Babylonisch-assyrische Diagnostik. By NILS P. HEESSEL. Alter Orient und Altes Testament, vol. 43. Munster: UGARIT-VERLAG, 2000. Pp. xii + 471, plates. Ancient Mesopotamian medicine has long played third fiddle to Classical and Egyptian medicine. Much of the blame for this can be laid at the door of Montesquieu, who believed that human civilization declines in direct proportion to the distance eastward and southward from France, and whose influence lingers on, often unawares, in twentieth-century Orientalist disciplines. Whereas GrecoRoman and Egyptian texts have been thoroughly picked over and the most optimistic interpretations given to the bits of medicine contained in them, the thousand-odd ancient Mesopotamian medical texts remain largely unstudied, and when surveyed have often been interpreted as pessimistically as possible. Fortunately, this is beginning to change, as is evidenced by recent works by scholars such as J. Fincke and M. Hausperger. Their work has shown, and my own work is confirming, that Mesopotamian medicine was a sophisticated observation-based system, which should come as no surprise given that the preeminence of Mesopotamian astronomy in the ancient world is an already acknowledged fact. What is most needed is a complete and up-to-date edition of ancient Mesopotamian medical texts. Pride of place among those texts belongs to the Assyro-Babylonian diagnostic and prognostic handbook known as SA.GIG, which is the subject of N. Heessel's book.