Use literary and archaeological evidence to see how ancient Greeks and Romans approached health, well-being, and societal issues.
Understand Greek and Roman approaches to health and well-being
What did being healthy in ancient Rome or Greece look like? How can we tell what well-being meant in ancient times?
This online course will help you investigate these questions, using both literary and archaeological evidence, to uncover details of real-life in ancient societies.
We will divide the body up into organs and systems, using each to explore ancient theories on the structure and function of the human body.
We will discover what ancient societies thought about topics that we still wrestle with today – from the relationship between mind and body to sexuality, ageing, and gender.
What topics will you cover?
- What is health? Ancient and modern perspectives on health and disease.
- Medicine, religion, and magic.
- Using online resources.
- Vision: theories of sight, approaches to eye disease, including drugs and surgery.
- Body modifications.
- Diet and digestion.
- Human waste: using evidence from toilets and sewers.
- Conception and birth: theories and practices.
- Ideal bodies and disabled bodies.
- The health of the army: recruiting and treating soldiers.
When would you like to start?
Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts.
- Available now
What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to:
- Develop confidence in exploring a variety of fields that constitute classical studies.
- Explore and become familiar with open-access resources for classical studies.
- Develop the ability to critically analyze primary sources.
- Apply and gain skills in analyzing complex problems based on fragmentary evidence.
- Engage with contemporary interpretations and scholarly debates.
Who is the course for?
There are no special requirements for this course, but an interest in the ancient world or classics might be useful.
Who will you learn with?
I'm Professor Emerita in Classical Studies at The Open University. My main research interests are in the history of medicine and I'm passionate about extending access to learning for everyone.
I have an interest in sensory studies, and how this helps us to understand human experience in the ancient Roman world.
Who developed the course?
The Open University
The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning, with a mission to be open to people, places, methods, and ideas.
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