• Greco-Roman anatomy, physiology and diagnostics, in particular:
o Air and blood in physiology, psychology and pathology.
o The physiology and diagnostic use of the pulse.
o The physiology of pain and the classification of types of pain.
• History of ideas about soul and body-soul relation.
• Aristotelian and Stoic biology.
• The interrelation of theory and practice in ancient medicine.
• The relation between medicine and philosophy in antiquity.
• The reception of Greco-Roman medicine in Medieval Jewish and Muslim science.
I am a historian of medicine and science, focusing on medical theory and practice, natural philosophy, biology and scientific method in the Greco-Roman world. I am interested the ways in which Greco-Roman physicians and philosophers perceived body and soul with respect both to scientific exploration and medical treatment. I lay particular emphasis on anatomical and physiological ideas, as well as diagnostic methods and the pathological and physiological theories underlying them. In addition, I seek to understand the interaction between medical theory, clinical methods and empirical research in the emergence of new ideas and practices.
My project as a Martin Buber Fellow examines the changes in medical theory, research and practice in the period between the so-called Hippocratic authors (fifth and fourth centuries BCE) and the works of Galen of Pergamon (second century CE). I examine the ways in which the results of empirical research, as well as the dissemination of Aristotelian and Stoic ideas shaped medical theory and investigation from the late fourth century BCE until the second century CE. At the centre stand the following topics: the classification of types of pulse and pain for diagnostic purposes; the physiology of pulse; cardio-vascular anatomy and physiology; the concepts of blood, air and pneuma in physiological and psychological theories. Particular emphasis is laid on Archigenes of Apamea (first century AD) and early Hellenistic sources.
2014 PhD, Humboldt University of Berlin (Classics Department) (Summa cum Laude)
2010 MA, Tel-Aviv University (Classics Department) (Summa cum Laude).
2007 BA, Tel-Aviv University (Departments of History and Classics) (Summa cum laude).
2015 – 2016 Post-Doctoral-Fellow, Excellence Cluster TOPOI – “The Formation and Transformation of Space and Knowledge in Ancient Civilizations” (Humboldt University of Berlin, Classics Department) – Group D-2: Mapping Body and Soul.
2014 Visiting Scholar, Humboldt University of Berlin (Classics Department).
2011 – 2013 Doctoral Fellow, Humboldt University of Berlin (Classics Department – the Alexander von Humboldt research group: Medicine of the Mind, Philosophy of the Body – Discourses of Health and Well-Being in the Ancient World.
Teaching at the Hebrew University:
MA Seminar: Body, Soul and Ensouled Bodies: Pre-Modern Ideas of Body, Soul, Health and Illness in the Western World
(Department of History; summer semester; Mondays, 14:30¬-16:00)
•Lewis, O., Praxagoras of Cos on Arteries Pulse and Pneuma: Sources and Interpretation (Leiden, 2017). (Brill’s series of “Studies in Ancient Medicine”, vol. 48).
•Coughlin, S., Leith, D., Lewis, O., The Concept of Pneuma after Aristotle (Berlin, in press). (Edition-Topoi’s series of “Berlin Studies of the Ancient World”).
ARTICLES IN PEER-REVIEWED JOURNALS
•Lewis, O., “Marcellinus’ De pulsibus: a Neglected Treatise on the Ancient ‘Art of the Pulse’”, Scripta Classica Israelica 34 (2015), 195-214.
•Lewis, O., Gregoric, P., “The Context of De Spiritu”, Early Science and Medicine 20.2 (2015), 125-149.
•Gregoric, P., Lewis, O., “De Spiritu: A New Case against Authenticity”, Classical Philology 110.2 (2015), 159-167.
•Gregoric, P., Lewis, O., Kuhar, M., “The Substance of De Spiritu”, Early Science and Medicine, 20.2 (2015), 101-124.
•Lewis, O., Thumiger, C., van der Eijk, P.J., “Mental and Physical Gradualism in Greco-Roman Medicine”, in K. Geert, R. Hauswald, L. Keuck (eds.), Vagueness in Psychiatry (Oxford, 2017), 27–45.
•Lewis, O., ‘The Practical Application of Ancient “Pulse-Lore” and its Influence on the Patient-Doctor Interaction’, in G. Petridou and C. Thumiger (eds.), Approaches to the Patient in the Ancient World (Leiden, 2015), 345-364.
•Lewis, O., “Archigenes of Apamea’s Treatment of Mental Diseases”, in P.N. Singer and C. Thumiger (eds.), Mental Diseases in Ancient Medicine (Leiden, in press).
•Lewis, O., “Heat and Fire in the Theory of Ps.-Aristotle’s De Spiritu”, in H. Bartos and C. King, Aristotle and his Predecessors on Heat, Pneuma and Soul, (Cambridge, in press).
•Coughlin, S., Leith, D., Lewis, O., “Introduction”, in: Coughlin, S., Leith, D., Lewis, O., The Concept of Pneuma after Aristotle (Berlin, in press).
•Leith, D., Lewis, O., “Pneuma in Early Hellenistic Medicine”, in: Coughlin, S., Leith, D., Lewis, O., The Concept of Pneuma after Aristotle (Berlin, in press).
•Coughlin, S., Lewis, O., “What was Pneumatist about the Pneumatist School?”, in: Coughlin, S., Leith, D., Lewis, O., The Concept of Pneuma after Aristotle (Berlin, in press).
•Lewis, O. “Dissection as a Method of Discovery”, in the catalogue of the Exhibition The Soul is an Octopus. Ancient Ideas of Life and the Body (Berlin, 2016), 24-29.
•Lewis, O. “Localising the Soul in the Body”, in the catalogue of the Exhibition The Soul is an Octopus. Ancient Ideas of Life and the Body (Berlin, 2016), 31-35.
•Lewis, O. “Brain and Heart as Organs of the Soul”, in the catalogue of the Exhibition The Soul is an Octopus. Ancient Ideas of Life and the Body (Berlin, 2016), 37-43.
•Lewis, O. “Substances in Service of the Soul”, in the catalogue of the Exhibition The Soul is an Octopus. Ancient Ideas of Life and the Body (Berlin, 2016), 45-51.
•Report on The Concept of Pneuma after Aristotle (Berlin, 2-4 July 2015), published in Neoptopia 2015/4. (With Sean Coughlin)
•Report on ‘Knowledge, Ethics and Representations of Medicine and Health: Historical Perspectives’ – The Society for the Social History of Medicine 2010 Conference (Durham and Newcastle, 8-11 July 2010), published in Society for the Social History of Medicine – The Gazette, no. 51, 2010. (With Pauline Koetschet)
•Radio interview for the programme Bedeutung des Atmens in der Religion: Gotteswind, Heiliger Geist und pure Lebenskraft von Peter Kaiser, Deutschlandsradio Kultur 27.12.2015. http://www.deutschlandradiokultur.de/bedeutung-des-atmens-in-der-religio...