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Category: Health & Medicine, Manuscript

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Last updated: 14 January 2009 The Loss and Recovery of Greek Medicine in the West After the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, most works of the Greek physicians were lost to Western Europe. In the 14th and 15th centuries, however, Western Europeans began to rediscover Greek scientific and medical texts. This was due in part to the discovery of Arab repositories of learning in Spain and elsewhere during the Crusades as well as the immigration to Italy of Byzantine scholars at the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

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Medieval Islam Islamic cultures are among the most interesting, complex, and dynamic in the world. At the same time, they are among the least known in the West. From its dramatic rise in the seventh century A. D. to the present, Islamic civilization has covered a large part of the globe, incorporating many subcultures and languages into its orbit, and vigorously engaging the peoples around it. Medicine was a central part of medieval Islamic culture. Disease and health were of importance to rich and poor alike, as indeed they are in every civilization. Responding to circumstances of time and place, Islamic physicians and scholars developed a large and complex medical literature exploring and synthesizing the theory and practice of medicine.

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History of Medicine Robert Hooke (1635-1703) was a remarkably versatile man — artist, biologist, physicist, engineer, architect, inventor, and more. However, his crowning glory was Micrographia: or Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies made by Magnifying Glasses , first published 1665. It was a masterpiece — an exquisitely illustrated introduction to the previously unknown microscopic world. This exhibit focuses on Hooke's influences and legacy in print, the pioneering books that stimulated Hooke's research, and the works he left for others — most famously the great Dutch microscopist, Antoni van Leeuwenhœk (1632-1723). August 1 – November 1, 2007.

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History of Medicine Introduction The National Library of Medicine's Bathtub Collection is an archive of materials found in the old bindings when rare books in the Library were conserved. The materials found in the bindings include fragments of old printed books or manuscript materials which are often treasures on their own. In the Bathtub Collection, NLM has organized and described these fragments and made them available to scholars. The story of the Bathtub Collection begins in the middle of the last century. In the 1940's, The Army Medical Library, as the National Library of Medicine was then known, began a serious conservation program for its rare book collection. The AML hired Dorothy Schullian as curator of rare books and Jean Eschman, a master bookbinder from Switzerland.

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Medicine in the Old World arose from many components: the classical Greek tradition, its Christian re-elaboration, the contributions of the Arabic World, and the unique medieval synthesis of them all. By examining significant pages and illuminations from manuscripts and early printed books of the National Library of Medicine, one can see how these cultures contributed to the creation of medical knowledge in Europe.

These pages are a journey through time and space, as medical knowledge moved around and across the Mediterranean Sea. Mare nostrum—Our Sea—divided societies into several groups, but it could be crossed, making cultural contact, trade, and the exchange of ideas possible.

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