Madness in Seneca's Medea and Celsus's De Medicina

Název: Madness in Seneca's Medea and Celsus's De Medicina
Autor: Bán, Katalin
Zdrojový dokument: Graeco-Latina Brunensia. 2019, roč. 24, č. 1, s. 5-16
  • ISSN
    1803-7402 (print)
    2336-4424 (online)
Type: Článek

Upozornění: Tyto citace jsou generovány automaticky. Nemusí být zcela správně podle citačních pravidel.

According to the Hellenistic topos, philosophy is 'medicine' for the soul in order to heal the soul just as medicine is in charge of healing the body. The 'illness' of the soul in need of healing is its passions, that is, its desire, anger, vengeance and fear. The aim of my study is to examine and compare the different forms, manifestations, causes and treatments of insania in Aulus Cornelius Celsus's De Medicina and Seneca's Medea and prose works through a text-based approach. Seneca's tragedies – just as his prose works – display a profound interest in the mental and psychological states of their characters. One of the best examples is Medea, which is a drama of passion, madness, and the destructive forces in the soul. By comparing the tragedy with Celsus's De Medicina, a nearly contemporary encyclopaedic prose text on medical theory and practice, I intend to show that philosophical understandings of madness interact at some level with medical ones. Medea's madness is evidently different from the forms of insania examined by Celsus, as it is not of the medical variety, since it consists of her anger and desire for revenge, but we can observe connection points in some aspects, such as symptoms and therapeutic tools (e.g. personalized therapy, direct conversation, the importance of self-control, self-reinforcement through direct and encouraging relationships and the concentration of the patient's attention).
[1] Adams, F. (Transl.). (2007). Hippocrates: On the Sacred Disease. Adelaide: University of Adelaide Library.

[2] Basore, J. W. (Transl.). (1998). Seneca: Moral Essays (Vol. I–II). Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

[3] De Lacy, P. (Transl.). (2005). On the Doctrines of Hippocrates and Plato: Commentary and Indexes (Second edition, augmented and revised). Berlin: Akademie-Verlag.

[4] Fitch, J. G. (Ed.). (2018). Seneca. Tragedies, I: Hercules. Trojan Women. Phoenician Women. Medea. Phaedra. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

[5] Gummere, R. M. (Transl.). (2011). Ad Lucilium epistulae morales: with an English translation (Vol. 2). Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

[6] Reynolds, L. D. (Ed.). (1965). Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales, Books 14‒20. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[7] Spencer, W. G. (Transl.). (1935). Celsus. On Medicine, I: Books 1‒4. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

[8] Stevenson, D., & Stewart, A. (Transl.). (2015). Dialogues by Seneca. Los Angeles: Enhanced Media Publishing.

[9] Ahonen, M. (2014). Mental Disorders in Ancient Philosophy. Helsinki: Springer.

[10] Ahonen, M. (2019). Ancient philosophers on mental illness. History of Psychiatry, 30, 3‒18. | DOI 10.1177/0957154X18803508

[11] Bartoš, H. (2015). Philosophy and Dietetics in the Hippocratic On Regimen. A Delicate Balance of Health. Leiden ‒ Boston: Brill.

[12] Cooper, J. M., & Procopé, J. F. (1995). Seneca: Moral and Political Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[13] Entralgo, P. L. (1970). The Therapy of the Word in Classical Antiquity. Oxford: Yale U. Press.

[14] Gill, C. (1985). Ancient Psychotherapy. Journal of the History of Ideas, 46, 307–325. | DOI 10.2307/2709470

[15] Gill, C. (2006). The Platonic dialogue. In M. L. Gill, & P. Pellegrin (Eds.), A Companion to Ancient Philosophy (Vol. 1; pp. 136–150). Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell.

[16] Gill, C. (2013). Philosophical Therapy as Preventive Psychological Medicine. In W. V. Harris (Ed.), Mental Disorders in the Classical World (Vol. 38; pp. 339–362). Leiden ‒ Boston: Brill.

[17] Gill, C. (2018). Philosophical Psychological Therapy: Did It Have Any Impact on Medical Practice? In C. Thumiger, & P. N. Singer (Eds.), Mental Illness in Ancient Medicine from Celsus to Paul of Aegina (Vol. 50; pp. 365–380). Leiden ‒ Boston: Brill.

[18] Jouanna, J. (2012). Greek Medicine from Hippocrates to Galen: Selected Papers. Leiden ‒ Boston: Brill.

[19] Kosak, J. (2018). Heroic Measures, Hippocratic Medicine in the Making of Euripidean Tragedy. Leiden ‒ Boston: Brill.

[20] Langslow, D. R. (2000). Medical Latin in the Roman Empire. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[21] Long, A. A. (2009). Seneca and the self: why now? In S. Bartsch, & D. Wray (Eds.), Seneca and the Self (Vol. 101; pp. 20–38). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[22] Pigeaud, J. (1981). La maladie de l'âme: étude sur la relation de l'âme et du corps dans la tradition médico-philosophique antique. Paris: Les Belles Lettres.

[23] Szilágyi, J. Gy. (1977). Seneca, a tragédiaköltő. Budapest: Európa Könyvkiadó.

[24] Thumiger, C., & Singer, P. N. (2018). Introduction. Disease Classification and Mental Illness: Ancient and Modern Perspectives. In C. Thumiger, & P. N. Singer (Eds.), Mental Illness in Ancient Medicine from Celsus to Paul of Aegina (Vol. 50; pp. 2‒32). Leiden ‒ Boston: Brill.