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.
A special issue of Archives Internationales d'Histoire des Sciences on the interpretation and transmission of Galen's treatise On simple drugs. Guest editors: Caroline Petit (Warwick), Matteo Martelli (Bologna), Lucia Raggetti (Bologna).
The volume explores the fate of Greek text across time, languages and cultures. It arises from a BA-Leverhulme-funded project, 'Rethinking Ancient Pharmacology' and a conference at the BSR in 2017.
Congratulations to Dr Caroline Petit!
We are delighted to announce that Dr Caroline Petit has been awarded the prestigious Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany.
The award recognises Dr Petit’s excellent academic achievements, and she will be invited to carry out a new research project of her choosing in collaboration with colleagues in Germany.
Dr Petit’s research interests lie in the textual transmission, translation and interpretation of ancient medical texts. This includes the many ways they have been appropriated up to modern times.
Her recent projects include ‘Medical Prognosis in Late Antiquity’ (Wellcome Trust University Award, 2013-2018) and ‘Rethinking Ancient Pharmacology' (British Academy - Leverhulme 2017-2019).
In 2019 she was awarded the prestigious Médaille de Chénier by the French Académie des Inscriptions et des Belles Lettres for her recent book on the Greek physician and philosopher Galen of Pergamum (Galien de Pergame ou la rhétorique de la Providence. Médecine, littérature et pouvoir à Rome, Brill 2018). This medal is a distinction awarded only to one scholar every five years in recognition of outstanding scholarship in ancient Greek.
Back to the Future: How Studying History Helps Medical Science!
A School of Life Sciences event with contributions from the department of Classics: Dr. Caroline Petit, Matt Smith (MAR student), Tunrayo Olaoshun (4th year UG student).
Come hear about ancient remedies, the role of dreams in diagnostic, teaching anatomy... and lots more exciting topics:
The School of Life Sciences are pleased to invite you to their next Public Science Evening ‘Back to the Future: How Studying History Helps Medical Science’. This event will explore the exciting topic of how we can use historical medical knowledge in today’s practices. A variety of time periods will be explored, from Galenic medicine in the 2nd century, to early 20th century phage therapy advancements. Also included will be talks from not only members of the School of Life Sciences team, but the Classics and History departments as well. If you are a fan of the History of Medicine and its applications today then this is surely an event not to be missed.
This public science evening will take place on Tuesday 12 March 2019 from 18:00 – 20:00 in the School of Life Sciences atrium. Please visit warwick.ac.uk/publicscience for more information and to register for this event.
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.