The Best Doctor Is Also a Historian
The Rootcutter's inaugural essay series aims at exploring connections between ancient and modern medicines—and not only the connections we make, but also why we make those connections and what impact they have on how we think about and conduct modern medical practices, both as healthcare experts and as service users. This series has been generously funded by the Society for Classical Studies Ancient Worlds, Modern Communities grant.
Image: Ostracon, Coptic (6th–7th century CE), the Monastery of Epiphanius at Thebes, Egypt. Held by The Met Museum. Please note, this image is for illustrative purposes and is not the ostracon discussed in this essay.
“Send me a rule”: Risk and Blame in Maternal Healthcare
by Candace Buckner
June 15, 2022
I, Esther, your servant, write and do obeisance to my father. Be kind as to instruct me… I bear my children…they die. Perhaps (I) do something unfitting. Be so kind as to send me a rule whereby I may walk; for my soul is grieved . . .
(O. Mon. Epiph. 194; tr. Bagnall and Cribiore 2006)