About the lecture:

Health tourism is a booming industry in Greece today. People are travelling to Greece in increasing numbers for medical procedures as well as picturesque landscapes in which to recover. These practices have deep roots in antiquity: patients, practitioners, drugs, instruments, medical texts, and recipe books moved over long distances in the service of healthcare. This talk will survey ancient health tourism by taking as our guide the second-century CE physician Galen, whose recently rediscovered treatise On Avoiding Distress paints a vivid picture of the traffic in materia medica and medical knowledge in the Greco-Roman world. Along the way, we’ll detour to look at medicinal substances that Galen himself used and that have left their traces in places as far flung as the Agora of Athens and the halls of academe in the United States.

About the speaker:

Bronwen L. Wickkiser is the inaugural Solomon Bluhm Professor of Ancient History in the Department of Classical and Oriental Studies at Hunter College and Elizabeth A. Whitehead Distinguished Scholarat the American School of Classical Studies. Her ties to the American School extend more than two decades, beginning as a Regular Member and Thomas Day Seymour Fellow. Much of her scholarship explores intersections between religion and healthcare in the ancient world, including Asklepios, Medicine, and the Politics of Healing in Fifth-Century Greece (2008) and The Thymele at Epidauros: Healing, Space and Musical Performance in Late Classical Greece (2017). Passionate about building bridges between Classics and other academic disciplines, she has helped to launch the Anthony Fauci Award in STEM and Classics (CAMWS).