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Geller, M.J.


Mark Geller

Markham Geller, born in Corpus Christi, Texas, USA, in 1949. Ph.D. from Brandeis University, Waltham. Professor of Semitic Languages at University College London.

Fellow (1 September 2000 - 30 June 2001)

I came to NIAS with the specific intention of working on two projects. The first was to edit and translate all Babylonian medical texts dealing with kidney disease and related ailments, since I had previously copied many relevant cuneiform tablets from the British Museum. I edited most of these texts while at NIAS, with the collaboration of Marten Stol. My second project was to collect all medical information from the Babylonian Talmud that appeared to have parallels in cuneiform medicine. I completed this project as well, but in the course of which I discovered that medical extracts from the Talmud in Hebrew had close parallels with Greek medicine, from Graeco-Roman Palestine, while those in Aramaic came from local Babylonian cuneiform medicine. Finally, through collaboration with colleagues at NIAS working on Greek medicine, I discovered that there are many parallels between the literary form of Babylonian medical texts and certain older texts in the Hippocratic corpus and early Greek medicine, and most of these parallels have not previously been noted. I leave NIAS with the optimistic view of how much more interesting work remains to be done in the history of ancient medicine.

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