Author: agostino

In memory of Jackie Pigeaud (1937-2016)

In a week that has witnessed so many distressful events (a massive earthquake in New Zealand, the election of Donald T. and the death of Leonard Cohen), it would be easy to overlook the passing of a venerable Classics scholar: Jackie Pigeaud, who was quietly laid to rest last Thursday in the soil of his native Vendée. A classicist and expert in medical thought, Jackie Pigeaud was special. Unlike most of his fellow countrymen and colleagues, he was a complete anglophile, and a scholar without boundaries. Usually filed under “Latin literature”, he was in fact equally at ease in...

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A post for the Day of the Dead (All souls) and Remembrance Day: Galen, Classics and the First World War

  In memoriam Dr. Aemilii Issel (1890-?) I gratefully acknowledge the help of Maximilian Haars, Marburg in the preparation of this blog, esp. with archive material from Marburg about the records of Dr. Emil Issel. In the wake of the celebrations of the centenary of the Great War, many aspects of the horrors of WWI have been recalled; but I am not aware (apologies if I missed anything important about it!) of any magazine article about the sheer cost paid by scholarship and science during the war: it is indeed often forgotten that French, British and German students and...

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A tale of two libraries: John Dee (1527-1609) and Galen

                In the past few months, many a Londoner will have enjoyed the exhibition on The Lost Library of John Dee (1527-1609) at the Royal College of Physicians, London. The show is now over, but it has been a stimulating, refreshing one, and a brilliant idea to bring together some of the recovered books of the great Elizabethan scholar and the artefacts that best define his ambivalence around magic and angelic communication. Those books do have a story. A genuine polymath, Dee was also a prominent man at Elizabeth’s court and advised...

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Galen for Remain!

OK, the title of this post is a joke… As an EU national I have no more hope to influence the result of this election than good old Galen’s ghost anyway. No vote, no say on this national consultation; and if I spoke about my contribution to British society over the past twelve years, no one except a few liberal Britons already determined to vote Remain would approve or be convinced. So strong is the tide of resentment against us immigrants that no reasonable argument seems to reach the Leave camp. So ambivalent are the feelings of even some...

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Thoughts on Galen and Pseudo-Galenic texts

It is fair to say that last month’s conference at the Warburg Institute about “pseudo-Galenic texts and the formation of the Galenic corpus” was successful: speakers all gave substantial papers, presented a lot of new evidence and discussed old controversies around the authenticity of some of Galen’s works. The conference embraced a long period, from Galen’s own lifetime (2nd c. AD) to the 17th c. Texts in several languages were discussed (Greek, Latin, Arabic, Syriac, Hebrew). About 50 people attended the event, which, by Classics conferences standards, is a very good turnout. Reflecting on what happened and what was...

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