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

Dr. Piero Tassinari †

Piero Tassinari died in October 2017. We remember him with affection and gratitude for all he has done for so many people, both personally and academically. We particularly acknowledge his contribution to the projects ‘Towards a Galen in English’ and ‘The Transfer of Medical Knowledge’. He had a major role in the publication of the first two volumes of the Cambridge Galen Translations, Psychological Writings (2013) and Works on Human Nature (2018) and in the preparation of four other manuscripts in the series. He also contributed to the forthcoming translation and commentary of Aetius of Amida’s Libri medicinales, book I and II.

Curriculum Vitae

Piero Tassinari was born in Trieste, where he completed his studies in Classics, Philosophy and Music. He graduated in Philosophy (1990) from the University of Trieste, and later on gained a PhD in Classical Philology at the University of Perugia (1996). He pursued his musical interests studying clarinet and piano to Diploma level. He also studied musical pedagogy, and for some years taught music. After completing his PhD he went to teach in secondary state schools, working at the same time in the field of maritime heritage and publishing some books of nautical interest.

In 2005 he moved to the UK, where he taught Classics in a sixth-form college and started working with various examining boards for classical languages. In 2010, he was appointed at Newcastle University for the Wellcome funded project ‘Towards a Galen in English’ led by Philip van der Eijk, with responsibility for editorial coordination and revision of the translations. From September 2013, he also taught undergraduate and postgraduate modules of Greek and Latin at Cardiff University. Over the last years, he was affiliated to the Humboldt University as a Visiting Researcher contributing to the Galen project and to the ongoing work on the medical encyclopaedia of Aetius of Amida.

 

Research interests

His main research interests were in the history of medicine. He published a critical edition with translation and commentary of the treatise On Fevers attributed to Alexander of Aphrodisias, and an Italian translation with notes of Galen’s works On the Elements according to Hippocrates and On Mixtures. He had a particular interest in the concept of diagnosis. His research in this field focused on the medical semiotics of Galen and later authors such as Theophilus Protospatharius, of whose treatises De urinis and De excrementis he was preparing a critical edition.

Another of his interests was in the development of lexicography. In the context of the Cambridge Galen Translation series he was working on a digital Galenic lexicon. Finally, he tried to combine his interest in ancient medicine and his passion for sailing by navigating along the routes between the ancient healing sanctuaries of the Eastern Mediterranean.

 

Publications

  • Galen: Works on Human Nature, Volume 1: Mixtures (De temperamentis), translated with introduction and notes by P. N. Singer and Philip J. van der Eijk, with the assistance of Piero Tassinari, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (forthcoming)
  • ‘From Kos to Pergamon: how (and why) did ancient doctors diagnose illness?’ in: Bergama International Symposium: Ancient Medicine and Galen of Pergamon, (forthcoming)
  • Galen: Psychological Works, edited by P. N. Singer, translated with introduction and notes by Vivian Nutton, Daniel Davies and Peter Singer, with the collaboration of Piero Tassinari, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
  • Galeno, Gli elementi. I temperamenti, introduzione, traduzione e commento, Roma: Edizioni Paracelso, 1997.
  • Ps. Alessandro d’Afrodisia, Trattato sulla febbre, edizione critica del testo greco, traduzione e commento, Alessandria: Edizioni dell’Orso, 1994.
  • ‘Il trattato sulle febbri attribuito ad Alessandro d’Afrodisia’, in Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II 37.2, Berlin – New York: De Gruyter, 1994, 2019–2034

 

Papers and presentations delivered

  • Diagnosis and prognosis in Hippocrates and Galen: a grey area? ‘Diagnosis Workshop’, Exeter Medical School, 20 January 2014
  • The nature of scientific evidence in Galen’s commentary to Hippocrates’ Prognosticon, ‘Hippocrates’ Prognosticon workshop’, Berlin, Topoi excellence cluster, 30 October 2013
  • From Kos to Pergamon: how (and why) did ancient doctors diagnose illness?, ‘II Bergama Symposium: ancient medicine and Galen of Pergamon’, 09 May 2013.