Galen Roadshow. Talks to extend Galen in Rome/Galen in Crediton for GCSE students in History to big presentation in Exeter (organised by QE teachers) and to Cornwall (organised by Callington College). Talks to extend beyond 15-year olds to over 60s. Plans with Exeter branch of U3A for March 2014.

Galen in Hounslow: Kevin Sarwar-Polley of Independent Activities Project came to Exeter in May 2014 for consultation, and plans to roll out Galen Diet to public health and NHS venues in Hounslow.

In Cambridge, Andrew Brown plans a Galen Diet for October, within the Cambridge and Age initiative. John Wilkins will give a presentation on Galen and his challenge to Epicurus, who is at the philosophical heart of Andrew’s project. David Leith will also contribute to Andrew’s project.

Galen thus now combines with Epicureans as well as Stoics within our project.

Collaboration with the Exeter Medical School has also strengthened. Our medical collaborators believe Galen can offer much to health and wellbeing within the NHS provision. We have joint papers on the possible contribution Galen might make to preventive medicine. Professor Paul Dieppe, a rheumatologist is our principal collaborator in the Medical School. Drs Debbie Marsden, a medical chemist, and Linda Long, an assessor for NICE and complementary health practitioner, are key members of Paul’s team who have worked with us.

In April 2015, a conference on Aristotle, Galen and Health is being organised by David Leith, Dr Gabriele Galuzzo (another really nice addition to the Department, specialising in Aristotle and ancient philosophy) and Paul Dieppe.

Ancient Healthcare and Modern Wellbeing

This video presents recent work by academics in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Exeter, drawing on the insights of ancient Greek healthcare for addressing modern problems. A central theme in this work is Galen’s idea that health consists of a ‘balance’ between six factors in our lives – food and drink, exercise and rest, sleep, our internal and external environment, and our state of mind. Healthcare, in other words, requires a ‘holistic’ approach to the management of our lives, and not just a piecemeal or formulaic approach. Another important insight is that health is an individual matter, depending on age, physique and so on; it is not a matter of ‘one size fits all’. Also, we can all work on our healthcare – and doing so is a necessary basis for living a full, active and busy life.

Professor John Wilkins, working in collaboration with his colleague Professor Christopher Gill and graduate student Patrick Ussher, has been exploring the usefulness of these insights with a variety of groups in the Exeter area; these include school children in Crediton Academy, and volunteer and patients groups in the West Bank Health Centre, Exminster. In a recent development, the usefulness of Galenic healthcare principles is to be trialled in a large-scale questionnaire to the University of Exeter community. This will be followed up in Autumn 2013 by an intervention with a patients group, based on the findings of the questionnaire. Those involved in this project include Exeter Medical School Professor of Healthcare and Wellbeing, Paul Dieppe and Professor Willem Kuyken, Professor of Psychology in theUniversityofExeter Mood Disorders Centre. This represents an exciting extension of the project of applying ancient Greek and Roman ideas for modern healthcare.

Event: Can the Ancient Greeks and Romans Help Us?

Chris Gill and John Wilkins held a session on ‘Healthcare and Wellbeing – Can the Ancient Greeks and Romans Help Us?’ on Tuesday Dec 11, 2012, 19:00-21:00.

This forms part of the ‘Town Meets Gown’ series at the Global Centre, 17 St David’s Hill, Exeter, EX4 3RG. 

Galenic Times!

  • Read the final report on the Galen experiment (PDF 0.97MB), complete with graphs, analysis and discussion of those who lived the Galenic life for two weeks!

For more information, visit the Galen Project website.