Dr. Michael McVaugh, Professor Emeritus of History at UNC, will be presenting a lecture entitled, "Arabic into Latin (Or, Why Medical Schools Got Started)."
In medieval Europe medicine was a craft, not a subject that could be studied from books, until the twelfth century, when Latins discovered in Arabic manuscripts this new source for medicine knowledge, translated them into their own language, and made them the basis for a new invention, the medical school, with a set curriculum, examinations, and degrees.
Dr. McVaugh received his education at Harvard (AB, 1960) and Princeton (PhD, 1965). He has been on the UNC-Chapel Hill faculty since 1964 and is presently William Smith Wells Professor of History (Emeritus). His books include Medicine before the Plague: Practitioners and Their Patients in the Crown of Aragon, 1285-1345 (Cambridge, 1993), The Rational Surgery of the Middle Ages (Florence, 2006), and he is a member of the editorial commission for the Arnaldi de Villanova Opera Medica Omnia (12 vols. published since 1975).