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International workshop 7-8 July 2022: Malleable Texts, Fluid Authorships: Galenic Medicine and Late Antiquity.

Organisers: Dr. Caroline Petit (Warwick/HU) and Prof. Dr. Philip van der Eijk (HU)

Research on ancient pharmacological texts has increased dramatically in recent years. Several important projects and doctoral theses are underway, promising to deliver ground-breaking results in the next decade. In this scholarly context, various projects at the Humboldt-Universität and the university of Warwick seem to address converging questions on the changing nature of pharmacological texts across time and space. Authorship becomes more fluid, with the same text receiving various attributions; texts undergo changes of size, ordering, format, as they get adapted for new audiences. As texts become repackaged, manuscripts and papyri offer privileged evidence of those changes. Early translations of Greek works into Latin, Syriac and then Arabic result in epitomes and other reworked, shortened texts. Yet the transmission of ancient Greek pharmacology is often made difficult to apprehend due to missing links and medieval, fragmentary evidence. This workshop therefore proposes to offer complementary perspectives on those shifts, through communications on Greek, Latin and Arabic evidence. Themes that will be addressed include language, style, authorship, dating, transmission, manuscripts.

This workshop is supported by the Collaborative Research Center ‘Episteme in Motion’ (SFB 980), the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation, the Humboldt-Universität Berlin, the Freie Universität Berlin and the University of Warwick. It is hosted by the project ‘Galen of Pergamum: The Transmission, Interpretation and Completion of Ancient Medicine’ of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences.



M4C scholarship competition for PhD study now open (entry October 2021)

The M4C competition for PhD scholarships is now open. The Department of Classics welcomes applications from strong candidates in our areas of expertise.


New publication (open access): Galen's Treatise περὶ ἀλυπίας (De indolentia) in Context: A tale of resilience

Galen's Treatise περὶ ἀλυπίας (De indolentia) in Context: A tale of resilience, edited by Dr. Caroline Petit, Brill, 2019

In 193 AD, Galen of Pergamum, physician to the emperors, discloses crucial information in a letter to an unnamed friend. This long-lost text was rediscovered in 2005 by a then PhD student, and has since generated more literature than any other Galen text. In the wake of Vivian Nutton's authoritative translation (2013), this collection of essays addresses some of the many facets of the text, shedding new light on Galen, Rome, and the reign of Commodus.

Arising from a Wellcome-funded conference, the book is open access, courtesy of Brill and the Wellcome Trust.



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