Body & Metaphor in Ancient Medicine
Date: May 1-3, 2014
Location: Oriental Institute, Breasted Hall
Organizer: Provost Post-Doctural Scholar and Lecturer, John Wee

This interdisciplinary symposium explores conceptual metaphors of the human body and how they influence knowledge about the anatomy and physiology of the body or of particular organs. While such metaphors often transcend medical texts and find their way into literary genres, the focus is on these metaphors not as ad hoc literary devices, but as enduring medical explanations in technical texts of medical theory and practice. By means of well-chosen case studies, speakers examine sources of analogies and their medical implications, as well as the limits to which metaphoric comparisons may be legitimately made. All sessions are free and open to the public.


Thursday, May 1, 2014
Introduction: 9:00-9:15
Theo van den Hout

Session 1: 9:20-12:10
Judith B Farquhar
Foreign Objects: Understanding Chinese Medicine beyond Metaphor
Rune Nyord
Changing Bodies in Ancient Egyptian Medicine
Janet Downie
Aelus Aristides' Medical Body: A Case History from the Imperial World

Session 2: 1:40-4:30
Robert K. Ritner
The Inner Body in Motion: Mobile Organs in Egyptian Anatomical Speculation
Cortyney Ann Roby
Animal, Vegetable, Metaphor: The Liver and the Roots of Biological Identity in Plotinus
Lesley Dean-Jones
Polybius' Hertless Man: Why the Vascular System of the Hippocratic Nature of Man Ignores the Heart

Friday, May 2, 2014
Session 3: 9:00-11:50
Paul T. Keyser
The Antiquity of "Blood Lines": Synecdoche, Metonymy, Medicine, and More
Vivienne Le
Water as Homology in the Construction of Classical Chinese Medicine
J. Cale Johnson
The Stuff of Causation: Modeling Fevers in the Babylonian Therapeutic Corpus

Session 4: 1:20-4:10
Donald Harper
The Metaphoric Body in Early Chinese Macrobiotic Physiology
John Z. Wee
Air and the Physiology of Intelligence in the Hippocratics
Strahil V. Panayotov
Eye Disease Metaphors in Babylonian Texts

Saturday, May 3, 2014
Session 5: 9:00-11:50
Ulrike Steinert
Concepts of the Female Body in Mesopotamian Gynecological Texts
Jennifer Kosak
Politics and Polemics: Greek Medicine and the Male Body
Brooke Holmes
The Vegetal Body in the Hippocratics and Galen

Body & Metaphor in Ancient Medicine Conference Poster