The official description:
Hippocrates is traditionally seen as the ‘Father of Medicine’. But scholars now doubt whether any of the treatises in the so-called Hippocratic Corpus are in fact by this historical figure. This has not stopped his name – and, by implication, his authority – being attached to various ideas, from medical theories to therapeutic practices: including soup! Dr Jo Brown is working with Professor Helen King on her ‘Hippocrates Electric’ project, examining how ‘Hippocrates’ features in popular beliefs about medicine today.
A couple of posts ago we featured an interview with Prof. Daniela Manetti who was visiting the Humboldt University of Berlin as part of the research project Medicine of the Mind, Philosophy of the Body. This week we talked to another of the project participants, Dr Georgia Petridou, about her work on the second-century AD text Hieroi Logoi (‘The Sacred Tales’) by Aelius Aristeides, orator and long-term resident of the sanctuary of the healing deity Asklepios at Pergamum (modern Turkey).
As Georgia explains on the Humboldt project website, the Hieroi Logoi ‘point to a close correlation between initiatory experience in some of the most popular mystery cults of the imperial era (like the mystēria of Demeter, Isis and Sarapis) and Aristeides’ portrayal of: a) the exclusivity of the therapeutic experience of the Asklepieion of Pergamum; b) the symbiotic relationship between somatic and psychic suffering and recovery; c) Aristeides’ representing the community of his fellow patients as mystai; and finally d) Aristeides’ depiction of disease as a perpetual near-death experience.’ http://www.classicsconfidential.co.uk
I think I’ll include the original description with these Classics Confidential posts …
This week’s interview features Professor Daniela Manetti from the University of Florence, who at the time of filming was visiting the Humboldt University in Berlin as part of the research programme ‘Medicine of the Mind, Philosophy of the Body: Discourses of Health and Well-Being in the Ancient World’. Professor Manetti has published on a wide variety of ancient medical texts, but in this conversation she focuses on the intriguing papyrus fragment known to us as the Anonymus Londinensis, which was found in Egypt and bought by the British Library in 1889. This text, which discusses the multiple causes of illness, is a treasure trove for ancient medical historians, but it also gives us a unique and precious insight into the processes of ancient textual composition. www.classicsconfidential.co.uk
This is another Cambridge Journals thing … the European Review has an issue on ancient medicine and the following are free (all the papers are pdf):
- Heikki Solin, Was there a Medical School at Salerno in Roman Times?
- Vivian Nutton, Galen and Roman Medicine: or can a Greek become a Latin?
- Lola Ferre, The Jewish Contribution to the Transmission of the Classical Legacy
- Gotthard Strohmaier, Arabic Medicine: Continuation of Greek Tradition and Innovation
… it seems easiest to access them here …
Very interesting item at History in an Hour … here’s a tease:
During the third century BCE, the city of Alexandria was home to a remarkable event in the development of ancient medicine as two physicians, named Herophilus and Erasistratus, conducted ground-breaking investigations into internal human anatomy. This research was important not only because it corrected many ancient misconceptions about the body, but because the doctors are believed to have reached their conclusions by dissecting human corpses, a practice outlawed in the Ancient World.
Here’s the rest:
- Herophilus and Erasistratus: The ‘Butchers’ of Alexandria (History in an Hour)