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Illness, gods and healing in Greek-ruled Egypt, 332-30 BC

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In the ancient world individuals often approached the gods for assistance and advice in cases of illness, which might itself be explained by the actions of deities or demons. Egypt in the third to first centuries BC was ruled by the Greek-Macedonian successors of Alexander the Great, the Ptolemaic dynasty, while Greek-speakers dominated the upper levels of the administration and settled within Egypt in large numbers. This paper explores the ways in which individuals of different ethnic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds sought healing from the gods. In particular it examines healing at several major temples, and investigates the advice, oracles, dreams, and cures often thought to have been provided at such sites.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group series.

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