Let's take a stroll: health and illness in the past explored in upcoming University of Winchester public talk

18 Jan 2017
Papers stacked in a filing cabinet drawer

The relationship between physical and mental health and in particular the connection between mental well-being and walking dates back to ancient times, as a public lecture at the University of Winchester will reveal. 

As early as 400 BC the Greek physician Hippocrates noted in the Epidemics - a work collecting observations originally made by several itinerant physicians operating in Northern Greece - some interesting remarks concerning the relationship between physical and mental health. One, in particular, seems to compare the well-being of the mind to the action of taking a stroll. 

In The soul takes a stroll: Early modern interpretations of a Hippocratic place, Dr Guido Giglioni​ of the School of Advanced Study, University of London, explains how this particular section of the Epidemics text was interpreted by different authors between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries when Hippocratic medicine was gradually rediscovered and became very popular. He will also explore the relationship between how different types of thoughts or emotions could have healthy or unhealthy effects on an individual's well-being.
The talk takes place at 6pm on Thursday 26 January 2017 and is organised and hosted by the University's Centre for Medical History which focuses on the social history of health and illness for humans and animals from the ancient to the modern world. This Centre runs free monthly seminars on a variety of health and well-being-related topics on the fourth Thursday of every month during the University term. 
Professor Louise Hill Curth, Professor of Medical History and Director of the Centre for Medical History, says: "The study of how people understood and attempted to deal with issues of health and illness in the past offers valuable insights into what kinds of things we can do in the twenty-first century to build and preserve strong bodies. These historical ideas illustrate a holistic way of thinking in which the mind and body are inseparably related and where both contribute equally to both health and illness." 
The Centre's following seminar on Thursday 23 February 2017 will be presented by Dr Robert Meadows​ of the University of Surrey speaking about Trends and transformations in sleep: practices, values and inequalities. Dr Meadows is an expert in the sociology of health and illness, medicine and society and has over a decade's experience of exploring the nature of sleep.
Both talks are free to attend and all are welcome. Talks start at 6pm in Room 16, Medecroft Building, King Alfred Campus, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester Hampshire SO22 4NR, followed by a free reception.

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