CFP: Greek Medical Texts and their Audience: Perception, Transmission, Reception

Petros Bouras-Vallianatos's picture

Greek Medical Texts and their Audience: Perception, Transmission, Reception

12-13 December 2014
Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Brussels, Belgium

Sponsored by the A.G. Leventis Foundation.

Organised by Sophia Xenophontos (Université Libre de Bruxelles) and
Petros Bouras-Vallianatos (King’s College London)

Call for papers

The idea that every text is meant to appeal to a certain audience is not a new one, but it is only recently that it has engaged much scholarly discussion, especially in light of the application of reception theory to literary works. This conference seeks to examine the interplay between Greek medical texts (e.g. Hippocratic corpus, Dioscorides, Galen, Rufus of Ephesus) and their contemporary readers. Papers concentrating on the reception of these texts in later periods (e.g. Late Antiquity, Byzantium), including the Syriac and Islamic tradition, are also welcome.

We are interested in contemplating, inter alia, the following questions/subjects:

  • How do medical authors adjust their text according to the needs and expectations of their audience? (structure of medical texts and medical subgenres as aspects determining wide vs specialised readership)
  • Other conditions that may regulate, control, or limit the reception of medical writings (e.g. background of author and reader, degree of shared memory between them)
  • Deciphering medical texts; mechanisms for activating or enhancing the reader’s memory (e.g. rhetorics, visual representations, diagrams)
  • Cognitive and emotional responses to medical works­
  • Translators/editors and their role in the transmission and reception of medical texts
  • Commentaries, scholia, paraphrases

Keynote speaker:

  • Prof. Vivian Nutton (London)

Confirmed speakers:

  • Prof. David Engels (Brussels)
  • Dr Antoine Pietrobelli (Reims/Paris)
  • Dr Chiara Thumiger (Berlin)
  • Dr Laurence Totelin (Cardiff)
  • Dr Uwe Vagelphol (Warwick)

Abstracts (of no more than 200 words) should be in English and include title of the paper, full name, academic affiliation, and contact details. These must be sent by Friday, June 20, 2014 to: or