Mental Illness in Ancient Medicine: From Celsus to Paul of Aegina a detailed account is given, by a range of experts in the field, of the development of different conceptualizations of the mind and its pathology by medical authors from the beginning of the imperial period to the seventh century CE.
New analysis is offered, both of the dominant texts of Galen and of such important but neglected figures as Rufus, Archigenes, Athenaeus of Attalia, Aretaeus, Caelius Aurelianus and the Byzantine 'compilers'. The work of these authors is considered both in its medical-historical context and in relation to philosophical and theological debates - on ethics and on the nature of the soul - with which they interacted.
P. N. Singer, Ph.D. (1993) Cambridge University, is a Wellcome Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London. He has published major translations and commentaries on Galen (OUP and CUP), and articles on Graeco-Roman philosophy and medicine, especially on the psyche.
C. Thumiger, Ph.D. (2004) KCL London, is a classicist and historian of ancient medicne. She is currently Wellcome Research Fellow at the University of Warwick, engaging with a project on the ancient disease
phrenitis, has published variously on ancient medicine, history of mental disorders, and Greek tragedy as well as other areas of ancient cultural history.
Contributors are: Marke Ahonen, Sean Coughlin, Julien Devinant, Ricarda Gäbel, Christopher Gill, Ricardo Julião, George Kazantzidis, Melinda Letts, Orly Lewis, Nadine Metzger, P. N. Singer, Chiara Thumiger, and Anna Maria Urso.
“The editors succeed in every way in presenting a thought-provoking and at the same time approachable volume, which will surely appeal to a readership of both experts and enthusiasts.” By Michaela Senkova in
Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2019.02.06
Table of contents
Primary Texts and Abbreviations
Introduction. Disease Classification and Mental Illness: Ancient and Modern Perspectives Chiara Thumiger and P. N. Singer
Part 1 Broader Reflections on Mental Illness: Medical Theories in their Socio-Intellectual Context
Between Insanity and Wisdom: Perceptions of Melancholy in the Ps.-Hippocratic Letters 10–17 George Kazantzidis
“Not a Daimōn, but a Severe Illness”: Oribasius, Posidonius and Later Ancient Perspectives on Superhuman Agents Causing Disease Nadine Metzger
Part 2 Individual Authors and Themes
Athenaeus of Attalia on the Psychological Causes of Bodily Health Sean Coughlin
Archigenes of Apamea’s Treatment of Mental Diseases Orly Lewis
Mental Perceptions and Pathology in the Work of Rufus of Ephesus Melinda Letts
Mental Disorders and Psychological Suffering in Galen’s Cases Julien Devinant
Galen on Memory, Forgetting and Memory Loss Ricardo Julião
Stomachikon, Hydrophobia and Other Eating Disturbances: Volition and Taste in Late-Antique Medical Discussions Chiara Thumiger
“A Most Acute, Disgusting and Indecent Disease”: Satyriasis and Sexual Disorders in Ancient Medicine Chiara Thumiger
Mental Derangement in Methodist Nosography: What Caelius Aurelianus Had to Say Anna Maria Urso
Mental Illnesses in the Medical Compilations of Late Antiquity: The Case of Aëtius of Amida Ricarda Gäbel
Part 3 Philosophy and Mental Illness
Making the Distinction: The Stoic View of Mental Illness Marke Ahonen
Philosophical Psychological Therapy: Did It Have Any Impact on Medical Practice? Christopher Gill
Galen’s Pathological Soul: Diagnosis and Therapy in Ethical and Medica l Texts and Contexts P. N. Singer Bibliography Index
All interested in Graeco-Roman medicine, physiology and anatomy, in the history of philosophical and medical psychological theories, in history of psychiatry and in ethics in the Roman imperial period.