The medical writings of Rufus of Ephesus
This thesis studies the works of a Greek doctor who lived in the first century A. D. Rufus of Ephesus. It is based on a reading of primary sources in both Greek, Latin and Arabic. The materials preserved in Arabic translation has not been fully studied before. This thesis attempts to draw a general picture of Rufus' life and practice of medicine. It looks for Rufus' learning centre, places of his practice of medicine and lists his writings and the various editions and translations they went through. The thesis discusses Rufus' status as a practitioner and, in particular, the criteria on which his choice of therapies were based. His explanations of the occurrences of diseases, whether expressed explicitly or implicitly are considered in detail. His views on humoral causation are investigated at length in this study in order to establish Rufus originality or conventionality. Bed-side medicine is another important aspect of Rufus' activities. In order to have an insight into Rufus' clinical thinking, this thesis studies carefully his treatise Medical Questions, in which Rufus advocates interrogating the patient in order to recognize his or her case more accurately and promote a better treatment. This treatise has an important value per se as it is the first ever Greek medical treatise which discusses exclusively the art of medical questioning. This thesis discusses Rufus' methods of therapy by concentrating on three different diseases, lithiasis, melancholy and jaundice. It concludes with paying attention to the issues of the Arabs' interest in the Greek civilization by investigating the reasons behind the translation of Rufus' works into Arabic, identifying the translators, and studying the Arabs' reception of Rufus' teaching.