Ronit Yoeli-TlalimAug 16, 2021
ReOrienting Histories of Medicine
Encounters Along the Silk Roads
Bloomsbury Publishing 2021
There's been a lot of resurgent interest in the Silk Routes lately, particularly looking at the cultural, political, and economic connections between "East" and "West" that challenge long held narratives of a world that only became interconnected in the last half millennium. Even so, it's been rarely appreciated how much of the history of Eurasian medicine in the premodern period hinges on cross-cultural interactions and knowledge transmissions along these same lines of contact. Using manuscripts found in key Eurasian nodes of the medieval world - Dunhuang, Kucha, the Cairo Geniza, and Tabriz - this fascinating and much-needed book analyses a number of case-studies of Eurasian medical encounters, giving a voice to places, languages, people and narratives which were once prominent but have gone silent.
ReOrienting Histories of Medicine: Encounters Along the Silk Roads (Bloomsbury, 2021) is an important book for those interested in the history of medicine and the transmissions of knowledge that have taken place over the course of global history.
Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim is Reader in History at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is the co-editor of Rashid al-Din: Agent and Mediator of Cultural Exchanges in Ilkhanid Iran, Islam and Tibet: Interactions along the Musk Routes, and Astro-Medicine: Astrology and Medicine, East and West.
Christopher S. Rose is a social historian of medicine focusing on Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean in the 19th and 20th century. He currently teaches History at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas and Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas.