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Release: Immediate

Yale scholar to lecture on history of medicine

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Language, culture and the body in ancient Greece will be the focus of a series of talks and seminars by a visiting scholar brought to the University of Iowa through the Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Lectureship. Heinrich von Staden, of Yale University, is an authority on ancient medicine, especially in Hellenistic Alexandria and Rome.

In giving others a glimpse of science and medicine in an ancient world, Von Staden seeks to provide an opportunity for scholars to reflect intensely and dispassionately about the contested themes of science in modern times.

Von Staden has edited and commented on the works of Herophilus, who, together with Erasistratus, discovered the nervous system. Those ancient discoveries set off a crisis in medicine and philosophy of science. His work has opened up a rich vein of thinking about larger themes in ancient medicine and culture, the focus of his lectures at the UI.

The main public lecture, "Shame and Responsibility: Ancient Motivations, Modern Interpretations," is Thursday, Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m., Iowa Memorial Union second floor Ballroom.

A reception will follow in the Ballroom. For information on additional events, contact the Project on Rhetoric of Inquiry, (319) 335-2753.

Von Staden will also discuss "Reading the Agonal Body: Conflict and Competition in 'Hippocrates'," Feb. 18, noon, East Room, 8th floor, John W. Colloton Pavilion, UI Hospitals and Clinics. To reserve one of the complementary box lunches for this event, please leave a message with Melanie DeVore at (319) 335-6706 or e-mail by Friday, Feb. 13.

These lectures are sponsored by the Ida Cordelia Beam Program, the office of the provost, Project on Rhetoric of Inquiry, department of classics, program in biomedical ethics and medical humanities, and the History of Medicine Society.

Ida Cordelia Beam, a native of Vinton, Iowa, willed her farm to the UI in 1977. Her only university connection was a relative who graduated from the College of Medicine. With the proceeds from the sale of the farm, the UI established a fund to bring top scholars in a variety of disciplines to the university for lectures and discussions.

-30- 2/10/98