By Valerie Hope, Eireann Marshall

This leading edge quantity attracts on fresh study in archaeology, historic background and the background of drugs to debate how humans within the historic international understood and handled sickness and dying within the city atmosphere.

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Extra resources for Death and Desease in the Ancient City

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109-14). It would not be surprising if there remained in Greek minds in later periods a residual concern that the moral character of their leaders might carry risks for the city at large, as Parker argues (1983: 265-71), but it is far from clear that this carri es implications of pollution or contagion, as Connor (1985: esp. 91-3) has argued, suggesting that there is an association between the demolition of the houses of those guilty of tyranny or treachery and the treatment of offences which clearly did attract pollution or divine vengeance, such as murder and ternple robbery.

Like the medical writers, Herodotus generally emphasises large-scale distinctions between Greeks and non-Greeks, although he does intimate some differences among Greek states. This approach is no doubt in keeping with his overall story, which ultimately celebrates the free and independent spirit of the Greeks as against the slavish nature of the Persians. But other evidence from the classical peri od indicates that the Greeks did make more specific connections between the geographical situation of a given polis and the behaviour of irs citizens.

For Plato, of course, the practice of the statesman-docror is tied up with the health of the soul and the moral good of the community, as emerges clearly from the discussion of punishment in the Gorgias (477e-ge), where it is the judge who is identified with the doctor. In the earliest medicai imagery, although the wicked behaviour of their wealthy leaders is seen by the poets as having consequences for the whole community (Solo n fr. , esp. 17; Thgn. 39- 52), they do not represent the sickness which falls on the city as a punishment of Athens or Megara at large.

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