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Epidemic Diseases and their Social Impact in Ancient Greece

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An online talk by Dr Katerina Oikonomopoulou Assistant Professor of Ancient Greek Literature, Department of Philology, University of Patras.

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This online lecture is part of the series GREEK LANDSCAPES, LANGUAGE & CULTURE organised by the Hellenic Centre and the Greek Language & Culture Lab, University of Patras.

Epidemic diseases were as present in the ancient Greek world as today. They left their mark on Greek medical and literary sources, which describe the frequency, symptoms, treatments as well as profound social impact of epidemics on their societies. Beginning from the Hippocratic doctors and concluding with Galen (2nd century AD), this lecture will discuss how ancient Greek doctors, scientists, philosophers and historians reflected on the reality of epidemic disease in their world and sought to explain it.

Katerina Oikonomopoulou is Assistant Professor of Ancient Greek Literature at the University of Patras. She has held research and teaching positions at the Universities of Oxford, St Andrews and Humboldt-Universität Berlin, focusing on imperial Graeco-Roman science and medicine in their intellectual and social context. Her publications include research volumes on the writings, thought and reception of the imperial biographer and philosopher Plutarch (The Philosopher’s Banquet: Plutarch’s ‘Table Talk’ in the Intellectual Culture of the Roman Empire, co-edited with Frieda Klotz, Oxford University Press 2011; Brill’s Companion to the Reception of Plutarch, co-edited with Sophia Xenophontos, Brill 2019), and numerous article-length studies on imperial Greek literature and its interaction with Rome and the ancient scientific tradition. She is currently preparing a monograph on Greek miscellanistic writing in the Roman Empire.

Event photo © Tilemahos Efthimiadis (Facial reconstruction of 'Myrtis', an 11-year-old Athenian girl whose remains were found in a mass grave at the ancient cemetery of Kerameikos. She died during the Plague of Athens.)

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Online on 16 December 2020 at 7pm (UK time)

Language: English

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