My research centres on: ancient views on psychology, the emotions, ethics, health and madness; the interface of philosophy and medicine in the Graeco-Roman world; the 2nd-century-CE medical author Galen of Pergamon. My current project, ‘Galen on the Pulse’, funded by the Wellcome Trust and pursued at Birkbeck, University of London, investigates these areas on the basis of a body of texts of enormous historical importance, several of which will be published in English for the first time in the course of the project. Themes explored include: medical and philosophical approaches to the emotions; the relationship of mental and physical illness; the nature of ancient clinical experience and the doctor-patient encounter. This research project feeds into my broader interest in the mind-body relationship in ancient medical and philosophical writing, on which topic I am preparing a book for the Routledge series ‘Issues in Ancient Philosophy’. It also continues to provide further major contributions to the ongoing Cambridge Galen Translations series.

Alongside these main research activities I also have active interests in: techniques and texts of ‘practical ethics’ (Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Plutarch, Seneca); Plato and the Neoplatonist tradition; ancient pharmacology; ancient drama and performance practice; Sanskrit and ancient Indian thought.

Selected Publications


Mental Illness in Ancient Medicine: From Celsus to Paul of Aegina (co-edited with C. Thumiger). Brill: 2018

Galen, Works on Human Nature, vol. I: Mixtures (De temperamentis) (with P. van der Eijk). Cambridge University Press: 2018

Galen: Psychological Writings. Cambridge University Press: 2013

Galen: Selected Works (translation, introduction and notes). Oxford University Press: 1997


‘The mockery of madness: laughter at and with madness in Attic Tragedy and Old Comedy’, Illinois Classical Studies (special issue, Morbid Laughter: Exploring the Comic Dimensions of Disease in Classical Antiquity, ed. G. Kazantzidis and N. Tsoumpra) 43:2 (2018), 298–325

‘Galen and the culture of Pergamon: a view of Greek medical-intellectual life in Roman Asia’, in B. Türkmen, F. Kurunaz, N. Ermiş and Y. Ekıncı Danişan (eds), 2. Uluslararası Bergama Sempozyumu, 9-10 Mayıs 2013, 131-69. Bergama/Izmir: 2019

‘New light and old texts: Galen on his own books’, in C. Petit (ed.) Galen’s Treatise Περὶ ἀλυπίας (De Indolentia) in Context: A Tale of Resilience. Studies in Ancient Medicine 52, ch. 4, 91–131. Brill: 2019

‘A new distress: Galen’s ethics in Περὶ ἀλυπίας and beyond’, in C. Petit (ed.) Galen’s Treatise Περὶ ἀλυπίας (De Indolentia) in Context: A Tale of Resilience. Studies in Ancient Medicine 52, ch. 7, pp. 180-98. Brill: 2019

‘Note on MS Vlatadon 14: a summary of the main findings and problems’, in C. Petit (ed.) Galen’s Treatise Περὶ ἀλυπίας (De Indolentia) in Context: A Tale of Resilience. Studies in Ancient Medicine 52, ch. 1, 10–37. Brill, 2019

‘Galen’s pathological soul: diagnosis and therapy in ethical and medical texts and contexts’, in C. Thumiger and P. N. Singer (ed.) Mental Illness in Ancient Medicine: from Celsus to Paul of Aegina, 381-420. Brill: 2018

‘The essence of rage: Galen on emotional disturbances and their physical correlates, in R. Seaford, J. Wilkins and M. Wright (eds) Selfhood and the Soul: Essays on Ancient Thought and Literature in Honour of Christopher Gill, 161-96. Oxford University Press: 2017

‘Galen’, in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, March 2016

‘The fight for health: tradition, competition, subdivision and philosophy in Galen’s hygienic writings’, British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22:5 (2014), 974-95

‘Galen and the philosophers: philosophical engagement, shadowy contemporaries, Aristotelian transformations’, in P. Adamson, R. Hansberger and J. Wilberding (eds) Philosophical Themes in Galen, 7-38. Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies Supplement 114: 2014

‘Levels of explanation in Galen’, Classical Quarterly 47:2 (1997), 525-42

‘Notes on Galen’s Hippocrates’, in M. Vegetti and S. Gastaldi (eds), Studi di storia della medicina antica e medievale, pp. 66-76. La Nuova Italia: 1996

‘Some Hippocratic mind-body problems’, in J. A. López Férez (ed.) Actas del VIIe Colloque International Hippocratique, pp. 131-43. Madrid, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia: 1992


‘Is Graeco-Roman medicine holistic? Galen and ancient medical-philosophical debates’, in C. Thumiger, (ed.) Ancient Holisms, Cambridge University Press

‘Classification, explanation and experience: mental disorder in Graeco-Roman antiquity’, in U. Steinert (ed.) Cultural Systems of Classification. Medicine and the Body in Antiquity, Routledge

‘What is a pathos? Where medicine meets philosophy’, in G. Kazantzidis and D. Spatharas (eds.) Medical Understandings of Emotions, de Gruyter

‘The relationship between sense-perception, experience and logos: Galen’s clinical perspective’, in. R. J. Hankinson and M. Havrda (eds.) Galen’s Epistemology, Cambridge University Press

‘Galen on pneuma: between metaphysical speculation and anatomical theory’, in S. Couglin, D. Leith and O. Lewis (eds.) Pneuma after Aristotle. Edition Topoi, Berlin

‘Behind and beyond the commentary: Galen on Hippocrates on the elements’, in P. Pormann (ed.) Proceedings of the XVth International Hippocratic Colloquium, Brill

‘A change in the substance: theory and its limits in Galen’s Simples’, in M. Martelli, C. Petit and L. Raggetti (eds.) Rethinking Ancient Pharmacology: The Textual Transmission and Interpretation of Galen’s Treatise On Simple Drugs, Archives Internationales d’ Histoire des Sciences, Turnhout

(in review) ‘Recasting Greek Tragedy: character doubling and its ramifications, from Aeschylus to Euripides’