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Birth, death, illness, health—these are constants that run through the history of humanity, cutting across cultures and borders, eras and social divisions. Ancient medicinal practices touch modern medicine in numerous ways, primarily:

  • in the way we approach healing today
  • in the vocabulary we use to describe and practice medicine.

Traditionally traced to the Ancient Greek doctor Hippocrates, the Hippocratic Oath guides doctors today, and features in ethical debates from the beginning to the end of life. The terms of those debates are shaped around ancient words: approximately 95% of English medical terms have their roots in Ancient Greek or Latin. If you’ve ever used words such as muscle, nerve, vein, or nucleus, you’ve seen this in action.

CLAS-C 210 develops understanding of medical terminology and the Greek and Roman healing practices in which much of this terminology developed. With the study of ancient conceptions of medicine and healing, the course reveals the richness of ancient healing practices beyond a simple doctor-patient relationship. For medical terminology, the course covers spelling, pronunciation, abbreviations, analyzing words based on their root, prefix, and suffix, and identifying common mistakes in medical terminology. This course is designed for any student interested in the ancient world, but especially those intending to specialize in or understand:

  • medicine
  • nursing
  • dentistry
  • health sciences
  • microbiology
  • or related fields.

Fun Facts:


Coming Next: Spring 2023

CLAS-C 210 (26588) / MHHS-M 325 (26997)
  • online asynchronous
  • Dr. Robin Reich

Recent Offerings (Fall 2022)

Online Asynchronous
  • Dr. Robin Reich