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Medical History

The Birth of Homeopathy out of the Spirit of Romanticism

by (author) Alice Kuzniar

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2017
History, 18th Century, History, German, Germany
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    Publish Date
    Apr 2017
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    Apr 2017
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    Apr 2017
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Homeopathy was founded in 1796 by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann who ardently proposed that "like cures like," counter to the conventional treatment of prescribing drugs that have the opposite effect to symptoms.


Alice A. Kuzniar critically examines the alternative medical practice of homeopathy within the Romantic culture in which it arose. In The Birth of Homeopathy out of the Spirit of Romanticism, Kuzniar argues that Hahnemann was a product of his time rather than an iconoclast and visionary. It is the first book in English to examine Hahnemann’s unpublished writings, including case journals and self-testings, and links to his contemporaries such as Goethe and Alexander von Humboldt. Kuzniar’s engaging writing style seamlessly weaves together medical, philosophical, semiotic, and literary concerns and reveals homeopathy as a phenomenon of its time. The Birth of Homeopathy out of the Spirit of Romanticism sheds light on issues that continue to dominate the controversy surrounding homeopathy to this very day.

About the author

Alice A. Kuzniar is a professor in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies at the University of Waterloo.

Alice Kuzniar's profile page


  • Winner, Hans Walz prize for studies on the history of homeopathy

Editorial Reviews

‘Excellent history… This text provides interesting insight into the history of homeopathy and how this history affects the way homeopathy is viewed today.’

Choice Magazine vol 55:02:2017

"The Birth of Homeopathy out of the Spirit of Romanticism is an important study that increases our understanding of both Romantic Naturphilosophie and homeopathy in a very significant way. "

European Romantic Review 29:5