Galen Money Image


What we can learn from the ancient Greeks today

In two short lectures, followed by discussion, University of Exeter scholars will illuminate the background of the current financial crisis and the contemporary usefulness of ancient Greek healthcare methods.  

Part of the A. G. Leventis Foundation Initiative on the Impact of Greek Culture in the ancient & modern world.

Professor Richard Seaford:  ‘Money: from its invention by the Greeks to the crisis of today’ - The first society in history to be monetised was the ancient Greek polis.  And so the Greeks - unlike us - did not take money for granted; they could sometimes see the nature of money more clearly than we can today.  Though they were aware of its convenience, they were also shocked by its impact.  They noted money’s tendency to replace all other values, and its unlimitedness: one can have enough of just about everything, but not of money.  This insatiability, they believed, is both unnatural and potentially destructive of society.  Something like the ancient Greek culture of limit is precisely what we need if we are to avert economic crises and environmental catastrophe. 

Professors Christopher Gill and John Wilkins: ‘Healthcare and wellbeing: can the ancient Greeks help us?’ - Worldwide concern about the massive rise in obesity and depression, among other conditions, is leading people to look again at preventive medicine and the role of a healthy life-style. The ancient Greeks had highly developed ideas on this subject, including Galen’s ‘six-factor’ method for maintaining a healthy and balanced life.

Classics scholars at Exeter have been exploring the usefulness of the Greek (especially Galenic) method under modern conditions, and are working with medical experts and community health groups to see what contribution the ancient approach can make to modern problems. This presentation sets out current work in this area and its larger implications. 

Date Wednesday 27th February 2013
Time 7pm - 9.15pm
Venue The Hellenic Centre, London

16-18 Paddington Street



This is a free event open to all staff, students and alumni but booking is essential.  To reserve your place please email Katie Swan, Alumni Officer, on

Date: 7 December 2012

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