This text, written by members of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine and first published in 1995, is designed to cover the history of western medicine from classical antiquity to 1800. As one guiding thread it takes, as its title suggests, the system of medical ideas that in large part went back to the Greeks of the eighth century BC, and played a major role in the understanding and treatment of health and disease. Its influence spread from the Aegean basin to the rest of the Mediterranean region, to Europe, and then to European settlements overseas. By the nineteenth century, however, this tradition no longer carried the same force or occupied so central a position within medicine. This book charts the influence of this tradition, examining it in its social and historical context. It is essential reading as a synthesis for all students of the history of medicine.