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CRASIS Annual Meeting: ANCIENT HEALTH: Concepts, Materiality and the Experience of Life - 03/03/2017


Health—we think we know what it is, until we start thinking about it. Is health the mere absence of disease? Does it always involve a subjective feeling of well-being? Is it a purely private concern, or something to be regulated by governments –and if so, how? Does health have a moral component? And to what extent does it lie in our control? All of these questions were equally alive and urgent in the ancient Mediterranean. During the 2017 CRASIS Master Class and Annual Meeting we therefore aim to explore what ‘health’ meant in the ancient world. Conceptually, our sources reveal vastly different approaches to ‘health’, depending on region, time-period, political background, social and religious structures. Classical Greece, for example, saw the beginning of systematized medicine, with claims to a rationality that was supposed to set it apart from theological thinking. With this came materialist conceptions of health, rooted in elements observable in the natural world, and empirically-based arguments for cause and effect. But Greek (and later Greco-Roman) medicine was only one of many systems that addressed health and disease in antiquity, and it competed not only with much older, complex systems of medicine in other parts of the Mediterranean and the Near East, but also, internally, with non-literate traditions of ‘folkloric’ healing and temple medicine. How did ancient discourses of health, with their particular terminologies, iconographies and contexts, relate to the institutional and religious frameworks, the places of healing and the practices in existence? And how can we square narratives of sickness and health and prescriptive regimes that have come down to us in the written sources, with the realities of ancient nutrition, disease, and life expectancy, accessible though modern archaeological science (such as paleo-osteology and paleo-botany)?

FECHA /DATE/DATA: 03/03/2017

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: University of Groningen (Groningen, Netherlands)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE:Lidewijde de Jong; Sjoukje Kamphorst; Steve Mason; Onno van Nijf; Bettina Reitz-Joosse



If you wish to attend, please register before the end of February 24th by sending an e-mail to State your name, affiliation, and also let us know if you are a (PhD-)student to qualify for a student discount. The conference fee can be paid in cash (preferably exact) upon arrival on the conference day.

The attendance fee includes coffee, tea and refreshments throughout the day, as well as lunch and the wine reception. If you wish to attend the conference (buffet) dinner afterwards, we ask an extra contribution. Attending only the keynote lecture is free of charge and registration is not required.

-Attendance regular, including lunch: 10 €

-Attendance students, including lunch: 7,50 €

-Conference dinner (additional fee): 25€

-Keynote Lecture by Ralph Rosen: free entrance

PROGRAMA/PROGRAM/PROGRAMMA: Disponible también en PDF/Also available in PDF/Anche disponible in PDF

9:00-9:30 Coffee & registration (lobby)

9:30-9:45 Opening remarks

9:45-10:30 Alexandra Syrogianni (Athens) - Women and Starvation in Ancient Greece: The Osteological Documentation

Session chair: TBA

10:30-11:00 Coffee/tea (lobby)

11:00-11:45 Murat Tozan (Izmir) – The Asklepieion of Pergamon as a Place of Wellness to the Graeco-Roman Elite

11:45-12:30 Patricia Baker (Kent, UK) – Salubrious Spaces: Gardens and Health in Roman Italy (c. 150 B.C.-A.D. 100)

Session chair: TBA

12:30-13:30 Lunch break (Academy Building, Broerstraat 5, Bruinszaal)

13:30-14:15 Floris Overduin (Nijmegen) – The Doctor is a Poet: Pragmatics and Aesthetics in Greek Pharmaceutical Poetry

14:15-15:00 Annamaria Peri (München) – The Solitude of the Dying

Session chair: TBA

15:00-15:30 Coffee/tea (lobby) + ROOM CHANGE to Academy Building, Broerstraat 5, Heymanszaal

15:30-16:15 Julia Trompeter (Utrecht) – Emotional Health in Galen

16:15-17:30 KEYNOTE LECTURE: Ralph Rosen (Pennsylvania) – Self-Determination and Agency in Hippocratic Concepts of Health

Session chair: TBA

17:30-18:30 Drinks (Academy building, Bruinszaal)

18:30-21:00 Buffet dinner (Academy building, Engelse Zaal)

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