The practical application of ancient pulse-lore and its influence on the patient-doctor interaction

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This paper examines the effects of the emergence of pulse measurement as an essential diagnosis and prognosis method used on Graeco-Roman patients. It argues that the introduction of this diagnostic tool brought about changes to the encounter between patients and their doctors and may have also increased intimacy and patients’ forthcomingness during these encounters. The paper demonstrates that the popularity and conspicuity of the practical and theoretical engagement with the pulse afforded many opportunities for the transmission of professional knowledge from doctors to patients. It argues that this transmission of knowledge was often actively encouraged by doctors for the sake of self-promotion and promotion of the medical profession as a whole. At the same time, doctors also attempted to restrict this transmission of knowledge in order to use their exclusive competence in the pulse as means for establishing their authority and superiority over patients.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationHomo Patiens - Approaches to the Patient in the Ancient World
EditorsGeorgia Petridou, Chiara Thumiger
PublisherBrill Academic Publishers
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9789004305557
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameStudies in Ancient Medicine

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Classics
  • History and Philosophy of Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The practical application of ancient pulse-lore and its influence on the patient-doctor interaction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this