The Negotiation of Meaning in Late Antique Clinical Practice: Alexander of Tralles and “Natural Remedies”

Book chapter


Zecher, Jonathan. (2023). The Negotiation of Meaning in Late Antique Clinical Practice: Alexander of Tralles and “Natural Remedies”. In Disability, Medicine, and Healing Discourse in Early Christianity: New Conversations for Health Humanities pp. 84-101 Routledge.
AuthorsZecher, Jonathan
Abstract

Treatment is a matter of negotiation of viewpoints and attitudes. This chapter examines first the content of Alexander’s natural remedies—what is included, what is not, and what can be made of both. It explores the implications of his characterization of remedies as “amulets”, which he justifies by his experience of their success and by the authority of other physicians; and as “natural”, by which he draws supposedly non-medical healing into the sphere of “scientific medicine.” The chapter demonstrates, first, that Alexander likely lived earlier than is often assumed and that, contrary to expectation, Christianity seems not to have influenced his practice at all. It then argues that his characterization and defence of “non-medical” healing constitutes an attempt to translate between professional and lay explanatory models of illness, which is open to multiple interpretations by readers, and that Alexander’s humane and practical approach to medical care led him to a more capacious notion of medical science.

KeywordsHumanities; Medicine; Dentistry; Nursing; Allied Health
Page range84-101
Year01 Jan 2023
Book titleDisability, Medicine, and Healing Discourse in Early Christianity: New Conversations for Health Humanities
PublisherRoutledge
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
ISBN978-0-367-52100-4
Web address (URL)https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/edit/10.4324/9781003080534/disability-medicine-healing-discourse-early-christianity-chris-de-wet-susan-holman-jonathan-zecher
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Research or scholarlyResearch
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Print04 Aug 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited30 Jan 2024
Additional information

© 2024 Jonathan Zecher.

Permalink -

https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/901wv/the-negotiation-of-meaning-in-late-antique-clinical-practice-alexander-of-tralles-and-natural-remedies

Restricted files

Publisher's version

  • 15
    total views
  • 0
    total downloads
  • 4
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month
These values are for the period from 19th October 2020, when this repository was created.

Export as

Related outputs

Spiritual direction as a medical art in early Christian monasticism
Zecher, Jonathan L.. (2022). Spiritual direction as a medical art in early Christian monasticism Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198854135.001.0001
Doctrine's Role in the Ascent to God according to John Climacus
Zecher, Jonathan. (2022). Doctrine's Role in the Ascent to God according to John Climacus. In Patristic Spirituality: Classical Perspectives on Ascent in the Journey to God pp. 355-375 Brill. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004526983_021
Medical metaphors in byzantine spiritual direction
Zecher, Jonathan. (2022). Medical metaphors in byzantine spiritual direction. The Journal of Religion. 102(4), pp. 529-554. https://doi.org/10.1086/721356
Myths of aerial tollhouses and their tradition from George the Monk to the Life of Basil the Younger
Zecher, Jonathan. (2021). Myths of aerial tollhouses and their tradition from George the Monk to the Life of Basil the Younger. Dumbarton Oaks Papers. 75, pp. 297-318.
Medical art in spiritual direction : Basil, Barsanuphios, and John on diagnosis and meaning in illness
Zecher, Jonathan. (2020). Medical art in spiritual direction : Basil, Barsanuphios, and John on diagnosis and meaning in illness. Journal of Early Christian Studies. 28(4), pp. 591-623. https://doi.org/10.1353/earl.2020.0044
The reception of evagrian psychology in the Ladder of Divine Ascent: John Cassian and Gregory Nazianzen as sources and conversation partners
Zecher, Jonathan. (2018). The reception of evagrian psychology in the Ladder of Divine Ascent: John Cassian and Gregory Nazianzen as sources and conversation partners. Journal of Theological Studies. 69(2), pp. 674 - 713. https://doi.org/10.1093/jts/fly125
The role of death in the ladder of divine ascent and the Greek Ascetic tradition
Zecher, Jonathan. In A. Louth and G. Clark (Ed.). (2015). The role of death in the ladder of divine ascent and the Greek Ascetic tradition Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198724940.001.0001
Antony's vision of death? Athanasius of Alexandria, Palladius of Heenopolis, and Egyptian Mortuary Religion
Zecher, Jonathan. (2014). Antony's vision of death? Athanasius of Alexandria, Palladius of Heenopolis, and Egyptian Mortuary Religion. Journal of Late Antiquity. 7(1), pp. 159 - 176. https://doi.org/10.1353/jla.2014.0016
The angelic life in desert and ladder: John Climacus's re-formulation of Ascetic Spirituality
Zecher, Jonathan. (2013). The angelic life in desert and ladder: John Climacus's re-formulation of Ascetic Spirituality. Journal of Early Christian Studies. 21(1), pp. 111 - 136. https://doi.org/10.1353/earl.2013.0006
Death among the desert fathers: Evagrius and theophilus in the sayings tradition
Zecher, Jonathan. (2013). Death among the desert fathers: Evagrius and theophilus in the sayings tradition. Sobornost Incorporating Eastern Churches Review. 35(2017-02-01), pp. 148 - 169.
Death's spiralling narrative: On 'reading' the Orthodox funeral
Zecher, Jonathan. (2011). Death's spiralling narrative: On 'reading' the Orthodox funeral. Studia Liturgica. 41(2), pp. 274 - 292.