“Ox hunger”. Food, psyche and society in ancient eating disturbances

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS RELATED TO COVID 19.  IT WILL BE RESCHEDULED FOR SPRING 2022.

 

Boulimos/boulimia—literally “ox-hunger”—is one of a number of diseases described in ancient Greco-Roman medicine that seem clearly to relate to the sphere of nutrition and appetite. Other nosological entities also touch on this aspect of human existence, and various remarks are found in medical sources about pathological appetite or a lack thereof, accompanied by clinical examples of patient behaviours related to food. All of these offer insights into ancient views of the relationship between food, health and mental life. In her lecture, Chiara Thumiger from the University of Kiel examines some of this evidence and ask which aspects play a role in pathologising this most basic of animal instincts and physiological functions. Dr. Thumiger is a 2022 Hildegarde and Elbert Baker Visiting Scholar in the Humanities.



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