Babylonian Medicine

Freie Universität Berlin

The Research Center of Ancient Studies (RCAS) of the Berliner Antike-Kolleg (BAK) is accepting applications for three Visiting Research Fellowships (1 to 3 months) in 2017.

Call for applications: Visiting Research Fellowships (1 to 3 months)

The Research Center of Ancient Studies (RCAS) of the Berliner Antike-Kolleg (BAK) is accepting applications for three Visiting Research Fellowships (1 to 3 months) in 2017.

The BAK is an institution of the Freie Universität Berlin, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (BBAW), the German Archaeological Institute (DAI), the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (SPK). It is a center for the promotion of ancient and classical studies and involves a wide spectrum of disciplines ranging from archeology and historiography to philology and philosophy, while also integrating the geosciences and other natural sciences. The BAK is closely connected to the Excellence Cluster “Topoi – The Formation and Transformation of Space and Knowledge in Ancient Civilizations” with its more than 180 researchers. With the RCAS, the BAK provides a basis for international academic exchange in Berlin. For further information on the BAK, Topoi and the RCAS, please visit our websites: and


Fellowship applicants should have a doctoral degree and have achieved scholarly distinction in any of the fields relevant to the BAK. They should present projects which refer specifically to the institutional and personal resources concentrated in the BAK. Projects should take an interdisciplinary and innovative approach. Applicants should demonstrate that their projects are laid out for the time of the fellowship and that they will be able to show some (preliminary) results from their research done during their time at the BAK.


Before the submission of the application, the applicants are kindly asked to contact their Berlin-based colleague from one of the participating institutions, who will serve as a contact person during the applicants stay and who will also assist the project scientifically. The name of the contact person should be listed in the application documents.

The Visiting Fellows are expected to actively contribute to the structure and development of the BAK. International applications are particularly welcome.

The Visiting Fellows will receive a monthly net salary of approx. 3,500 Euro. In addition, Visiting Fellows can apply for extra funding for research expenses or for the organization of conferences.

Applications should include an application form (download on our website:, a letter of interest, a CV, a publication list, a research proposal (max. 3 pages), 2 references, and a published writing sample.

Please email your application to by January 15, 2017.

Questions should be directed to Dr. Henrike Simon (executive secretary of the Berliner Antike-Kolleg) at

CDLI user survey online

Émilie Pagé-Perron (Co-PI, CDLI) encourages everyone to give feedback on the CDLI interface:

“We are planning some improvements in the CDLI interface and underlying software structure, and would like to solicit your assistance in understanding how users view the functionality of the website. To that end, I have posted a short survey at <>.

The results will help us to understand usage patterns that will in turn guide us in the optimization of the interface and tools redesign.

Please share this survey with colleagues and students.
Thank you in advance for your participation.

Émilie Pagé-Perron
Co-PI, CDLI, <>



First posted on AGADE list, Dec. 18, 2016.

Vortragsreihe Visitors from Heaven, Visitors to Heaven: Keine Veranstaltung am 13. Dezember 2016

Am DIENSTAG, DEM 13. DEZEMBER, muss der Vortrag von Almut-Barbara Renger (Berlin) in der Vortragsreihe Visitors from Heaven, Visitors to Heaven. Judeo-Christian Encounters and the Last Lingua Sacra of Europe mit dem Titel „Learning by Doing: Simeon Stylites the Elder, Taught by an Angel“ leider entfallen. Weitere Informationen erhalten Sie auf der Website des Exzellenzcluster TOPOI.

ZEIT: Dienstag, 13.12.2016, 18:00–20:00

ORT: TOPOI-Haus Dahlem, Hittorfstr. 18, Bibliothek, 14195 Berlin

eLecture Dec. 15, 2016: The Involvement of the Individual’s Body in the Ritual and Ceremonial Process in Hittite Anatolia

The Involvement of the Individual’s Body in the Ritual and Ceremonial Process in Hittite Anatolia
A Lecture and Video-Conference by Alice Mouton, CNRS Paris and Catholic University of Paris

Thursday, December 15, 2016 4 p.m.-6 p.m. (Paris time) at the Ivry sur Seine CNRS building, 27 rue Paul Bert, Porte de Choisy/Porte d’Ivry subway station, room C in the basement or by distance through video-conference

Through the in-depth study of three religious texts from Hittite Anatolia, I intend to highlight the functions of a person’s body during religious ceremonies. The body of the ritual patron often constitutes both a central point of focus in the ritual discourse and a natural instrument of non-verbal communication. The body of the ritual expert, as well as that of the divine participants are also involved in various degrees. These observations are also valid for cultic festivals, although the nature of the bodily actions might differ.

This presentation constitutes the fourth monthly session of the interdisciplinary seminar “The Individual and his Body in the Ancient Mediterranean Basin” organized by Alice Mouton.


All the persons who are interested in attending the session (either in Ivry sur Seine or through video-conference) are welcome for free but should register by e-mail beforehand.



First posted on AGADE, Nov. 22, 2016

Vienna Symposium on ‘Multilingualism, Communication and Social Reality in Pre-Modern Eurasia: Lin­guis­tic, Ritual, and Socio-Economic Aspects’, Dec 13-15, 2016

Multilingualism, Communication and Social Reality in Pre-Modern Eurasia:
Linguistic, Ritual, and Socio-Economic Aspects


International Workshop

organized by the Institute of Iranian Studies of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Vienna Linguistic Society and the Austrian Academy of Sciences Press
Vienna, December 13–15, 2016

Institute of Iranian Studies, Austrian Academy of Sciences
Hollandstraße 11–13 (3rd floor, seminar room), 1020 Vienna


Speakers include
Florentina Badalanova-Geller (TOPOI Excellence Cluster, Freie Universität zu Berlin); Jens Braarvig (University of Oslo); Paola Cotticelli (University of Verona); Orhan Elmaz (St. Andrews University); Ela Filippone (University of Viterbo); Markham J.  Geller (Freie Universität zu Berlin); Hrach Martirosyan (Austrian Academy of Sciences); Oswald Panagl (University of Salzburg); Adriano V. Rossi (University of Naples); Velizar Sadovski (Austrian Academy of Sciences); Rüdiger Schmitt (Laboe, Germany / Austrian Academy of Sciences); Gebhard Selz (University of Vienna); Klaus Wagensonner (Yale University); Ran Zadok (University of Tel Aviv)


The Institute of Iranian Studies at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Wiener Sprach­ge­sellschaft, and the Austrian Academy of Sciences Press organize an international Symposium under the title ‘Multilingualism, Communication and Social Reality in Pre-Modern Eurasia: Lin­guis­tic, Ritual, and Socio-Economic Aspects’.

Ancient societies display, in varying degrees, a multilingual environment. Among the numerous studies dealing with this issue the social implications of multilingualism has not yet received much attention. We would like to discuss five major aspects: (a) cognitive aspects of the relation between language and social experience in the dialectic conditions of a multilingual state; (b) religious experience and social pragmatics in the context of ancient societies; (c) attempts to impose the language of the elite upon the dependant classes, including its application for “imperialistic” purposes; (d) studying the relevance of linguistic affiliations for the questions of social mobility within a specific socio-political system; (e) addressing the use and misuse of languages for establishing group identities, focussing on antagonistic social groups on various levels of a society.

The Symposium will be held in Vienna on 13th–15th of December 2016, at the Institut für Iranistik of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. It is convened by the Multilingualism Research Group as a part of a series of thematic conferences and panels dedicated to problems of multilingualism and the history of knowledge.

The keynote lectures on questions of multilingualism in Achaemenid times will be delivered by Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Schmitt, Foreign Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. In the framework of the conference we also shall present the new fascicle of the Grammatica Iranica publications by Rüdiger Schmitt, dedicated to the stylistics of Old Persian inscriptions and published in the Veröffentlichungen zur Iranistik series of the Sitzungsberichte der ÖAW by the Austrian Academy of Sciences Press.



Talk: Markham J. Geller live at Lviv University, October 2016

BabMed Principal Investigator M.J. Geller: ‘Watchers as Healers’ at Lwiw Enochic Conference in October 2016.

The famous Book of Watchers from Enochic literature describes the fallen angels who brought knowledge of healing arts to mankind by teaching them to women.  This lecture will relate the Watchers and the related figure of Metatron to Mesopotamian prototypes which also have strong links to Enochic literature.


International Conference “Sacred Scripture in Ukrainian Culture: The Canonical and Extra-Canonical Writings and their Reception” .

Lviv, Ukrainian Catholic University

Detailed information please see conference website

For a live recording of the talk see here (in Ukrainian language).


Agnes Kloocke

Deadline Nov 30, 2016: Groningen Master Class on ‘Ancient Health’

Dear PhD students,
Please find below the information for the next CRASIS Masterclass (2 ECTS)


ANCIENT HEALTH: Concepts, Materiality and the Experience of Life
Keynote & Master: Prof. Ralph Rosen (UPenn)

We cordially invite PhD and Research Master students, post-doctoral researchers, and established scholars to submit a proposal for the sixth CRASIS Annual Meeting and PhD/ReMa Master Class, to be held on 2-3 March 2017, at the University of Groningen.


Health—we think we know what it is, until we start thinking about it. Is health the mere absence of disease? Does it always involve a subjective feeling of well-being? Is it a purely private concern, or something to be regulated by governments –and if so, how? Does health have a moral component? And to what extent does it lie in our control? All of these questions were equally alive and urgent in the ancient Mediterranean. During the 2017 CRASIS Master Class and Annual Meeting we therefore aim to explore what ‘health’ meant in the ancient world.

Conceptually, our sources reveal vastly different approaches to ‘health’, depending on region, time-period, political background, social and religious structures. Classical Greece, for example, saw the beginning of systematized medicine, with claims to a rationality that was supposed to set it apart from theological thinking. With this came materialist conceptions of health, rooted in elements observable in the natural world, and empirically-based arguments for cause and effect. But Greek (and later Greco-Roman) medicine was only one of many systems that addressed health and disease in antiquity, and it competed not only with much older, complex systems of medicine in other parts of the Mediterranean and the Near East, but also, internally, with non-literate traditions of ‘folkloric’ healing and temple medicine.

How did ancient discourses of health, with their particular terminologies, iconographies and contexts, relate to the institutional and religious frameworks, the places of healing and the practices in existence? And how can we square narratives of sickness and health and prescriptive regimes that have come down to us in the written sources, with the realities of ancient nutrition, disease, and life expectancy, accessible though modern archaeological science (such as paleo-osteology and paleo-botany)?

We welcome papers exploring ‘ancient health’ from textual, historical, philosophical, visual, and material perspectives. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:


– conceptualizing health in philosophical and vernacular traditions;

– discourses, institutions, and metrics of public health in Mediterranean antiquity;

– health, sickness, and healing in ancient imaginative literature

– the role of the divine in physical and mental health

– moral, mental, and physical health—connections and distinctions;

– practical health regimens prescribed, modelled, or alluded to;

– the materiality of health—sanctuaries, ancient spas, gymnasia, medical implements, archaeo-botanical evidence for diet;

– the iconography of health and sickness;

– the physical body: human remains as indicators for health and diet.


CRASIS is the interdisciplinary research institute for the study of culture, religion and society in the ancient world at the University of Groningen. This year’s event is already its sixth Master Class and Annual Meeting. It is set up as a meeting place for students at PhD or Research Master level, post-docs, and established scholars to promote discussion and exchange of ideas beyond disciplinary boundaries. For more information about past events visit our website.

Keynote Speaker and Master

This year’s Master and Keynote Speaker is Ralph Rosen, Vartan Gregorian Professor of the Humanities and Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His expertise spans a wide field of interests, including ancient medicine and old comedy and satire. His most recent work is the co-edited volume Ancient Concepts of the Hippocratic, published with Brill.

Submission of abstracts
– PhD and Research Master students are invited to submit a title and abstract (500 words) for the Master Class (March 2nd), explaining how their own research relates to the theme.
– We invite post-docs and established scholars to submit a title and short abstract (250 words) for a lecture on the conference day (March 3rd).
– Please accompany your application for either part of the event with a brief (~75 words) academic background and deliver both parts in a single Word document to facilitate processing.
– Proposals should be submitted no later than 30 November 2016 with Sjoukje Kamphorst, via

Please note that at this point, CRASIS unfortunately is unable to offer compensation for travel and accommodation costs of the presenters.

Further information for PhD/ReMa students

Research Master students are expected to submit a paper of 3000-4000 words and PhD students a paper of 5000-6000 words. These papers will circulate among the participants and are to be submitted before 1 February 2017. During the Master Class participants will briefly present their paper, followed by a response and discussion under the expert guidance of professor Ralph Rosen. Student participation will be graded, and is eligible for the award of 2 ECTS from your institution or research school.

For more information, send an e-mail to or visit

On behalf of CRASIS,

Lidewijde de Jong

Sjoukje Kamphorst

Steve Mason

Onno van Nijf

Bettina Reitz-Joosse

Health and Wellbeing in the Ancient World

Helen King (Professor of Classical Studies, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes) is going to launch a free 6-week introduction to ‘Health and Wellbing in the Ancient World’, which goes live on February 2017 on the MOOC platform, FutureLearn.
For the link please click here.


„WHY WE (SHOULD) TRANSLATE SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY“, Berlin conference 24.–25.11. 2016

The Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies invites to their conference on

WHY WE (SHOULD) TRANSLATE SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY. Documents on the circumstances, politics, motives, and process of scientific translation in the West (of India) from Antiquity to the Renaissance“

Berlin, 24.–25. November 2016,  convened by Dimirti Gutas, Beatrice Gründler and Manolis Ulbricht (SFB 980-project „Die Poetik des Aristoteles zwischen Europa und Islam“.
Venue: SFB 980, Schwendener Straße 8, 14195 Berlin

Please see the SFB website for the  detailed conference online-programme.


Speakers include, among others:

Felix Mundt (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin): Latin Translations of Greek Science and Philosophy

Daniel King (Cardiff University): Why Did the Syrians Want to Translate Greek Philosophy?

Mohsen Zakeri (Göttingen): Translations from Greek into Middle Persian and the Motivation behind Them

Uwe Vagelpohl (University of Warwick) and Ignacio Sánchez (University of Warwick): Take Wisdom from Whomever You Hear It: Arabic Sources on Translation

Hinrich Biesterfeldt (Bochum, Münster): Galen’s Quwā n-nafs revisited

Isabel Toral-Niehoff (Freie Universität Berlin, Universität Mainz): The Nabatean Agriculture by Ibn Wahshiyya –
a Pseudo-Translation by a Pseudo-Translator: The Topos of Translation in Occult Sciences

Anthony Kaldellis (Ohio State University): Anthology of Byzantine Reflections on the Circumstances, Politics, Motives, Purposes, and Process of Translation into Greek

Charles Burnett (Warburg Institute): Medieval Latin Translators from Arabic Explain Why and How They are Making Their Translations

Dag Nikolaus Hasse (Würzburg): Renaissance Scholars on Translating and Translations

Gad Freudenthal (CNRS Paris emeritus): Jewish Go-Betweens Reflect on Translating the Languages of Ismael and Edom into the Holy Tongue


Sponsored by the Einstein Stiftung Berlin and the
Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies,
Freie Universität Berlin, in Association with the Project
“Aristotle’s Poetics in the West (of India) from Antiquity
to the Renaissance”

Morallehren der Antike – Tagung am Leipziger Institut für Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft

Teaching Morality in Antiquitiy: Wisdom Texts, Oral Traditions, and Images
Morallehren in der Antike: Weisheitstexte, Bilder und mündliche Traditionen

29. November bis 01. Dezember 2016 im Vortragssaal der Bibliotheca Albertina, Beethovenstr. 6, 04107 Leipzig.
Um Anmeldung wird gebeten,  bitte direkt an Dr. Takayoshi Oshima: t_m_oshima(at)

Den vollständigen Programmablauf finden Sie hier auf der Webseite des Institutes.


Opening Lecture/Eröffnungsvortrag:
Prof. Jan Assmann (Heidelberg University)
Tugenden und Pflichten nach altägyptischen Morallehren

Prof. Jan Dietrich (Århus University)
Wisdom in the Cultures of the ancient World: A general Introduction and Comparison

Prof. Izak Cornelius (Stellenbosch University)
Visual imagery as embodiment of divine order and authority in the Ancient Near East

Prof. Edward L. Greenstein (Bar Ilan University)
Proverbs and Popular Sayings, Real or Invented, in the Book of Job

Prof. Thomas Krüger (University of Zurich)
Moral und Religion in der sog. Hiob-Literatur des alten Orients

Prof. Ludger Schwienhorst-Schönberger (University of Vienna)
„Jetzt aber hat mein Auge dich geschaut“ (Ijob 42,5): Gibt es im Ijobbuch eine Lösung des Problems auf der Ebene des Bewusstseins?

Dr. Alexandra von Lieven (Freie Universität Berlin)
„Ich habe nicht befohlen, daß sie Unrecht tun“. Das Theodizee-Problem im Alten Ägypten

Prof. Dominick Hernández (Moody Bible Institute-Spokane)
The Expression of Moral Judgments through Imagery in Job and Ancient Near Eastern Literature

Dr. Nili Samet (Bar Ilan University)
Qohelet between Ancient Near Eastern and Hellenistic Traditions

Dr T.M. Oshima (University of Leipzig)
Seeking to No Avail: the Sceptic in the so-called Babylonian Theodicy

Prof. Herbert Niehr (University of Tübingen)
Weisheit in den Königsepen aus Ugarit

Judith E. Filitz MA (University of Leipzig)
At the Threshold of “Cult” and “Theatre” – Another Means of Looking at a Mesopotamian Ritual

Prof. Christoph Levin (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich)
Abimelechs Königtum, oder: Die Eskalation der Theodizee

Dr Enrique Jiménez (Yale University)
New Babylonian Disputation Poems

Prof. Alan Lenzi (University of the Pacific)
“Counsels of Wisdom” as “White-Collar” Wisdom in First Millennium Ancient Mesopotamia

Prof. Gebhard Selz (University of Vienna)
Teaching morality in Ancient Sumer.

Prof. Yoram Cohen (Tel Aviv University)
Why “Wisdom”? The Purposes and Aims of Copying, Studying and Collecting Wisdom Literature in the Cuneiform World

Prof. Daniel Bodi (University of Paris 4 – La Sorbonne)
Two Animal Proverbs in Ahiqar and in Aesop On Human Relationships: Mercilessness and Sharing

Dr Karolina Prochownik (Jagiellonian University)
Gods and goodness by the rivers of Babylon: cognitive scientific approaches to ancient Mesopotamian moral theologies

Dr Yitzhaq Feder (University of Haifa)
Morality Without Gods?: Retribution and the Foundations of the Moral Order in the Ancient Near East