Review of Ildikó Csepregi and Charles Burnett (eds.) Ritual Healing. Magic, Ritual and Medical Therapy from Antiquity until the Early Modern Period, Firenze, Edizioni del Galluzzo, 2012, in Early Science and Medicine, 19, 2014, p. 191-193

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   191 󰁂󰁯󰁯󰁫 󰁒󰁥󰁶󰁩󰁥󰁷󰁳󰁅󰁡󰁲󰁬󰁹 󰁓󰁣󰁩󰁥󰁮󰁣󰁥 󰁡󰁮󰁤 󰁍󰁥󰁤󰁩󰁣󰁩󰁮󰁥 󰀱󰀹 (󰀲󰀰󰀱󰀴) 󰀱󰀹󰀱-󰀲󰀱󰀰 󰁅󰁡󰁲󰁬󰁹 󰁓󰁣󰁩󰁥󰁮󰁣󰁥 󰁡󰁮󰁤 󰁍󰁥󰁤󰁩󰁣󰁩󰁮󰁥 󰀱󰀹 (󰀲󰀰󰀱󰀴) 󰀱󰀹󰀱-󰀱󰀹󰀳  Book Reviews ∵ Ildikó Csepregi and Charles Burnett (eds.)  Ritual Healing. Magic, Ritual and Medical Therapy from Antiquity until the Early  Modern Period   (Florence: Edizioni del Galluzzo, 2012), pp. 221, €45.00, ISBN 978 88 8450 443 2. The papers collected in this book are the result of a conference organized at the Warburg Institute, London, in 2006. All of them focus on ritual aspects of medicine from Ancient Mesopotamia to early modern times in the West.The volume begins with Siam Bhayro’s study of musical therapy in the Biblical context of David’s healing Saul with his lyre. The author endeavours to show that this famous case illustrates a very old practice that already existed before the Jewish tradition, notably in Mesopotamia and Egypt. This compara-tive study exhibits the mantic context of such uses of music, notably for the care of mental illness.In the second paper, Gideon Bohak follows the transmission of a short text from the Cairo Genizah containing incantations and magic recipes (of the Second Temple), which are also conserved in a Qumran papyrus. This text has been constantly used until the Middle Ages. With this textual analysis, Bohak reveals several aspects of Jewish magic. Shal Shaked edits the Hebrew text from the Genizah in the appendix with an English translation. Vivian Nutton’s contribution is focused on a short Latin text, which is a sum-mary of a history of medicine written at Bologna around 1341. This text, con-served in a manuscript of the Vatican Library (Vaticanus latinus 2378) connects physicians from ancient Greece to Noah. Nutton shows that this text is itself of summary of the  Asaph , a Hebrew medical text, of which the srcin and date of composition is uncertain. Nutton’s chapter contains both the Latin text and its English translation.In the subsequent paper, Árpád M. Nagy compares archaeological evidence of the use of gems in the Greek and Roman world with some written sources, in order to show that magical gems represent only one kind of amulets.   © 󰁫󰁯󰁮󰁩󰁮󰁫󰁬󰁩󰁪󰁫󰁥 󰁢󰁲󰁩󰁬󰁬 󰁮󰁶, 󰁬󰁥󰁩󰁤󰁥󰁮, 󰀲󰀰󰀱󰀴 | 󰁤󰁯󰁩   󰀱󰀰.󰀱󰀱󰀶󰀳/󰀱󰀵󰀷󰀳󰀳󰀸󰀲󰀳-󰀰󰀰󰀱󰀹󰀲󰁰󰀰󰀵 ISSN 1383-7427 (print version) ISSN 1573-3823 (online version) ESM 󰁅󰁡󰁲󰁬󰁹 󰁓󰁣󰁩󰁥󰁮󰁣󰁥 󰁡󰁮󰁤 󰁍󰁥󰁤󰁩󰁣󰁩󰁮󰁥 󰀱󰀹 (󰀲󰀰󰀱󰀴) 󰀱󰀹󰀱-󰀲󰀱󰀰  192 󰁂󰁯󰁯󰁫 󰁒󰁥󰁶󰁩󰁥󰁷󰁳󰁅󰁡󰁲󰁬󰁹 󰁓󰁣󰁩󰁥󰁮󰁣󰁥 󰁡󰁮󰁤 󰁍󰁥󰁤󰁩󰁣󰁩󰁮󰁥 󰀱󰀹 (󰀲󰀰󰀱󰀴) 󰀱󰀹󰀱-󰀱󰀹󰀳  According to the author, and contrary to traditional historiography, these mag-ical gems are a particular “Hellenized version” of amulets. This paper under-lines the di󰁦􀁦􀁩culty to draw a sharp distinction between magic and religion.On a related note, Maria Elena Gorrini’s paper is about healing statues – more precisely about statues associated with athletes and Trojan warriors – in the Greek and Roman world. These statues were considered as having the power to cure some diseases with the help of prayers. The author shows that this kind or ritual coincided in the Roman world with the revival of the cult of  Asclepios after the great Antonine plague. So, here again, the paper empha-sizes the close relationship between pagan and religious rituals when healing diseases is at stake.The two next essays deal with dreams and the ritual of incubation. Ildikó Csepregi deals with the Byzantine period and analyzes some incubation records, which describe dreams and their signi􀁦􀁩cation. He underlines the in󐁦􀁬uence of the Hippocratic tradition in the sanctuaries dedicated to Asclepius and analyzes the slight changes to which this tradition was subjected in the Byzantine world. For his part, Gabor Klaniczay studies incubatio  from the point of view of medieval miracle accounts. This paper is principally based on the examination of sixth-century hagiographic sources and miracula  described in the course of process of canonization.Catherine Rider devotes her paper to a sixteenth-century treatise called On the Healing of Magical Illnesses , written by the Swiss physician Bartholomaeus Carrichter. This book describes several magical practices and reveals the laws that govern the actions of such practices. What is particularly interesting, apart from the description of several rituals, is that Carrichter uses the same tool as Sir James Georges Frazer in the Golden Bough  to describe magical in󐁦􀁬uence. The magician acts on a part of one person or on a thing that is related to this person and causes some e󰁦fects in his body through a relation of sympathy or contagion. The paper focuses on curative rituals and more precisely on three distinct aspects of these rituals: the preparation, the transfer of illness from one thing to another, and the action against evil in󐁦􀁬uences. This study reveals that in the sixteenth century, natural and magical medicine still did not have precise boundaries and were frequently used together.The last paper of the volume is dedicated to the role of the empathic rela-tionship between the physician and the patient in medical practice as revealed in some medieval medical textbooks and academic commentaries. Since Hippocrates’ assertion, in the  Pronostics , according to which the con􀁦􀁩dence in the physician’s skills plays a central role in the medical cure, the topic has been discussed in many theoretical texts, especially in the Latin West in the thir-teenth and fourteenth centuries. The issue at stake is to know how the emo-   193 󰁂󰁯󰁯󰁫 󰁒󰁥󰁶󰁩󰁥󰁷󰁳󰁅󰁡󰁲󰁬󰁹 󰁓󰁣󰁩󰁥󰁮󰁣󰁥 󰁡󰁮󰁤 󰁍󰁥󰁤󰁩󰁣󰁩󰁮󰁥 󰀱󰀹 (󰀲󰀰󰀱󰀴) 󰀱󰀹󰀱-󰀱󰀹󰀳 tions and the relation of empathy help to heal the patient. Is it only a matter of medical ethics, or should emotions be treated as a part of the cure in them-selves? In other words, does the physician have to gain the patient’s con􀁦􀁩dence in order to administer a traditional treatment, or is con􀁦􀁩dence directly acting on the body? Salmon shows that the healing potentiality of the empathic encounter between the doctor and the patient was standardized through aca-demic teaching. Many physicians who wrote about this argument in the thir-teenth and fourteenth centuries tried to explain how emotions can cause real e󰁦fects on the body, on the basis of the principles of natural philosophy and theoretical medicine.The period covered by these nine chapters is enormous, and the reader may have the impression that a lot of topics, areas and stages in the history of ritual healings could have been added to this book. Nonetheless, all the papers deal  with the relationship between classical and magical medicine and show how important the ritual aspect of the cure for physicians from Antiquity to the early modern period has been. This volume shows that even if Galen and oth-ers tried to bring magical practices into disrepute, at least in their academic  writings, the practice of rituals continued to be used until the sixteenth cen-tury and probably beyond. For sure, if the editors of the book had decided to move up to the nineteenth century, they would probably have found the same kind of mixed medical practices, between very old beliefs and new theoretical trends. The specialists will 􀁦􀁩nd in this book detailed analysis of precise topics, but the neophyte will also 􀁦􀁩nd some suggestive thoughts about the place of rituals in the history of medicine.  Aurélien Robert  Université de Tours
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