Book Announcement: A Cretan Healer’s Handbook

Hello – members might like to know that (at long last) my book on Greek
traditional medicine will be available from Ashgate in October. Below is
the publishers ‘blurb’ for  *A Cretan Healer’s Handbook in the Byzantine
Tradition: text, translation and commentary*.

The book is the third volume in the series Medicine in the Medieval
Mediterranean – see:
http://www.ashgate.com/default.aspx?page=1269&lang=cy-GB

The link to my book is:
http://www.ashgate.com/default.aspx?page=637&title_id=7187&edition_id=10258&calcTitle=1

In 1930 the Cretan healer, Nikolaos Konstantinos Theodorakis of Meronas,
re-copied a notebook containing medical lore passed down through his
family over generations. The present volume offers an edition of this
notebook together with an English translation, the first of its kind. It
belongs to the genre of iatrosophia, practical handbooks dating mainly to
the 17th to 19th centuries which compiled healing wisdom, along with
snippets of agricultural, meteorological and veterinary advice, and
admixtures of religion, astrology and magic. Both fascinating and of
critical importance, iatrosophia allow glimpses of classical and Byzantine
medical sources and illustrate the vitality and resilience of Greek
traditional medical and botanical knowledge. From years spent exploring
local healing customs in Crete’s Amari region, Patricia Clark is able to
present Theodorakis’ iatrosophion against a rich historical, geographical
and social background. Introductory essays and explanatory notes to the
translation give context to the iatrosophion and provide the specialized
information necessary for a good understanding of the text. The abundant
materia medica of the notebook is treated in a substantial appendix. Each
animal, mineral, plant or product is provided with an overview of its
various names through the millennia. Such entries are not only a key to
understanding the Greek medical legacy, but also a vivid illustration of
its usage from antiquity to the present day.

Patricia A. Clark, paclark@uvic.ca

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Published in: on September 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

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