History of Pre-Modern Medicine Seminar Series, Autumn 2013

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A physician giving a medicine to a sick man in bed, and a surgeon, supervised by a physician, amputating the leg of seated patient, representing pharmacy and surgery respectively. Engraving, 1646. Engraving 1646 By: Matthaeus Merian From: De efficaci medicina Wellcome Images M0007909

Following a successful first year, the History of Pre-Modern seminar series returns this autumn.  The 2013-14 series – organised by a group of historians of medicine based at London universities and hosted by the Wellcome Library – will commence with four seminars.

The series will be focused on pre-modern medicine, which we take to cover European and non-European history before the 20th century (antiquity, medieval and early modern history, some elements of 19th-century medicine). The seminars are open to all.


Tues 15 October, Anita Guerrini (Oregon State), ‘The Galenist as Mechanist: Claude Perrault and the Natural History of Animals’.

Tues 29th Oct, Francois Olivier Touati (Tours), ‘Between the East and the West : transmission of diseases, connection of medical responses during the Middle Ages’.

Tues 5th Nov, Hannah Newton (Cambridge), “Nature’s Office and Work”: Defeating Disease in Early Modern England, 1580-1720

Tues 19th Nov, Emilie Savage-Smith (Oxford) “The Best Accounts of the Classes of Physicians”: A history of medicine throughout the known world, composed in Syria in the 13th-century.

All seminars will take place in the Wellcome Trust, Gibbs Building, 215 Euston Road, NW1 2BE.  Doors at 6pm prompt, seminars will start at 6.15.

The programme for January-March 2014 will follow in the new year.

Organising Committee: Elma Brenner (Wellcome Library), Sandra Cavallo (RHUL), John Henderson (BirkbeckUL) Colin Jones (QMUL), William MacLehose (UCL), Anna Maerker (KCL), Christelle Rabier (LSE), Patrick Wallis (LSE, convenor), Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim (Goldsmiths).

Enquiries to Ross MacFarlane (Wellcome Library: or Dr Patrick Wallis (LSE:

Ross Macfarlane

Ross Macfarlane is the Research Engagement Officer at the Wellcome Library.

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