Death and Desease in the Ancient City by Valerie Hope, Eireann Marshall

By Valerie Hope, Eireann Marshall

This cutting edge quantity attracts on fresh examine in archaeology, historic historical past and the heritage of drugs to debate how humans within the old global understood and handled disease and loss of life within the city setting.

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Death and Desease in the Ancient City

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109-14). It would not be surprising if there remained in Greek minds in later periods a residual concern that the moral character of their leaders might carry risks for the city at large, as Parker argues (1983: 265-71), but it is far from clear that this carri es implications of pollution or contagion, as Connor (1985: esp. 91-3) has argued, suggesting that there is an association between the demolition of the houses of those guilty of tyranny or treachery and the treatment of offences which clearly did attract pollution or divine vengeance, such as murder and ternple robbery.

Parisi Presicce (1994: 93--4) argues that silphium was known as a panacea on the basis that the panaces Cheironeion were also known as laserpicium. This panacea is al so linked to silphium by virtue of the fact that Cheiron is said to have taught Aristaeus, the discoverer of silphium, the arts of healing. 502. Parker 0983: 45, 216-18, 239--40, 242-9) argues that although gods are sometimes seen ro send diseases when humans transgress divine laws, infractions do not normally result in divinely sent diseases.

The impact of the environment on human health and behaviour Let us begin with those among our classical sources who confront the problem of disease most often, that is, the fifth- and early fourth-century medical wrirers represented in the Hippocratic Corpus: do they perceive a relationship between urban living, density of population and disease? The answer is a mixed one. Although they do discuss the geography of ciries with an eye towards the health or disease of the population, nevertheless, they do not single out the city as a particularly unhealthy place as opposed to anywhere else.

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