Health in Antiquity

Edited by Helen King

© 2004 – Routledge

292 pages | 17 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415486934
pub: 2009-12-11
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415220651
pub: 2005-03-03
US Dollars$135.00

About the Book

How healthy were people in ancient Greece and Rome, and how did they think about maintaining and restoring their health?

For students of classics, history or the history of medicine, answers to these and many previously untouched questions are dealt with by renowned ancient historians, classical scholars and archaeologists.

Using a multidisciplined approach, the contributors assess the issues surrounding health in the Greco-Roman world from prehistory to Christian late antiquity.

Sources range from palaeodemography to patristic and from archaeology to architecture and using these, this book considers what health meant, how it was thought to be achieved, and addresses how the ancient world can be perceived as an ideal in subsequent periods of history.


'The book is a thought-provoking addition to the scholarship on medicine in the past. It is useful for anyone interested in the subject of medicine, illness and most importantly, health in the Graeco-Roman world.' - Social History of Medicine

'high quality scholarship' - Medical History

Table of Contents

1. Disease and the Prehistory of the Aegean 2.Health and Disease in Greece: Past, present and future 3. Health in Hellenistic and Roman Times: The case studies of Paphos, Cyprus and Corinth, Greece 4. Health and the Life Course at Herculaneum and Pompeii 5. Holding on to Health? Bone surgery and instrumentation in the Roman empire 6. 'Without You No One is Happy': The cult of health in ancient Greece 7. Hygieia at Dinner and at the Simposium 8. Women's Health and Recovery in the Hippocratic Corpus 9. Drama and Healing: Ancient and modern 10. 'Curing' Disability 11. The Salubriousness of the Roman City 12. Buildings for Health: Then and now 13. The Health of the Spiritual Athlete 14. 'Carrying on the Work of the Earlier Firm': Doctors, medicine and Christianity in the Thaumata of Sophronius of Jerusalem

About the Editor

Helen King is Professor of History of Classical Medicine at the University of Reading. She is the author of Hippocrates' Women (1998) and The Disease of Virgins (2003).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General
HISTORY / Ancient / Greece
HISTORY / Ancient / Rome
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology