This paper compares the cases of female ailments recorded in the Epidaurian Miracles Cures (iamata) with the theory and therapeutics of the Hippocratic gynecological texts as a means of testing the extent of the assumptions shared between temple and Hippocratic medicine. I argue that where temple and Hippocratic practice hold common ground, it is readily explicable through widely circulating and historically rooted cultural presuppositions regarding female physiology and pathology, rather than through scientific borrowings. Rather than representing complementary outlets of medical care in which Asklepios specialized in “hopeless” cases, I suggest that the iamata permit us to observe a process in which parallel medical traditions branched out from a common cultural substratum, and that more nuance is required in framing the relationship between Greek naturalist and religious medicine.
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Research Article| October 01 2018
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Calloway Scott; Gender in the Temple: Women's Ailments in the Epidaurian Miracle Cures. Classical Antiquity 1 October 2018; 37 (2): 321–350. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/ca.2018.37.2.321
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