"Babylonian Medicine" (BabMed) is a joint project of Freie Universität Berlin and Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan. The research project, which is funded by the European Research Council, draws attention to Mesopotamian contributions to the healing arts in both East and West, thus challenging Eurocentric thinking within the history of medicine.
Markham J. Geller, who specializes in both Assyriology and Jewish Studies, is the prinicipal investigator of the BabMed Project and works with his research group in Berlin on medical cuneiform texts of ancient Mesopotamia. Shamma Friedman, professor for Talmud and Rabbinic Literature, and Dr. Aaron Amit, from the Talmud Department at Bar-Ilan University, are extracting and classifying the medical passages of the Babylonian Talmud – the primary interpretative text of rabbinic Judaism.
One common objective is to identify a connection between the healing traditions: cuneiform medicine written in the Akkadian language from the first millennium BCE and the medical passages from the Babylonian Talmud, which were composed several centuries later in the same region. Many of the medical citations of the Talmud are transmitted in Aramaic – the successor to the language of the cuneiform texts. This is only one among a number of other clues for the transfer of knowledge from Mesopotamia to later eras.