Ludwig Edelstein

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Ludwig Edelstein (23 April 1902 – 16 August 1965) was a classical scholar and historian of medicine.

Personal life and career[edit]

Edelstein was born in Berlin, Germany, to Isidor and Mathilde Adler Edelstein. He attended the University of Berlin from 1921-1924 and received his Ph.D. at the University of Heidelberg in 1929. He was married to Emma J. Levy on 25 Oct. 1928.[1]

Because he and his wife were Jewish, Edelstein lost his academic position and had to flee from Germany in 1933 when the Nazis came to power.[2][3] Upon his arrival in the USA in 1934, he took up an appointment at Johns Hopkins University. Subsequently, he taught at the University of Washington and the University of California at Berkeley, from which he resigned rather than sign the Levering Act loyalty oath. He then returned to Johns Hopkins, where he had appointments at the University in Philosophy and at the School of Medicine in History of Medicine. At the University he taught ancient Greek philosophy in undergraduate and graduate seminars and courses.

Edelstein's 1943 translation and commentary on the Hippocratic Oath was influential on contemporary thinking about medical ethics.[2] He was an inspiring and beloved teacher. Several of his Hopkins students became accomplished scholars. He retired from Hopkins and spent his last years at the then newly founded Rockefeller Institute.


  • The Hippocratic Oath: Text, Translation, Interpretation (1943)
  • Asclepius: Collection and Interpretation of the Testimonies (1945) with Emma J. Edelstein
  • Wielands "Abderiten" und der Deutsche Humanismus (1950)
  • Plato's Seventh Letter (1966)
  • The Idea of Progress in Classical Antiquity (1967)
  • The Meaning of Stoicism (1968) Martin Classical Lectures Volume XXI
  • Ancient Medicine: Selected Papers of Ludwig Edelstein (1967) edited by Owsei Temkin and C. Lilian Temkin
  • Posidonius: Volume I: The Fragments (1972) editor with Ian G. Kidd

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ludwig Edelstein at the Database of Classical Scholars
  2. ^ a b Pow, S; Stahnisch, FW (2016). "Ludwig Edelstein (1902-1965): a German historian of medicine in North American exile and the emergence of the modern Hippocratic Oath". J Med Biogr. 24 (4): 527–537. doi:10.1177/0967772014565563. PMID 25697348.
  3. ^ *Rütten, Thomas, Ludwig Edelstein at the Crossroads of 1933. On the Inseparability of Life, Work, and Their Reverberations, Early Science and Medicine, Volume 11, Number 1, 2006, pp. 50–99(50) PDF

External links[edit]