Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Language, Literature and Humanities - Alexander von Humboldt Professorship

Dr. Julius Rocca

Visiting Scholar



Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Institut für Klassische Philologie
Unter den Linden 6, room 3079A
D-10099 Berlin



Curriculum Vitae

Julius Rocca was born in Australia. He graduated with a degree in medicine in 1985 from the University of Sydney, and a BA in philosophy from that institution the same year. He practiced as a doctor, on a full-time and part-time basis, until 1996. MA (pass with merit) in philosophy, University of Sydney, 1990 (Thesis: Epicurean hedonism). Awarded a grant from the Australian Postgraduate Research Council in 1991, and commenced a PhD on Galen at Sydney under the supervision of Paul Crittenden and Harold Tarrant. He studied under Geoffrey Lloyd in Cambridge, academic year 1992-3. His doctorate, on Galen’s pneumatology, was awarded in 1996. He received a Wellcome Trust Research Award, Faculty of Classics, Cambridge (1997-9), under the sponsorship of Geoffrey Lloyd. In 2000-2003, he was a Research Fellow in the History of Medicine at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, producing a text on the institute’s origins. He was elected a Research Fellow, Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington DC, academic year 2004-5. He held a Wellcome Trust University Award, Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Exeter, 2007- 2012. During that period he co-organised an international conference on teleology in antiquity, to be published by Cambridge University Press.

His work with Professor van der Eijk’s Cambridge Galen Translations Project involves an introduction and commentary on De usu partium.


Publications (selected)

  • (Forthcoming) “Anatomy and Physiology”, in G.L. Irby (ed.), Blackwell Companion to Ancient Greek and Roman Science.
  • “From doubt to certainty. Aspects of the conceptualisation and interpretation of Galen’s natural pneuma”, in M. Horstmanshoff, H. King, C. Zittel (eds), Blood, Sweat and Tears. The Changing Concepts of Physiology from Antiquity into Early Modern Europe, Brill, 2012, 629-659.
  • “Medicine.” In M. Gagarin et al (eds.), The Oxford Encyclopedia of Greece and Rome, Oxford and New York, 2010.
  • “Anatomy.” In R.J. Hankinson (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Galen, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2008, 242-262.
  • Plato will tell you. Galen’s use of the Phaedrus in De Placitis Hippocratis et Platonis Book IX.” In D.M. Baltzly and H.A.S. Tarrant (eds.), Reading Plato in Antiquity, Duckworth, 2006: 49-59.
  • “Galen and the Uses of Trepanation.” In R. Arnott, S. Finger and C. Smith (eds.), Trepanation. History, Discovery, Theory, Swets & Zeitlinger, 2003: 253-271.
  • Galen on the Brain. Anatomical Knowledge and Physiological Speculation in the Second Century AD, Brill, 2003.
    Awarded “Outstanding Book in the History of the Neurosciences for 2006”, International Society for the History of the Neurosciences.
  • “The Brain beyond Kühn: Reflections on Anatomical Procedures, Book IX.” In V. Nutton (ed.), The Unknown Galen: Galen beyond Kühn, BICS Supl. 77, 2002: 87-100.
  • “Inventing an ethical tradition: a brief history of the Hippocratic Oath”, Legal Ethics, 11.1, 2008, 23-40.
  • “W.L.H. Duckworth and his translation of Galen’s Anatomical procedures.” Journal of Medical Biography, 2007; 15: 134-138.
  • “Evaluating Hippocrates the Younger.” Review Essay of P. J. Van der Eijk, Diocles of Carystus. Volume One: Text and Translation, Leiden, 2000. Volume Two: Commentary, Leiden, 2001. Early Science and Medicine, IX.4, 2004: 338-347.