Doctor's Medical Recipe from Babylon
Recipes involving plant and vegetable drugs were written on this clay tablet, but the purpose was not mentioned. Unlike many medical documents, it is a doctor's working copy rather than a library reference work. Probably from Babylon, Mesopotamia...
Papyrus Chester Beatty VI
Dated to the New Kingdom (c. 1570 - c. 1069 BCE), and specifically to c. 1200 BCE, the text is written in demotic script and is the oldest treatise on anorectal disease (affecting the anus and rectum) in history.
Reconstruction of Asclepeion of Epidaurus
A reconstruction of the Temple of Asclepius in Epidaurus. Illustration by Julia Lillo.
Physician Preparing an Elixir from De Materia Medica
Depiction of a physician preparing an elixir. Illustration from a folio of an Arabic translation of the 1st Century CE Greek medical text De Materia Medica. Iraq, 1224 CE. Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper. (Courtesy of the Metropolitan...
Mandrake (Mandragora officinarum), scanned from 15th century manuscript Tacuinum Sanitatis.
Greek Statuette of an Emaciated Woman
A Greek statuette of an emaciated woman from Smyrna, Asia Minor. The woman depicted has an emaciated, skeletal frame and distended belly. Her pose, dress, and youthful hairstyle indicates that she is a young woman suffering from a debilitating...
Medical Recipes from Borsippa Against Mental Disorders
Alongside recipes (derived from various plants) to address mental illnesses, this tablet provides unique drawings as a guide to making magical figurines against demons and sickness. The king-like figure on the throne resembles an image of...
Roman Votive Face
This glazed and painted terracotta face of uncertain provenance was probably intended as a votive offering, probably for the healing of a skin condition. Votive offerings were often dedicated at the temples of gods associated with healing...
Treatment Adive for a Fractious Baby
This tablet contains treatments, mostly in the form of ointments to soothe distressed and fractious babies. It also includes instructions for making miniature inscribed clay cylinder-amulets. From the library of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh, Northern...
Libraries in the Ancient World
Libraries were a feature of larger cities across the ancient world with famous examples being those at Alexandria, Athens, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Nineveh. Rarely ever lending libraries, they were typically designed for visiting scholars...