samedi 18 octobre 2014

Corps féminins et praticiennes dans les traditions médicales antiques

Female Bodies and Female Practitioners in the Medical Traditions of the Late Antique Mediterranean World

Berlin, 27.-29.10.2014
Lennart Lehmhaus, Matteo Martelli, Christine Salazar

Research project A03 "The Transfer of Medical Episteme in the '˜Encyclopaedic' Compilations of Late Antiquity" (Heads: Philip J. van der Eijk/Markham J. Geller)

Collaborative Research Center (SFB 980) "Episteme in Motion", Freie Universität Berlin.

The conference aims at discussing the emergence and transmission of gynaecological knowledge from different angles in ancient medical theory and practice. Beside the medical approach, we will consider cultural practices and socio-religious norms that enable and constrain the production and application of gynaecological know-how (e.g. certain taboos on examining or touching the female body, etc.). The role and function of female specialists (e.g. healers, midwives or wet-nurses) as objects and subjects within ancient medical discourses will also be elaborated in further detail.

The combination of topics from various disciplines will provide ample possibilities for a comparative exploration of this field. The multi-perspective approach will help to sharpen our understanding of similarities and differences between Talmudic knowledge on this topic and the medical traditions in Ancient Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Graeco-Roman, Persian, Byzantine, and Syriac cultures.

Monday evening, 27/10/2014 (Freie Universitat Berlin, SFB-Villa, Schwendenerstrate 8, 14195 Berlin), 

Conference opening: 18.00 ct.;

Keynote Lecture (in colaboration with BabMed project)
Charlotte Fonrobert (Stanford)
Talmudic Gynecology and its Relationship to Late Antique Medical Literature: Transfigurations of ‚Women’s Affairs‘(Gynaikeia)

Tuesday, 28/10/2014
(Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, Institut für klassische Philologie, Room 2103)

session 1: 9.30–11.00

Tanja Pommerening (Mainz)
Ancient Egyptian Concepts of Female Anatomy, Physiology, and Specified Pharmacotherapy.

Ulrike Steinert (FU Berlin)
Women’s Healthcare in Ancient Mesopotamian Medicine: Texts, Problems, Interpretations.

Coffee Break

session 2: 11.30–13.00

Giulia Ecca (BBAW Berlin)
Women’s (and Men’s) Infertility in Galen’s Commentary on Aphorisms, Book 5.

Siam Bhayro (Exeter)
Gynaecology in Syriac Sources: Theory and Practice.

Lunch Break

session 3: 14.30–16.00

Caroline Musgrove (Cambridge)
Finding the Authorial Voice in Late Antique Medicine: Maternal Bodies and the Generation of Seeds in the Encyclopaedic Traditions.
Tirzah Meacham (Toronto)
Reality or Theoretical Discussion: Pre-Menarchal Pregnancy, Superfetation, and Pregnancy during Lactation in Rabbinic Literature.

Coffee Break

session 4: 16.30–18.00

Monika Amsler (Zürich)
„My Mother Told Me ...“. An Evaluation of the Treatments of the Sickly Newborn in bShab 134a.

Hannah Tzuberi (FU Berlin)
The Difficult Birth in Mishnaic Law: Regulation, Failure and Empathy.

Wednesday, 29/10/2014
(Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, Institut für klassische Philologie, Room 2103)

session 1: 10.00–11.30

Tal Ilan (FU Berlin)
Salome’s Medicinal Recipes and Jewish Women Doctors in Antiquity.

Carmen Caballero-Navas (Granada)
On the Medieval Beginnings of Jewish Gynaecology.

Coffee Break

session 2: 12.00–13.00

Sean Coughlin (TOPOI Berlin), Marzia Soardi (Palermo)
The Female in Aristotle’s Biology and its Byzantine Reception.

Lunch Break

session 3: 15.00–16.30

Petros Bouras-Vallianatos (London)
Byzantine Criticism of Galenic Theories on Conception: the Case of Symeon Seth’s Refutation of Galen.
Rebecca Flemming (Cambridge)
John of Alexandria and the ‘sex which is not one’: commentary and gynaecology in late antique medical schools.

Final discussion/Concluding remarks: 16.30–17.00

We would be happy to welcome you at our conference in Berlin. Admission is free, but registration is required. Contact:

For a detailed programme and other practical information please visit:

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