Julius Caesar's Disease: A New Diagnosis

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Pen & Sword Books Limited, Nov 30, 2016 - History - 192 pages
It is generally accepted as a historical fact that Julius Caesar suffered from epilepsy, an illness which in classical times was sometimes associated with divinely bestowed genius. The ancient sources describe several episodes when, sometimes at critical junctures, one of the most famous military commanders in history was incapacitated by his illness referred to as morbus comitialis. But does the evidence really fit with the diagnosis of epilepsy? And if it was not epilepsy that afflicted Caesar, then what was it? These are the questions that doctors Galassi and Ashrafian seek to answer by applying modern medical knowledge to the symptoms and circumstances described by contemporary historians and commentators of Caesar’s life (which include the great man himself). The result is a fascinating piece of historical-pathological detective work that challenges received wisdom about one of the most famous men of all time.

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Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Acknowledgements
A Two
An Imperial
A Simpler Hypothesis and a Novel Idea
Why Has the Epileptic Theory Been So Successful?

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About the author (2016)

Francesco Maria Galassi MD qualified as a doctor at the University of Bologna in his native Italy in 2014 and is currently on a postdoctoral internship at the University of Uttrecht in the Netherlands. He has also attended courses at Imperial College London, Oxford, Cambridge and New York universities. Alongside his medical qualifications, he has a deep interest in ancient history and particularly the history of medicine. He is proficient in both Latin and Ancient Greek as well as English, French, German, Dutch and Spanish.

Hutan Ashrafian, BSc Hons, MBBS, MBA, PhD, MRCS is a surgeon, historian, systems biologist, biostatistician, paleopathologist and philosopher. He is currently lecturer in surgery at Imperial College London and surgeon registrar at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London. His historical and paleopathological work spans the era of Alexander the Great and the classical world, epistemology and the earliest world literature from the Ancient Near East, art and science in the renaissance focusing on the work of Leonardo da Vinci. As an Egyptologist, he has offered the first pathological analysis of the Great Sphinx and his analysis of the death of Tutankhamun was featured in documentaries on the BBC and the Smithsonian Channel. He is the founding president of the Institute of Polymaths.

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