Practical Knowledge and Medical Practice in Ancient Mediterranean Cultures
International conference organised by the project A03 “The Transfer of Medical Episteme in the ‘Encyclopaedic’ Compilations of Late Antiquity” (Heads: Prof. Dr. Philip van der Eijk, Prof. Dr. Markham J. Geller)
To focus this meeting on the theme of Medical Practice will serve as a reminder that – whatever elaborate theories ancient experts might have held – this was not all that mattered in the day-to-day needs of their profession. Given the paucity of written evidence and archaeological remains, we tend to know more about the intellectual underpinnings of ancient medicine than about actual medical procedures. Since theory and practice were of equal importance in the constitution and transmission of medical knowledge, it is worthwhile to try and tease out whatever information is available about the reality of medical treatments. The conference presentations will address the different healing practices (diagnosis, bloodletting, surgery and other forms of treatment, including incantations) and the ways in which this practical medical knowledge was gained and transferred via experts, institutions and procedures. The multi-perspective and comparative approach to Mesopotamian, Greek, Byzantine, Jewish-Talmudic, Chinese, Persian and Syriac medical traditions will help to sharpen the understanding of practical medicine in the Mediterranean across different periods and in varying socio-cultural contexts.
Admission is free. For organisational reasons participants are kindly requested to register – please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The conference is organised by Christine F. Salazar (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Lennart Lehmhaus (Freie Universität Berlin), Franziska Desch (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin/TOPOI-BerGSAS).
Monday, 2 November 2015Venue: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Institut für Klassische Philologie, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin-Mitte, Marmorsaal, Room 2249a
Session I: 10 a.m.–12 o'clock
Conference Opening / Welcome by Philip van der Eijk
Karl-Heinz Leven (Erlangen):
“…auch die Ärzte konnten zunächst nicht helfen” – Pest-Therapien in der Antike und in byzantinischer Zeit
Session II: 2.15–4.50 p.m.
Matteo Martelli (Berlin):
Recipes and therapies ascribed to the prophet Esdras in the Byzantine and Syriac tradition
Dan Levene (Southampton):
Interdigitation of heterodox and orthodox in the living medical tradition of Ethiopia – stimulating thoughts about earlier Near Eastern magico-medical traditions
Afternoon tea at Foyer Marmorsaal
Session III: 6–7.30 p.m. – Keynote LectureVenue: Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften Einstein-Saal, Jägerstraße 22–23, 5th floor
Welcome address and Introductory words
Ralph Jackson (British Museum, London):
Medical Instruments in Late Antiquity: Continuity and Change
Tuesday, 3 November 2015Venue: Freie Universität Berlin, TOPOI-Haus, Hittorfstraße 18, 14195 Berlin-Dahlem, Vortragssaal
Morning coffee at TOPOI-Wintergarten
Gyburg Uhlmann (Berlin):
Welcome address by on behalf of SFB 980
Session I: 10–10.45 a.m.
Strahil V. Panayotov (Berlin):
What do we know about Mesopotamian surgery – and what would we like to know?
Session II: 11.15 a.m.–12.15 p.m. – Keynote lecture
Nils P. Heeßel (Würzburg):
The domiciliary visit of the Babylonian healer – what do we actually know about the practical side of Babylonian diagnostics?
Lunch at TOPOI-House
Session III: 1.45–3 p.m.
Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim (London):
On the practice of bloodletting in the Hebrew medical work Sefer Asaf
Lennart Lehmhaus (Berlin):
“Red for Red” – bloodletting between medicine and lifestyle in Talmudic sources
Session IV: 3.30–5 p.m.
Shulamit Ch. Shinnar (New York):
Rabbinic Techniques for Examining Parturient Tissue: Considering the Place of Graeco-Roman Medical Traditions within the Rabbinic Textual Corpus
Stefanie M. Rudolf (Berlin):
The Syriac Medicine man – medical science according to Bar Bahlul
Concluding remarks by Markham J. Geller
High Tea – Refreshments
Session V: 6.15–7.45 p.m. – Keynote lecture
Paul U. Unschuld (Charité Berlin):
What Is (Chinese) Medicine?
Wednesday, 4 November 2015Venue: Freie Universität Berlin, TOPOI-Haus, Hittorfstraße 18, 14195 Berlin-Dahlem, Kaminzimmer
Coffee at TOPOI-House
10 a.m.–2.30 p.m.
Workshop “Practical Medicine in Jewish Scriptures and Adjacent Cultures”
Chair: Franziska Desch (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
The conference is funded by the Collaborative Research Center 980 “Episteme in Motion” and supported by the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation and the “Zentrum Grundlagenforschung Alte Welt” of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.