Orly Lewis

Orly  Lewis

Orly Lewis

Classics
History of Ideas
Room: 335

History of science, medicine and ideas.
History of anatomy, physiology and diagnostics.
Pre-modern ideas of body and soul.
Medical practice and research in ancient Greece and Rome.
The reciprocal relation between theory and experience.

 

Current Projects: 

My work focuses on Greco-Roman medicine, natural philosophy, biology and scientific method. Alongside questions concerning ancient ideas of the structure and workings of the body and mind, I consider how theory, empirical research and clinical practice fed into one another so as to generate different models of human anatomy and physiology and different methods for examining and interpreting the physical and mental condition of individual patients.

Additionally, my work addresses methodological problems arising from the fragmentary nature of our sources, the scarcity of material evidence, the dangers of anachronism and the disciplinary and conceptual gaps between historians of medicine and the physicians whom we study. 

My current projects continue my work on the Hellenistic and Early-Empire periods, which were the scene of important turning points in the ways in which the body was conceived, explained, and medically treated.

I am currently preparing studies of treatises such as ‘On the Heart’ (3rd c. BCE) and the anonymous ‘On Acute and Chronic Diseases’ (1st c. CE). I am also preparing a monograph of the theories and methods of the Pneumatist physician Archigenes of Apamea (first-second centuries CE), particularly concerning pain and pulsation. The monograph will consist of an edition and commentary of the relevant fragments of Archigenes’ works followed by interpretive chapters discussing the contours, significance and context of his ideas and methods.

 

Curriculum Vitae: 

Fellowships and Grants

  • 2019 (Oct. - Dec.) Visiting Fellow
    Einstein Center Chronoi, Berlin 

  • 2016-2020 Post-Doctoral Fellow
    Martin Buber Society of Fellows in the Humanities and Social Sciences (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

  • 2015­-2016 Post-Doctoral Fellow
    Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin / Excellence Cluster TOPOI (“The Formation and Transformation of Space and Knowledge in Ancient Civilizations”) Group D-2: Mapping Body and Soul

  • 2011-2013 Doctoral Fellow
    Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Institut für Klassische Philologie) / Alexander von Humboldt research group: Medicine of the Mind, Philosophy of the Body Discourses of Health and Well- Being in the Ancient World.

Prizes

  • Young Historian Prize of the Académie Internationale d’Histoire de Sciences (2019)

  • Shlomo Pines Prize for outstanding young scholars (2018)

  • Levkowich-Fund Scholarship for students of the history of medicine (2010)

  • Wolf Foundation Scholarship (2008)

  • Rector and Dean Distinctions (Tel-Aviv University – 2007, 2008)

  • Scholarship for Distinction (Department of Classics, Tel-Aviv University - 2006)

Education

  • PHD (2014), Classics, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Summa cum Laude)

  • MA (2010), Classics, Tel-Aviv University (Summa cum laude)

  • BA (2007), Classics and History, Tel-Aviv University (Summa cum laude)

Teaching

  • Summer semester 2018:     
    “Diagnostics and Therapeutics in Antiquity”, Undergraduate seminar, Department of History, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, summer semester. (In Hebrew)

  • Summer semester 2017:     
    “Body, Soul and Ensouled Bodies: Pre-Modern Ideas of Body, Soul, Health and Illness in the Western World”, Graduate seminar, Department of History, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, summer semester. (In Hebrew)

  • Summer semester 2016:
    “Mental Health and Illness in Ancient Medical Texts”, Undergraduate seminar, Department of Classics, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, summer semester. (co-taught with Philip van der Eijk and Ricardo Julião)  (In German)

 

Publications

Books

Reviews

Edited books (Peer-reviewed)

  • The Concept of Pneuma after Aristotle (Berlin: Edition Topoi, awaiting proofs). (with David Leith and Sean Coughlin)

Peer-reviewed articles and chapters

  • “Fragments of History and Science”, Isis 109.1 (2018), 83–86.

  • “Archigenes of Apamea’s Treatment of Mental Diseases”, in P.N. Singer and C. Thumiger (eds.), Mental Diseases in Ancient Medicine (Leiden: Brill, 2018), 143-175.

  • “Mental and Physical Gradualism in Greco-Roman Medicine”, in K. Geert, R. Hauswald, L. Keuck (eds.), Vagueness in Psychiatry (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 27-45. (with Chiara Thumiger and Philip van der Eijk)

  • “ Marcellinus’ De pulsibus: a Neglected Treatise on the Ancient ‘Art of the Pulse’”, Scripta Classica Israelica 34 (2015), 195-214.

  • “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: Brill, 2016), 345-364

  • “The Context of De Spiritu”, Early Science and Medicine 20.2 (2015), 125-149. (with Pavel Gregoric)

  • “The Substance of De Spiritu”, Early Science and Medicine, 20.2 (2015), 101-124. (with Pavel Gregoric and Martin Kuhar)

  • De Spiritu: A New Case against Authenticity, Classical Philology, 110.2 (2015), 159-167. (with Pavel Gregoric)

In Press:

  • “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: Cambridge University Press, awaiting proofs).

  • “Galen against Archigenes on the Classification of Pulses”, in M. Havrda and R.J. Hankinson, Galen’s Epistemology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) (accepted following peer-review).

  • “Introduction”, in: S. Coughlin, D. Leith, O. Lewis, The Concept of Pneuma after Aristotle (Berlin; Edition Topoi, in press). (with David Leith and Sean Coughlin) (awaiting proofs).

  • “Pneuma in Early Hellenistic Medicine”, in: S. Coughlin, D. Leith, O. Lewis, The Concept of Pneuma after Aristotle (Berlin, in press). (with David Leith) (awaiting proofs).

  • “What was Pneumatist about the Pneumatist School?”, in: S. Coughlin, D. Leith, O. Lewis, The Concept of Pneuma after Aristotle (Berlin, in press). (with Sean Coughlin) (awaiting proofs).

  • “The Mechanics of Galen's Theory of Nutrition”, in G. Kazantzidis and M. Gerolemou, The Body as Machine in Antiquity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) (accepted following peer-review).

Exhibition Catalogue

In: U. Kornmeier (Ed.). (2016). The Soul is an Octopus: Ancient Ideas of Life and the Body (Berlin: Medizinhistorisches Museum der Charité and Edition Topoi). http://www.topoi.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/sb_01_Kornmeier.pdf :

  • “Dissection as a Method of Discovery”, pp. 24-29.

  • “Localising the Soul in the Body”, pp. 31-35.

  • “Brain and Heart as Organs of the Soul”, pp. 37-43.

  •  “Substances in Service of the Soul”, pp. 45-51.

Media

Organisation of Conferences and Workshops

  • 2020   
    Organiser, INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE: ‘Diagnosing Body and Soul’ (The Edelstein Centre for the History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicine, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)

  • 2016 – Present 
    Co-Organiser, tri-weekly READING GROUP ‘Galen in Greek and Arabic’ (Martin Buber Society of Fellows and Classics Department, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel).      

  • 2018   
    Co-Organiser, WORKSHOP ‘Un/Certainty’ (Zukunftskolleg, University of Konstanz, Germany). www.uni-konstanz.de/zukunftskolleg/events/review-on-past-events/single-review-on-past-events/uncertainty/

  • 2017   
    Co-Organiser, INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE: ‘Somatic-Times: Understanding the Relations between Human Bodies and Conceptions of Time’ (Martin Buber Society of Fellows, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel). http://buberfellows.huji.ac.il/node/397

  • 2015   
    Co-Organiser, INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE: ‘The Concept of Pneuma after Aristotle’ (Excellence Cluster TOPOI, Berlin, Germany). www.topoi.org/event/29112/   

  • 2015   
    Co-Organiser, INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP: ‘The Pneumatist “School(?)”: Doctrines and Representation’ (Excellence Cluster TOPOI, Berlin, Germany). www.topoi.org/event/27811

  • 2013   
    Organiser, INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP: ‘The Fragmented Puzzle: problems and methodologies in the collection and interpretation of ancient medical and philosophical fragments’ (Institute of Classics, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany). www.classicsmedicine.org/news/archiv/fragmented- puzzle-2013

  • 2012   
    Co-Organiser, INTERNATIONAL READING GROUP of Pseudo-Aristotle, De Spiritu (Institute of Classics, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany). www.classicsmedicine.org/news/archiv/reading-group-de-spiritu

Presentations (selection)

2020 (forthcoming)

  • GALEN’S METHODS OF ANATOMICAL DISSECTION.
    Conference Human Nature: Medical and Philosophical Perspectives in the Work of Galen of Pergamum, University of Utrecht.

2018

  • THE ANATOMICAL AND PHYSIOLOGICAL THEORY OF THE HIPPOCRATIC ΠΕΡΙ ΚΑΡΔΙΗΣ
    Conference, 16th Hippocratic Colloquium, University of Rome Tor Vergata.

  • THE ‘HIPPOCRATIC’ ‘ON THE HEART’ AND HELLENISTIC ANATOMICAL RESEARCH
    Conference, Eleventh Celtic Conference in Classics, University of St. Andrews

  • DO SCIENTISTS AND HISTORIANS OF SCIENCE NEED EACH OTHER?
    Workshop, Un/Certainty, University of Konstanz.

  • THE PAIN OF THE PATIENT AND ITS FUNCTION IN THE DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURE – AN ANCIENT PERSPECTIVE
    Lecture Series Forum Rubin, School of History, Tel-Aviv University. (in Hebrew)

  • TAKING THE PULSE IN ANCIENT GREECE AND ROME: BETWEEN THEORY AND PRACTICE
    Workshop Medical Practice in Chinese Medicine in Comparative Perspective, Department of Asian Studies, Tel-Aviv University.

  • GRECO-ROMAN DIAGNOSTICS:  FROM THE INDIVIDUAL TO THE COMMON AND BACK AGAIN
    Colloquium of the research group Contour and Expressions of the Self in Ancient Mediterranean Cultures, Israel Institute for Advanced Studies, Jerusalem.

2017

  • HUMAN PAIN IN ANTIQUITY
    Colloquium of the History Department, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. (in Hebrew)

  • CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS OF ANCIENT CONCEPTIONS OF SOUL
    Workshop Visualizing the Soul, Tel-Aviv University and Van Leer Institute of Jerusalem.

  • THE EPISTEMOLOGICAL AND CLINICAL FUNCTIONS OF DIAIRESIS IN GALEN’S MEDICAL THEORY AND METHOD
    Conference Galen's Epistemology, Charles University, Prague.

  • PAIN AND PULSE AS HOLISTIC SYMPTOMS
    Conference Ancient Holisms, Institute for Classical Studies, London.

  • EXPLORING, INTERPRETING AND UNDERSTANDING THE BODY
    Guest speaker, Centre of Hellenic Studies, London.

  • EMPIRICAL OBSERVATION AND THE SHAPING OF GRECO-ROMAN IDEAS OF MIND
    Keynote lecture, 4th LMU-HU Joint Graduate Workshop in Ancient Philosophy, Ludwig-Maximillian University, Munich.

  • THE ROLE OF THE PATIENT IN THE DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURE: ANCIENT PERSPECTIVES
    Guest speaker, School of History, University of Haifa. (Hebrew)

2016

  • FROM MOBILE MATTER TO MOBILE BODIES: THE PHYSIOLOGY OF MOTION IN GRECO-ROMAN THOUGHT
    Workshop Mobility 2.0: Aspirations, Challenges, Obstacles, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

  • THE PHYSIOLOGY OF THE MIND AND ANATOMICAL RESEARCH IN THE GRECO-ROMAN WORLD
    Colloquium The Body’s Mind and the Mind’s Body: Bodily States and Cognition in the Greek, Arabic, and Hebrew Philosophical and Medical Traditions, University of Geneva.

2015

  • DUNAMIS AND AGNOSTICISM IN GALEN’S PHYSIOLOGY
    Conference Natural Philosophy in Galen, Humboldt University of Berlin.

2014

  • THEORY AND PRACTICE IN THE GRECO-ROMAN “ART OF THE PULSE”
    Colloquium of the Babylonian Medicine Research Project, Free University of Berlin.

2011

  • PHILOSOPHY IN THE SERVICE OF MEDICINE: THE CASE OF ARISTOTLE AND PRAXAGORAS
    Guest Speaker, Centre for Croatian Studies, University of Zagreb.

  • DECIPHERING A MEDICAL CROSSROAD: TOWARDS A RECONSTRUCTION OF THE THEORIES OF PRAXAGORAS OF COS
    Colloquium, Classics and Ancient History Department, University of Warwick.

2008

  • MYTHICAL AND HISTORICAL DESCRIPTIONS OF PLAGUES IN ANCIENT GREECE
    Annual Conference of the Israel Society for the Promotion of Classical Studies, Tel-Aviv University.