The Talmud remains for most classicists and for most non-Jews in all disciplines virtually a closed book

One document of paramount importance in the history of ancient medicine, the Talmud, remains for most classicists and, indeed, for most non-Jews in all disciplines, virtually a closed book. Yet it has a strong claim on the attention of the student of Greek medicine, for the medical researches of the Talmudic rabbis in some respects far surpass the extent of knowledge demonstrated in even the best of Greek medicine….
The medical achievement of the Talmudic rabbis is all the more remarkable because it was incidental to the main interests of the authors of the Talmud. Medical matters are covered only when they help to shed light on religious concerns, in particular on ceremonial and legal points.

Stephen Newmyer, “Talmudic Medicine: A Classicist’s Perspective,” Judaism 29, Issue 3 (Summer 1980), 360-361.

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