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

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Thursday, September 22, 4:30 PM


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 2023 Hildegarde and Elbert Baker Visiting Scholar in the Humanities.

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