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Traces of Ink
Open Access
Experiences of Philology and Replication
Volume Editor: Lucia Raggetti
Traces of Ink. Experiences of Philology and Replication is a collection of original papers exploring the textual and material aspects of inks and ink-making in a number of premodern cultures (Babylonia, the Graeco-Roman world, the Syriac milieu and the Arabo-Islamic tradition). The volume proposes a fresh and interdisciplinary approach to the study of technical traditions, in which new results can be achieved thanks to the close collaboration between philologists and scientists. Replication represents a crucial meeting point between these two parties: a properly edited text informs the experts in the laboratory who, in turn, may shed light on many aspects of the text by recreating the material reality behind it.

Contributors are: Miriam Blanco Cesteros, Michele Cammarosano, Claudia Colini, Vincenzo Damiani, Sara Fani, Matteo Martelli, Ira Rabin, Lucia Raggetti, and Katja Weirauch.
A Microhistorical Study of the Neo-Assyrian Healer Kiṣir-Aššur
In Medicine in Ancient Assur Troels Pank Arbøll offers a microhistorical study of a single exorcist named Kiṣir-Aššur who practiced medical and magical healing in the ancient city of Assur (modern northern Iraq) in the 7th century BCE. The book provides the first detailed analysis of a healer’s education and practice in ancient Mesopotamia based on at least 73 texts assigned to specific stages of his career. By drawing on a microhistorical framework, the study aims at significantly improving our understanding of the functional aspects of texts in their specialist environment. Furthermore, the work situates Kiṣir-Aššur as one of the earliest healers in world history for whom we have such details pertaining to his career originating from his own time.
Editor: Chiara Thumiger
This volume aims at exploring the ancient roots of ‘holistic’ approaches in the specific field of medicine and the life sciences, without, however, overlooking the larger theoretical implications of these discussions. Therefore, the project plans to broaden the perspective to include larger cultural discussions and, in a comparative spirit, reach out to some examples from non Graeco-Roman medical cultures. As such, it constitutes a fundamental contribution to history of medicine, philosophy of medicine, cultural studies, and ancient studies more broadly. The wide-ranging selection of chapters offers a comprehensive view of an exciting new field: the interrogation of ancient sources in the light of modern concepts in philosophy of medicine, as justification of the claim for their enduring relevance as object of study and, at the same time, as means to a more adequate contextualisation of modern debates within a long historical process.

Contributors are: Hynek Bartoš, Sean Coughlin, Elizabeth Craik, Brooke Holmes, Helen King, Giouli Korobili, David Leith, Vivian Nutton, Julius Rocca, William Michael Short, P. N. Singer, Konstantinos Stefou, Chiara Thumiger, Laurence Totelin, Claire Trenery, John Wee, Francis Zimmermann.
In Hellenistic Astronomy: The Science in Its Contexts, new essays by renowned scholars address questions about what the ancient science of the heavens was in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean worlds, and the numerous contexts in which it was pursued. Together, these essays will enable readers not only to understand the technical accomplishments of this ancient science but also to appreciate their historical significance by locating the questions, challenges, and issues inspiring them in their political, medical, philosophical, literary, and religious contexts.

Winner of the 2020 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award
Volume Editors: Kassandra J. Miller and Sarah Symons
"Clock time", with all its benefits and anxieties, is often viewed as a "modern" phenomenon, but ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern cultures also had tools for marking and measuring time within the day and wrestled with challenges of daily time management. This book brings together for the first time perspectives on the interplay between short-term timekeeping technologies and their social contexts in ancient Egypt, Babylon, Greece, and Rome. Its contributions denaturalize modern-day concepts of clocks, hours, and temporal frameworks; describe some of the timekeeping solutions used in antiquity; and illuminate the diverse factors that affected how individuals and communities structured their time.
Editor: John Z Wee
The Comparable Body - Analogy and Metaphor in Ancient Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greco-Roman Medicine explores how analogy and metaphor illuminate and shape conceptions about the human body and disease, through 11 case studies from ancient Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greco-Roman medicine. Topics address the role of analogy and metaphor as features of medical culture and theory, while questioning their naturalness and inevitability, their limits, their situation between the descriptive and the prescriptive, and complexities in their portrayal as a mutually intelligible medium for communication and consensus among users.
Volume Editor: John M. Steele
Astronomical and astrological knowledge circulated in many ways in the ancient world: in the form of written texts and through oral communication; by the conscious assimilation of sought-after knowledge and the unconscious absorption of ideas to which scholars were exposed.
The Circulation of Astronomical Knowledge in the Ancient World explores the ways in which astronomical knowledge circulated between different communities of scholars over time and space, and what was done with that knowledge when it was received. Examples are discussed from Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Greco-Roman world, India, and China.
The ancient mathematical basis of the Aramaic calendars in the Dead Sea Scrolls is analysed in this investigation. Helen R. Jacobus re-examines an Aramaic zodiac calendar with a thunder divination text (4Q318) and the calendar from the Aramaic Astronomical Book (4Q208 - 4Q209), all from Qumran. Jacobus demonstrates that 4Q318 is an ancestor of the Jewish calendar today and that it helps us to understand 4Q208 - 4Q209. She argues that these calendars were taught in antiquity as angelic knowledge described in 1 Enoch and the Book of Jubilees. The study also encompasses Babylonian, Hellenistic, Byzantine astronomy and astrology, and classical and Jewish writings. Finally, a medieval Hebrew zodiac calendar related to 4Q318 with an astrological text is published here for the first time.
Étude socio-légale de la profession médicale et de ses praticiens du Ier au IVe siècle ap. J.-C.
This book is a detailed study of the social and legal position of doctors and their profession in Roman Egypt. It encompasses the formation and the remuneration of doctors, their fields of activities, both professional and lay. It also analyses their socio-cultural milieu and their legal status. In addition, the kinds of medicine practiced, the diseases treated, as well as the therapeutic choices available to the patients are also considered.
This study, the first to take into account the whole of the Egyptian material, provides new insights into the daily life of the ordinary practitioners in Egypt, some of which can be extrapolated to those of the Roman world in general.
For the first time, medical systems of the Ancient Near East and the Greek and Roman world are studied side by side and compared. Early medicine in Babylonia, Egypt, the Minoan and Mycenean world; later medicine in Hippocrates, Galen, Aelius Aristides, Vindicianus, the Talmud. The focus is the degree of "rationality" or "irrationality" in the various ways of medical thought and treatment. Fifteen specialists contributed thoughtful and well-documented chapters on important issues.