern laboratory.
Illustrated with hundreds of photographs, many in full color, and climaxing ten years of work, The Healing Hand is a spectacular recreation of man’s attempts to conquer pain and disease.
What vitality—a great laughing, learned, extroverted giant, dragging you with him on one of the most stimulating and entertaining journeys for a long while… This is just a great, astonishing book.
This beautifully illustrated, thoroughly referenced book certainly deserves recognition as an outstanding contribution to the history of medicine. Hopefully, physicians and historians will take advantage of its enjoyable wisdom.
The book provides a broad panorama of disease and healing from prehistoric times to the era of Galen, told with wisdom, grace, wit and new insights. Its author approaches the history of illness and its therapy with a joy and enthusiasm that are infectious…So—hurry, buy, read and enjoy!
Reading The Healing Hand is like going through a museum with a seasoned guide who not only points out the sights but relates innumerable anecdotes along the way.
This is a work of feeling and passion…What Guido Majno has created after a decade of effort is a work of scholarship of the highest order, which reads with the facility of an adventure story that, in a way, it is.
I found Majno's work so absorbing that I was hardly able to put it down…This is a book for the serious reader as well as the browser…A splendid book.
The author is a courageous and catholic amateur of history who delights in inference, an experimenter, a questioner and a cultivated writer of imagination, humor and compassion…His work is above all a delectable lesson in how to know the past.
- 600 pages
- 7-1/4 x 11-3/16 inches
- Harvard University Press
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