Disease and Healing in Ancient Mesopotamia with Troels Arboll

Episode 105 - February 9, 2023
Book cover - Medicine in Ancient Assur

Troels Arboll (University of Copenhagen) joins the show to discuss his work on disease and healing in ancient Mesopotamia. Troels first defines ancient Mesopotamia both temporally and spatially and points out some of the sources we have for the period. The conversation soon reaches infectious diseases and how they were perceived and recorded by the inhabitants of Ancient Mesopotamia. This sets the stage for an overview of the difficulties of terminology in the surviving primary sources as well as the uncertainties of retrospective diagnosis that forces ambiguous ancient terms into modern-day categories. Troels subsequently surveys how the inhabitants of ancient Mesopotamia responded to infectious diseases, and touches upon the questions of healing. Finally, the conversation moves to Covid and its effects on discussions in the field.

Our Guest

Troels Pank Arbøll and others

Assistant Professor – Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen

Troels Arboll