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Roman children in the early empire: a distinct epidemiological and therapeutic category?

Bagley, Andrée Marie (2017)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

Roman writers acknowledged the peculiar biological and psychological characteristics of children. This thesis examines the hypothesis that they regarded them as members of distinct epidemiological and therapeutic groups. Its chief sources of information are medical texts from the Early Empire, supplemented by archaeological evidence. It attempts to determine the extent to which the above traits informed theories concerning the prevalence, pathogenesis and prognosis of childhood ailments.

Celsus stated that children should not be treated in the same way as adults. This thesis investigates whether other medical authorities shared this view, and whether Roman practitioners abided by this principle. It explores the ways in which they treated sick children and whether they employed different approaches according to the age or gender of individuals.

This research breaks new ground in that it makes direct comparisons between treatments for children and adults, and children of varying age, and between children of either gender. It acknowledges the diversity of medicine in the Roman world and places equal emphasis on ‘scientific’ and supernatural practices. Another innovation is the use of case studies; these provide an opportunity to compare and discuss choices of therapeutic modalities for nine groups of diseases and in patients in different age categories.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Harlow, Mary and McKeown, Niall
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Medical & Dental Sciences
Department:Institute of Applied Health Research
Subjects:D History (General)
R Medicine (General)
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:7377
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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