Doctors, Diseases, and Deities: Illness and Injury in Ancient Rome with Sarah Yeomans - Context Travel

Doctors, Diseases, and Deities: Illness and Injury in Ancient Rome with Sarah Yeomans

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This conversation examines a remarkable discovery in Rimini, Italy that has given us an extraordinary amount of information concerning medicine and medical technology in ancient Rome. The "Domus del Chirurgo," ("House of the Surgeon") is a treasure trove of artifacts that tell us a great deal about the practice of medicine almost 2000 years ago. We will then go on to discuss the Antonine Plague of the 2nd century, one of the most severe pandemic events the Roman world ever confronted. 

Through a combination of primary sources, archaeological discoveries, and modern science, Sarah will examine the pathology of the plague as well as its impact on the economic, political, and religious life of the Roman Empire. What exactly was the "Antonine Plague?" Was it a factor in the destabilization of the Empire in the 3rd century? And most importantly, what lessons can we learn about how to react to population-impacting medical crises today?

Led by an archaeologist and researcher of ancient Roman medicine, Sarah Yeomans, this interactive seminar will focus on health and medicine in Ancient Rome. Designed to inform curiosity and educate, participants will come away with an increased understanding of this intriguing narrative and what parallels there are today between Ancient Rome and modern health issues.

Sarah Yeomans is an archaeologist specializing in the Imperial period of the Roman Empire with a particular emphasis on ancient science and religion. Currently pursuing her doctorate at the University of Southern California, she is adjunct faculty at both St. Mary's College of Maryland and West Virginia University. A native Californian, Sarah holds an M.A. in Archaeology from the University of Sheffield, England, and an M.A. in Art History from the University of Southern California. Her current research involves ancient Roman medicine and the impact of pandemic events on Roman society. She is generally happiest when covered in dirt, roaming archaeological sites somewhere in the Mediterranean region but particularly in Rome, where she lived for six years.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.