Popular Medicine in Antiquity​

November 14 |
14:00 to 16:00
Institute’s Colloquium 2017/2018

Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Boltzmannstraße 22, 14195 Berlin
William Harris, Columbia University, USA

About the Author

William Vernon Harris is the William R. Shepherd Professor of History at Columbia University as well as the director of Columbia’s Center for the Ancient Mediterranean. He received his BA, MA and DPhil. degrees from Oxford University.

Harris’s research covers a large range of the ancient Greek and Roman periods, addressing such far-ranging subjects as war and imperialism, literacy, and economic and psychological history. Combining social and political history with the history of science makes him an exceptional expert in classical civilizations. He acquired world recognition by giving novel answers to central questions in the field, generating significant debates well beyond the borders of his discipline.

His books include The Ancient Mediterranean Environment between Science and History (2013), Rome’s Imperial Economy (2011), Dreams and Experience in Classical Antiquity (2009), Restraining Rage: the Ideology of Anger Control in Classical Antiquity (2002), Ancient Literacy (1989), and War and Imperialism in Republican Rome (revised edition, 1985). He has recently completed a book titled Roman Power: a Thousand Years of Empire (2016).

Having received the Distinguished Achievement Award by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2008, he focused his research on the history of popular medicine and mental disorders in the classical world. Harris recently organized two conferences on the topic at Columbia drawing classics scholars, psychiatrists, and historians together, which resulted in two edited volumes: Mental Disorders in the Classical World (2013) and Popular Medicine in Graeco-Roman Antiquity: Explorations (2016). Connected to this is a new project, which started in 2016 as a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and directs research interests to the environmental history of the classical Mediterranean.

Read more on William V. Harris profile here.


Max Planck Institute for the History of Science,
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