Are our current understandings of emotions and of how they affect our mental health, deeply-rooted in history? What is the science behind certain emotional states? What roles do emotions have in literature, myth and art within ancient Greek and Roman society? How did the ancients respond to emotions and mental health issues? We will examine the history and nature of emotional states and mental health in ancient Greece and Rome. Some of the topics covered will be; anger, grief, jealously, lovesickness, melancholy, conceptions of madness and how understandings of emotions in the ancient world relate to our current world.
By completion of this course, successful students will be able to:
- Discuss how different ancient Greek and Roman societies perceived and responded to mental health matters
- Define how myth and representations in art have influenced ancient medical developments in writing, and architecture
- Become familiar with ancient sources which have influenced psychology and medicine two millennia later
- Explore the notion that perhaps emotions do not occur in our current society only but have been experienced by humans throughout history