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

Project description

Current Project: Ancient Histories of Phrenitis (Wellcome Research Fellowship in Medical Humanities, University of Warwick)

The goal of this research project is to give a comprehensive account of discussions and representations of an ancient disease concept, phrenitis, which is one of the most important and earliest medical syndromes associated with mental disorder from ancient medicine onwards. This research project will examine discussions of the disease in ancient medical texts, as well as representations of it in non-medical Greek and Latin sources, seeking to highlight the important place of phrenitis in the development of medical ideas of mental illness in the Western tradition. This importance resulted in the persistence of phrenitis as a disease concept until as late as the nineteenth century.