Inspiring innovation from tradition

Researching ancient therapeutics implies knowledge of both the substances used for the preparation of medicines and the medical conditions from which the people who used such medicines were suffering, preferably in a dynamic perspective during the time period covered by the texts under study. The Institute goes beyond this equation, however, and approaches ancient medicine in an innovative way. The available evidence on the pathologies of ancient populations is limited and still in an early phase of study. Scholars in the Institute, working in collaboration with physicians and scientists, use ancient texts on therapeutics as keys to reading the epidemiology of the populations who produced or received, and then adapted such texts to their own needs, before transmitting them onward. In so doing, the Institute expands the range of available evidence with an untapped resource that brings to light data not available from other sources.

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