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After an introduction by Topoi director Gerd Graßhoff Sir Geoffrey Lloyd is going to give a talk on the subject of “The Scientificity of Ancient Medicine”.

Abstract: “I start with the tension between two common views, one that hails Hippocratic medicine as the first rational, systematic, and in that sense scientific medicine, the second that, recognising the great gap between Hippocratic and modern biomedicine, denies that the former has any claim to scientificity. I shall broaden the scope of the discussion of ancient medicine, taking in other traditions, especially from China, and I develop an argument to the effect that what marks out Hippocratic and some later Greek medicine is a concern with epistemological and methodological issues and so with what we would call philosophy of science. This is the outcome, so I suggest, of the particular polemical context in which many Greek doctors – a hypothesis that can be tested against the Chinese data that I adduce.”