CFP: Greek Medical Texts and Their Audience

Seen on the Classicists list


12-13 December 2014

Università Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Brussels, Belgium

by the A.G. Leventis Foundation.

Organised by Sophia Xenophontos (Université
Libre de Bruxelles) and

Petros Bouras-Vallianatos (King’s
College London)

Call for papers

idea that every text is meant to appeal upon a certain audience is not a new
one, but it is only recently that it has engaged much scholarly discussion,
especially in light of the application of reception theory to literary works.
This conference seeks to examine the interplay between Greek medical texts
(e.g. Hippocratic corpus, Dioscorides, Galen, Rufus of Ephesus) and their
contemporary readers. Papers concentrating on the reception of these texts in
later periods (e.g. Late Antiquity, Byzantium), including the Syriac and
Islamic tradition, are also welcome.

We are interested in contemplating, inter alia, the following questions/subjects:

§  How do medical authors adjust their text according to the needs and expectations of
their audience? (structure of medical texts and medical subgenres as aspects
determining wide vs specialised readership)

§  Other conditions that may regulate, control, or limit the reception of medical writings
(e.g. background of author and reader, degree of shared memory between them)

§  Deciphering medical texts; mechanisms for activating or enhancing the reader’s memory (e.g. rhetorics, visual representations, diagrams)

§  Cognitive and emotional responses to medical works­

§  Translators/editors and their role in the transmission and reception of medical texts

§  Commentaries, scholia, paraphrases

Keynote speaker:

Prof. Vivian Nutton (London)

Confirmed speakers:

Prof. David Engels (Brussels)

Dr Antoine Pietrobelli (Reims/Paris)

Dr Chiara Thumiger (Berlin)

Dr Laurence Totelin (Cardiff)

Dr Uwe Vagelphol (Warwick)

(of no more than 200 words) should be in English and include title of the
paper, full name, academic affiliation, and contact details. These must be sent
by Friday, June 20, 2014 to: Sophia.Xenophontos AT
or petros.bouras-vallianatos AT