Yale Classicist Hanson to Speak at UB

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: February 4, 2004 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Distinguished classicist Ann Ellis Hanson will discuss "Alternative Medicine in Greco-Roman Antiquity: The Role of Amulets" during a lecture at 3 p.m. Feb. 23 in 120 Clemens Hall, North Campus.

The lecture, which will be free and open to the public, will examine how widely amulets were employed to combat the illnesses of Greeks and Romans, and will focus particular attention upon those that claim to be useful for gynecological ailments and childbirth.

During her visit to UB, Hanson will attend undergraduate courses on "Greek History" to lecture on "Medical Discourse and Fifth Century Popular Culture" and on the "Drama of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries" to discuss the persistence into the early modern period of Galenic humoral theory, the single-sex theory of human biology and the dominant reproductive understanding of the female body.

In addition, she will visit the Buffalo Museum of Science with students from the UB Department of Classics to examine the museum's collection of ancient papyrus fragments and ostraka -- pieces of broken pottery inscribed with words.

Hanson is visiting UB under the auspices of the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program as a guest of the campus chapter, Omicron of New York. The visit also is co-sponsored by the UB departments of Classics, English and History.

Professor of classics at Yale University since 1998, Hanson is a noted papyrologist and student of ancient medicine. She was curator of papyri at the Princeton Library from 1977-88, and recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship in 1992.

She has been active on committees of the American Philological Association and the American Society of Papyrologists, and has served as editor of The Society for Ancient Medicine Review and American Studies in Papyrology. She is a member of the International Workshop for Papyrology and Social History (Oxford and Columbia universities) and participated for two years on the Greek and Babylonian Medicine Project of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study.