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Early modern Ottoman spaces and sites of medical healing and learning

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By | Early Medicine, Events and Visits

The next seminar in the 2016–17 History of Pre-Modern Medicine seminar series takes place on Tuesday 31 January.

Ottoman scene of circumcision.

Circumcision of a male infant. Ottoman Empire. Wellcome Images L0032948.

Speaker: Professor Miri Shefer-Mossensohn (Tel-Aviv University)

Early modern Ottoman spaces and sites of medical healing and learning


This lecture analyses the sites and spaces where medical practice and learning took place in the Turkish- and Arabic-speaking Middle East in the early modern period. We will move from hospitals and schools to markets, from palaces to private homes. Working against the narrative of heroic medicine, great physicians, or splendid medical institutions, I will stress humble successes (coupled with failures and misunderstandings) that portray considerable curiosity and vibrant activity. More importantly, this is a story of popularisation of medical knowledge and practice that supported the Ottoman medical system until the 19th century, and of the advent of modernisation and westernisation.


Wellcome Library, 183 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE.

Doors open at 6pm, seminar will start at 6.15pm.

The seminar series is focused on pre-modern medicine, which we take to cover European and non-European history before the 20th century (antiquity, medieval and early modern history, some elements of 19th-century medicine).

Further details on the seminar series are available in a previous post.

Ross Macfarlane

Ross Macfarlane is the Research Engagement Officer at the Wellcome Library.

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