Skip to main content

An Odyssey of Knowledge - Medieval Manuscripts and Early Printed Books from the National Library of Medicine

decoration30 June 2010|28 Dec. 2012

Medicine in the Old World arose from many components: the classical Greek tradition, its Christian re-elaboration, the contributions of the Arabic World, and the unique medieval synthesis of them all. By examining significant pages and illuminations from manuscripts and early printed books of the National Library of Medicine, one can see how these cultures contributed to the creation of medical knowledge in Europe. These pages are a journey through time and space, as medical knowledge moved around and across the Mediterranean Sea.This odyssey of knowledge examines how medical science took root in Southern Europe, was absorbed and modified by local medical practice and knowledge, and spread into the hinterland and beyond. It shows how European medicine is the result of the confluence of different streams of thoughts—from classical antiquity to pre-modern science, from Greece to Western Europe, and from discoveries based on reason to those rooted in tradition and experience.


Greek Medicine and Science in the Early Middle Ages

The Arabic Contribution

A Crossroad of Knowledge: Southern Italy

The Spread of Translation

From Translation to Teaching


The Return of the Greek

The Many Uses of Books and Texts


30 June 2010|28 Dec. 2012
Bethesda, MD
National Library of Medicine
  • share