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Dreams, Drugs, and Fumigations: Doctoring in Ancient Athens

Dr. Susan Rotroff, professor emerita from Princeton University, will present the Archaeological Institute of America lecture: "Dreams, Drugs, and Fumigations: Doctoring in Ancient Athens."

Abstract: In ancient Athens, as today, people got sick. Suffering from anything from epidemic disease and accidents to chronic illness and passing indisposition, they required treatment. Much of what we know about that treatment comes from texts, particularly the body of medical lore known as the Hippocratic Corpus, which began to be written down in the 5th century BC. But the practice of medicine also left an archaeological trail, from the well-known healing sanctuaries to simple artifacts associated with medical treatment.

This lecture examines some of this evidence, focusing particularly on objects preserved in the trash-heaps of Athens (and other cities) —  including the equipment of a family of healers who lived just to the south of the city’s agora (public square) — to shed a more intimate light on the practice and practitioners of the healing arts.

Dr. Susan Rotroff's lecture is part of the AIA's 126th national program. Top scholars from North America and abroad present a range of current archaeological topics for AIA societies.


Room 102

Hanson Hall of Science

726 35th St.
Rock Island, IL 61201
United States

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