In the Grip of Disease: Studies in the Greek Imagination / Edition 1

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Who was in a position in Graeco-Roman antiquity to say what disease and true well-being really were, to diagnose them in the body or the mind, to identify the causes at work, and to bring about cures or at least relief in the problems as they were perceived? This comprehensive study explores Greek ideas about health and disease and their influence on Greek thought. Fundamental issues such as notions of the self, mind-body relations, gender difference, causation and responsibility, purification and pollution, authority and the expert and how these came to be challenged, reality and appearances, representations of the best ordering of the state and its government, happiness, and good and evil themselves are deeply implicated. Using the evidence not just from Greek medical theory and practice, but also from epic, lyric, tragedy, historiography, philosophy, and religion, In the Grip of Disease offers for the first time an overview of the influence of Greek thought about disease on the Greek imagination. Particular attention is paid to accounts of real and imaginary plagues (the Iliad, Oedipus Tyrannus, Hippocratic writers, Thucydides, Lucretius), to the concurrent development of Hippocratic and temple medicine (cults of Asclepius and others), to the diagnosis of madness (Herodotus, the Bacchae), and to the rhetoric of the disease of the body politic and how it should be treated. The final chapter explores similarities and contrasts between Greek thought and modern views on such topics as madness, criminality, and creativity.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This study is impressive. Lloyd...emphasizes the diversity of classical approaches to disease as much as any common ground."—Times Literary Supplement

"This is a stimulating and erudite study of many often-neglected aspects of ancient Greek thought by an acclaimed master of the subject."—Bulletin of the History of Medicine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199275878
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 8/1/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

G. E. R. Lloyd is Emeritus Professor of Ancient Philosophy and Science at the University of Cambridge

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Table of Contents

List of Texts and Translations ix
Acknowledgements xviii
1 Anthropological Perspectives 1
2 Archaic Literature and Masters of Truth 14
3 Secularization and Sacralization 40
4 Tragedy 84
5 The Historians 114
6 Plato 142
7 Aristotle 176
8 After Aristotle: Or Did Anything Change? 202
9 Epilogue 232
Bibliography 247
Index 253
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