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The Falling Sickness

, 488 pages
March 1994



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The Falling Sickness

A History of Epilepsy from the Greeks to the Beginnings of Modern Neurology

Owsei Temkin presents the history of epilepsy in Western civilization from ancient times to the beginnings of modern neurology. First published in 1945 and thoroughly revised in 1971, this classic work by one of the history of medicine's most eminent scholars now returns to print in a new softcover edition.

"A JAMA reviewer hailed the 1945 first edition of The Falling Sickness as a reference work with 'no historical rival' which 'occupies a seperate shelf in the reviewer's Library of Fame.' A revised second edition, published in 1971, increased the bibliography from a hefty 706 references to a weighty 1120. The number of footnotes, many in French, Latin, or Greek, multiplied from 1721 to 2073! The review of the second edition deemed Tempkin's intensely researched and well-organized historical work 'magnificient'... [The 1994 publication is] a facinating study of the history of one of the world's most intriguing maladies."

"The definitive account... Detailed, meticulous, and accurate... A thoroughly admirable and informative introduction to our knowledge of epilepsy in the Western world from antiquity to the early twentieth century."