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2019 Leventis Lecture Series: Lecture by Exeter University

The Leventis Lectures event 2019 will showcase the research currently being undertaken at the University of Exeter into the impact of Greek culture upon our modern world.

You are invited to attend this free evening of research, culture, drinks and networking The College of Humanities is delighted to invite you to join us at this free event in London exploring the impact of Greek culture. Supported by the A.G. Leventis Foundation, the evening is an opportunity to hear Exeter academics draw on new, cutting-edge research to illuminate the impact of Greek culture, both in the ancient world and beyond.

Doctors’ stories: case-histories and narratives of diagnosis in ancient and modern medicine – Dr Daniel King

What happens when you go to see a doctor? As well as perhaps blood tests or a visual and physical examination, doctors ask about your symptoms and experiences of a particular condition. The manner in which patients’ experiences are discussed is a subject of increasing interest to both academics and doctors, with teaching hospitals now paying considerable attention to this issue, including how people narrate ‘case-histories’. This lecture explores a similar ancient debate about how doctors and patients should speak to each other about illness, focusing on four Greek doctors living and working in the Roman empire: Rufus of Ephesus, Aelius Aristides, Soranus and Galen. There figures were near-contemporaries who took up and debated questions that are still relevant for healthcare today: How should one talk to a patient to gain the most useful information? And how does it create effective relationships between patient and doctor?


‘Kinetic Art in Classical Antiquity’ – Dr Maria Gerolemou

Robots are a popular subject in the modern world, populating the pages of science fiction and becoming ever more sophisticated through technological advances. Significantly, the notion of the mechanical automaton also provides a concept to think with and to explore ideas of art and naturalism. This talk will examine similar concerns in ancient authors’ descriptions of art, especially of statues, which often explained movement and self-sufficiency of inanimate matter through mechanical principles, ‘real’ motion and properties of materials, in contrast to traditional views of art which described moving art merely as the product of narrative enactment. Thus, while the latter aims to delight the audience through its appreciation, the mechanical explanation of kinetic art raises questions about the relationship between perception, reality and art.


The Leventis Initiative, sponsored by the A.G. Leventis Foundation, facilitates research carried out by the University of Exeter into the impact of Greek culture in antiquity and upon the modern world.  Established in May 1979, the A.G. Leventis Foundation is the outcome of the vision of the Cypriot entrepreneur Anastasios G. Leventis (1902-1978), who laid the bases of its focus on society, education and culture.

Now in its fourth decade, the Foundation retains its adherence to these priorities, keenly supporting the dissemination of Greek and Cypriot cultural heritage, as well as extensive public benefits programs, pioneering environmental protection projects, and medical research. Projects include studentships, a lectureship and the ‘Leventis Room’ within the Classics department at the University of Exeter.



Alumni, staff, students and members of the public are all invited to attend this event. Alumni can book their place by completing our online booking form.

Staff, students and members of the public can book a place by emailing