Buber Fellow Orly Lewis wins an ERC Starting grant

Orly Lewis Project
11 September, 2019

Dr. Orly Lewis has won a €1.5 million Euro ERC Starting Grant for her project Anatomy in Ancient Greece and Rome: An Interactive Visual and Textual Atlas (ATLOMY).

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The aim of the project is to produce a groundbreaking integrative atlas of Greco-Roman anatomical ideas, terminology and research. Its historical scope will stretch from the Classical period to the High-Roman Empire – from our earliest extant Greek medical works to the pinnacle of Greco-Roman medical and anatomical research.

The research will uniquely combine historical and philological analysis with empirical research and digital development. ATLOMY’s team will consist of classicists, historians, experts in modern anatomy, a digital artist and a software developer, who will analyse together the ancient sources. Based on a close analysis of the sources the team will re-enact the empirical research of ancient anatomists, decipher and visually present the diverse anatomical ideas and terminologies in ancient Greece and Rome and examine how empirical observations and theoretical assumptions led to changes in knowledge.

The team will create a long-desired lexicon of ancient anatomical terms, re-enact ancient anatomical dissections, develop a high-end, interactive digital visual atlas presenting and analysing the ideas and terms of different ancient authors and compose in-depth interpretive studies of anatomical theories and research in ancient Greece and Rome.

This integrative visual and textual map and analysis will substantially advance our understanding of ancient ideas of the body and of empirical methods of scientific research in ancient times. Moreover, it will enable the growing audience of Greco-Roman medical and philosophical writings to engage with these sources in a deeper and more informed manner, thus enhancing studies in related fields. More broadly, ATLOMY will offer a tight-knit interdisciplinary heuristic model for the study of the history of science, one which offers means for bridging the disciplinary gap between historians and classicists and the natural scientists whose works we study.

The research will take place at the Department of Classics at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in cooperation with researchers from the School of Veterinary Medicine and the Faculty of Medicine.


*All fellows of the Martin Buber Society can apply for ERC Starting Grants through The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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