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date: 11 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Many surviving texts of Byzantine medicine are practical, sophisticated, and responsive to changing needs. They are even innovative and became associated with new loci of healing, such as the hospital. Textual evidence, especially hagiography, offers insights into diseases and remedies used in the Byzantine Empire. There seems to be a preponderance of unspecific fevers and paralyses, gastrointestinal and eye problems during the period, implying that Byzantium was like most other premodern cultures of the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East in the variety of diseases that afflicted its inhabitants. Nothing is definite about other determinants of health such as diet, except that emperors, monks, and peasants alike presumably suffered from malnutrition. Hygiene was one example of disease prevention practiced by Byzantines.

Keywords: health, hygiene, healing, medicine, Byzantium, Byzantine Empire, diseases, malnutrition, fevers, paralyses

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