Professor of Classical Studies Helen King‘s article Narratives of healing: a new approach to the past?, exploring the connection between life writing from the ancient past and modern narrative medicine, is published in The Lancet.
“Aelius Aristides (117—180 AD) was a successful orator from Asia Minor at the height of the Roman Empire; he travelled widely and visited Rome itself… Among the works of Aelius Aristides, however, there is something rather different: Hieroi Logoi, usually translated as Sacred Tales. These recount his various illnesses… In the long history of interaction between medicine and the arts and humanities, the <em>Hieroi Logoi</em> have been responsible for Aelius Aristides getting a bad press…
In the 21st century, our hunger to tell our story and to hear those of others still seems to be growing, partly because of the internet…. Scholarship on him is now concentrating on his cultural and historical context, seeing this very much as a story of its time, and not something unique and bizarre.”
Read the full text in The Lancet at http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)60471-2/fulltext