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Mustafa Yıldız

"Late Byzantine Medicine in the Face of Black Death: A Study of Intellectual History and Medical Practice"

Mustafa Yıldız

Junior Fellow, Byzantine Studies

Mustafa’s research examines the late Byzantine medical literature following the Black Death. Medical responses to the medieval plague in Byzantium have not been studied before. This reflects the age-old prejudice against Byzantine medicine as a stale repetition of ancient medical authorities. Vast medical literature surviving from the late Byzantine period is in fact a rich yet mostly neglected source for the study of Byzantine medicine. Mustafa’s dissertation aims to demonstrate this by studying Greek medical manuscripts, including the rich microfilm collection held at Dumbarton Oaks, and for the first time edit medical recipes to cure the plague from late Byzantium.

Mustafa Yıldız is a PhD candidate in the concurrent programs of History and Medieval Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He has a bachelor’s degree in Translation Studies and a master’s degree in History from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey. His master’s research examined the discourse of rebellion in Byzantium during the tumultuous eleventh and twelfth centuries. He has delivered papers on Byzantine poetry, seal inscriptions, apologetic literature, and historiography. His research interests also include Byzantine hagiography, philosophy, subversion, madness, interactions with the Turks and Latins, perception of geography, and language.