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MPhil. Dr. Christine F. Salazar


Research Interests:

Medical practice in antiquity, in particular wound treatment and trauma surgery; Greek medical terminology and the way in which it changes over time; Late antique and early Byzantine medicine;

The transmission of medical knowledge and ways in which authors use earlier sources in their work

© Erika Borbély Hansen


Christine F. Salazar was born in Vienna, where she also took her undergraduate degree in 1974. After a long gap (living in Tokyo, teaching French and German at Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages), she returned to her studies to do an MPhil in History of Medicine, followed by a PhD in Classics (‘The Treatment of War Wounds in Graeco-Roman Antiquity’), both at the University of Cambridge. The following years were mainly taken up with translations, supervisions and occasional lectures at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science (University of Cambridge), then copy-editing for Cambridge University Press. From 2001 to 2010 she worked freelance for Brill Academic Publishers (Leiden, The Netherlands) as editor-in-chief of Brill’s New Pauly, Encyclopaedia of the Ancient World, the English version of Der neue Pauly. She has also given occasional seminars on Greek and Roman medicine, as well as acting as supervisor for dissertations on ancient medicine at the Medizinische Universität Wien. From 2010 until 2014 she was Research Associate on the ‘Towards a Galen in English’ project, Newcastle University, preparing a translation with commentary of Galen’s ‘Commentary on the Prognostic of Hippocrates’. Currently she is a Research Associate (with a 0.5 post) at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, as part of Philip van der Eijk’s Teilprojekt A03 ‘Der Transfer medizinischer Episteme in den “enzyklopädischen” Sammelwerken der Spätantike’ within SFB 980, ‘Episteme in Bewegung. Wissenstransfer von der alten Welt bis in die frühe Neuzeit’.

Project Abstract

For the current project I intend to look closely at the concepts of crisis and critical days in Galen’s commentaries on Hippocratic works, especially the commentary on Prognostikon (of which I am preparing the first complete translation into a modern language, with commentary), but also those on the Aphorisms and the Epidemics. Writing about 500 years after the earlier writings collected in the Hippocratic Corpus, Galen was of the opinion that readers in his own time needed explanations (in some cases more extensive than the original) in order to understand these texts, partly because of changes in the meaning of words, and partly because of what he saw as intentional brevity or obscurity. This was supposed to be a characteristic of the famous Hippocrates, whom he considered to be the author. In Galen’s view the critical days are extremely important for the development of an illness, with changes in the symptoms taking on a different meaning according to when they occur.

Time permitting, I would also like to investigate the importance of certain times of the year for diagnosis, treatment or the preparation of remedies. The humours in the body, the balance of which is the basis of good health, are subject to changes according to the seasons among other factors, so it makes sense for example to expect different effects depending on when drugs are prepared.

Curriculum vitae

Since 2013

Research Associate at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, as part of SFB/CRC (Collaborative Research Centre) 980, Episteme in Motion. Transfer of Knowledge from the Ancient World to the Early Modern Period, Project A03: The Greek Medical Encyclopaedias of Late Antiquity.


Research Associate on the Towards a Galen in English project (supported by the Wellcome Trust), Newcastle University, preparing a translation with commentary of Galen’s ‘Commentary on the Prognostic of Hippocrates’.

2007– 2011

Holder (part-time) of a grant from the Oesterreichische Nationalbank Jubiläumsfonds for the project ‘Early Byzantine Medicine – A Sourcebook’.


PhD in Classics, University of Cambridge


MPhil in History of Medicine, University of Cambridge


Mag.phil. in Italian and Ancient History, University of Vienna, Austria

Selected Publications

'Treating the commander – and everyone else; rank and survival’, in: R. Breitwieser, F. Humer, E. Pohammer, R. Arnott (eds), Medizin und Militär – Soldiers and Surgeons. Beiträge zur Wundversorgung und Verwundetenfürsorge im Altertum. Akten des IV. internationalen Kolloquiums, 17.-19. September 2015. Archäologischer Park Carnuntum, Neue Forschungen Band 15. Amt der NÖ Landesregierung, Abteilung Kunst und Kultur, St. Pölten 2018, 57-63.

‘Continuity and innovation in Paul of Aegina’s chapters on headaches and migraines’, in: L. Lehmhaus and M. Martelli (eds), Collecting Recipes. Byzantine and Jewish Pharmacology in Dialogue.  Science, Technology and Medicine in Ancient Cultures, vol. 4. De Gruyter, Boston/Berlin 2017, 175-93.

‘Caring for the sick and wounded’, in: B. Campbell, L. Tritle (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Warfare in the Classical World, Oxford University Press, ch. 14, Oxford 2013, 294-311.

As editor: Brill’s New Pauly. Encyclopaedia of the Ancient World. [English version of H. Cancik and H. Schneider (eds), Der neue Pauly.] Brill, Leiden/Boston: vols. 1-15 and Atlas, 2002-2010.

The Treatment of War Wounds in Graeco-Roman Antiquity. Studies in Ancient Medicine 21. Brill, Leiden 2000.

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