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Posted on November 8th, 2022 in Ancient HBO, Classes by Elizabeth W. Thill | Tags: , , ,

This episode of Ancient HBO brought to you by CLAS-C 210 Ancient Medicine and Modern Terminology – Because Westeros has nothing on the past. 

Also, spoiler alerts, if that’s still a thing for OG Game of Thrones…

Sam Gamgee’s treatment for Grayscale may have been brutal, but at least it saved Jorah Mormont’s life (yay late season plot armor!). Ancient Greek and Roman medicine could be equally brutal, and much less effective. To give one (of many possible) horrific examples: Roman doctors thought the uterus was a parasitic animal. By this logic, it made sense to fix a prolapsed uterus by trying to coax it back into the body using smells. A doctor would put good smelling things above a woman’s head, and bad smelling things between her legs, the idea being the uterus would move towards the good smells. The fact that this never, ever cured what was a common and debilitating malady (given the horrific contemporary childbirth procedures) does not seem to have made much impression on the so-called experts. But considering the next best bet involved hot oil and an iron probe, it was still the preferable method. And people complain Game of Thrones is violent.

Want to know more? Enroll in CLAS-C 210 (27280) (combined with MHHS-M 325 [27502]) for Fall 2023 and Learn What You Love.

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