Event in London: Insights from Ancient Greece for Today

Galen, Healthcare and Money are the themes for this evening

University of Exeter scholars illuminate the background of the current financial crisis and the contemporary usefulness of ancient Greek healthcare methods. .

Two short lectures followed by discussion by scholars from the University of Exeter, bringing out key insights from ancient Greece for modern society.

Professor Richard Seaford: ‘Money: from its invention by the Greeks to the crisis of today’.

Professor Christopher Gill: ‘Healthcare and wellbeing: can the ancient Greeks help us?’

Free entry but please confirm attendance on 020 7563 9835 or at press@helleniccentre.org

When & Where: 

Wednesday 27 February 2013 – 7 pm Great Hall, Hellenic Centre.

16-18 Paddington St. London, W1U 5AS (Nr Baker St Tube).

More about this event: 

Organised by the University of Exeter and the Hellenic Centre. This event forms part of the Initiative on the Impact of Greek Culture in the ancient and modern world, which is sponsored by the A. G. Leventis Foundation.

Summary for Richard Seaford’s presentation on ‘Money’. The first society in history to be monetised was the ancient Greek polis.  And so the Greeks – unlike us – did not take money for granted, and so could sometimes see the nature of money more clearly than we can.  Though aware of it convenience, they were also shocked by its impact.  They noted its tendency to replace all other values, and its unlimitedness: one can have enough of just about everything, but not of money, and this insatiability is, they believed, both unnatural and potentially destructive of society.  Something like the ancient Greek culture of limit is precisely what we need if we are to avert economic crises and environmental catastrophe.

 Summary for Christopher Gill’s presentation on ‘Healthcare’. World-wide concern about the massive rise in obesity and depression, among other conditions, is leading people to look again at preventive medicine and the role of a healthy life-style. The ancient Greeks had highly developed ideas on this subject, including Galen’s ‘six-factor’ method for maintaining a healthy and balanced life. Classics scholars at Exeter have been exploring the usefulness of the Greek (especially Galenic) method under modern conditions, and are working with medical experts and community health groups to see what contribution the ancient approach can make to modern problems. This presentation sets out current work in this area and its larger implications.

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