Jonathan Reeder is a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Classics at the University of Iowa. He teaches courses in ancient medicine and a variety of others concerning the ancient world. His research centers on the interface between medicine and philosophy in Greek and Latin literature. Currently his focus is on ancient approaches to mental health and the reception of Greco-Roman psychology. Dr. Reeder holds a B.A. in Communication Arts from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Classics from Florida State University.
Mental Health and the Weight of the Past: How Early Modern Physicians Read Greek Psychology
This talk begins with a brief survey of the history of scientific discourse on mental health, then focuses on the intellectual and professional dilemma faced by early modern physicians: either repeat Greek psychology and suppress one’s own originality or challenge the giants of Greek medicine along with their scientific and cultural weight. The lecture tells the story of how some authors of the John Martin Rare Book Room collection grappled with the authority of the past against the backdrop of an area of medicine which is of great concern in our own time.