8 December 2017 Start
10 December 2017 End
Greece University of Patras Campus, Department of Philology

e-mail.: [email protected], [email protected]

Ancient Emotions Conference II. Medical Understandings of Emotions in Antiquity


This conference seeks to explore emotions’ significant role in Greek and Roman medical writings. In the medical discourse of antiquity, doctors are usually portrayed as disembodied, rational agents of professional knowledge and, hence, emotionally detached; silencing or suppressing emotions, such as fear, hope or disgust, appears to be integral to an ancient doctor’s self-fashioning and defines the ‘clinical’ conditions under which medical treatment should be conducted, even in the face of a painful illness. Patients, on the other hand, experience a wide range of emotions: depending on the nature of the disease, these emotions appear either as secondary side-effects or, in cases where a psychosomatic condition is at play, as fundamental diagnostic criteria. Yet, scholarship has not paid much attention to emotions in medical literature.



14:00 – 15:00: Registration-Refreshments
15:00 – 15:10: Welcome speech

Introduction: 15:10-15:30
George Kazantzidis and Dimos Spatharas

Session I: 15:30-17:15
Elizabeth Craik (U. of St Andrews) “The Doctor’s Dilemma: Addressing Irrational Fear”
Jennifer Clarke Kosak (Bowdoin College) “Fear, Shame, and Concealment in the Hippocratic Corpus”
Chiara Thumiger (U. of Warwick) “Shame and Shamefulness in Ancient Medicine”

Coffee break

Session II 17:35-18:45
Maria Michela Sassi (U. of Pisa) “Thematizing Emotions: Between Philosophy and Medicine”
Spyridon Rangos (U. of Patras) “Wonder and Perplexity across Medicine and Philosophy in Classical Greece”



Session III 10:00-11:10
Peter Singer (Birkbeck, University of London) “What is a Pathos? Where Medicine Meets Philosophy”
Teun Tieleman (Utrecht U.) “The Stoic Philosopher Posidonius and Greco-Roman Medical Tradition”

Coffee break

Session IV 11:40-12.50
Fabio Stok (University of Rome Tor Vergata) “Emotions, Soul, and Body in the Medicine of Cornelius Celsus”
George Kazantzidis (U. of Patras)  “Anti-humoralism and Emotions in Imperial Medicine”


Session V 15:00-16.45
Amber Porter (U. of Calgary, Canada) “‘The Great Misfortune of the Physician’: Empathy and Compassion in the Writings of Aretaeus of   Cappadocia”
Susan Mattern (U. of Georgia) “The Atlas Patient: Fear and Psychosis in Galen and Ancient Greek Medicine”
Daniel King (U. of Exeter) “Am I Going to Make It Doctor? Hope and Despair in Imperial Greek Medicine”



Session VI 10:00-11:10
David Kaufman (Transylvania U.) “Galen on the Apatheia/Metriopatheia Debate”
Julia Trompeter (Utrecht U.) “Moderation cum Eradication: Emotions in Galen’s Moral Psychology”

Coffee break

Session VII 11:40-12:50
Maria Vamvouri-Ruffy (Université de Lausanne) “Emotions as Symptoms of Vices and Diseases in Plutarch’s Lives”
Dimos Spatharas (U. of Crete) “Emotions and Disease Metaphors”

Conclusions 12:50-13:20