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Jews, Medicine, and Medieval Society by Joseph Shatzmiller

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By Joseph Shatzmiller

Jews have been excluded from such a lot professions in medieval, predominantly Christian Europe. Bigotry was once common, but Jews have been approved as medical professionals and surgeons, administering not just to different Jews yet to Christians besides. Why did medieval Christians droop their worry and suspicion of the Jews, letting them investigate cross-check their our bodies, or even, now and then, to figure out their survival? What used to be the character of the doctor-patient courting? Did the legislations safeguard Jewish medical professionals in disputes over care and treatment?Joseph Shatzmiller explores those and different fascinating questions within the first complete social background of the medieval Jewish general practitioner. in keeping with vast archival learn in Provence, Spain, and Italy, and a deep analyzing of the commonly scattered literature, Shatzmiller examines the social and monetary forces that allowed Jewish doctors to outlive and thrive in 13th- and fourteenth-century Europe. His insights will end up interesting to students and scholars of Judaica, medieval background, and the historical past of drugs.

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Arabic, the language of science, was their language and provided them with indirect access to the Greek medical classics in translation. Indeed, inventories of libraries found in the huge depository of documents (the Geniza) discovered in the Ben Ezra synagogue in Cairo show how well integrated Jewish doctors were into the scientific community. For example, a Jew's library sold in Cairo in 1190 contained 33 of Galen's works translated into Arabic among the 102 pieces inventoried. 61 As we are about to see, on the eve of the massive medicalization of society in Western Europe at the beginning of the thirteenth century, Jews compensated for the lack of a genuine Hebrew medical tradition by relying on their brethren in the Moslem world who had already entered the world of medicine.

35 How effective were these decisions? Professor Darrel W. 36 Moreover, we note that no objection in principle (such as man's tampering with God's Page 9 creation) is ever raised in these conciliar decisions. The church was simply concerned about losing the services of some of its members. And the pressure on the church came not only via the medical profession but also, as the legislation of the 1130s repeats again and again, from the legal one. In addition, educated priests were much in demand in expanding secular administrations.

Nevertheless, we can suggest that while Christian society experienced difficulties in drafting doctors, the church did not respond willingly to the outcry. The entry of Jews into the profession, which may have been the result of this relative standstill, certainly took place under these conditions. The Opening: The Entry of Jews into the Profession Jews in the medieval West were unprepared for these new needs for medical services. A long and continuous tradition of Jewish medical science or practice did not exist.

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