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Alexandria in the early Hellenistic period was a hothouse of innovation in a variety of fields: politics, religion, literature, science, and technology. This project is concerned with the innovations associated with two medical theorists and practitioners in particular: Herophilus of Chalcedon and Erasistratus of Ceos, both active in Alexandria during the first half of the 3rd century BC. How did they build on, adapt, and break away from earlier models of human biology, most notably the one represented by Aristotle and his school? What motivated their innovative work? What made it possible? A salient case is represented by human anatomy: both men engaged in the dissection of human (as opposed to animal) bodies, regarding anatomy and physiology as fundamental to (clinical) medicine. What explains the emergence of dissection of human bodies as an integral part of medicine, in spite of traditional religious and moral scruples as well as scientific objections? And its abandonment soon after Herophilus and Erasistratus? A fresh perspective may be gained by studying this case of attempted innovation in terms of anchoring. Next to medicine itself, social, moral, and religious aspects need to be taken into account. Applicants are invited to respond creatively to the problem as described above and develop their own proposal (title, research question, scholarly background, aims, method, corpus) for a research project dealing with Alexandrian medicine from a historical perspective.
More information about the Anchoring Innovation research agenda of OIKOS can be found on the OIKOS website, including an article by Ineke Sluiter, entitled “Anchoring Innovation: a Classical Research Agenda”.
Tasks of the PhD candidate will include:
We are looking for a colleague who has:
We offer a temporary position for 4 years (1.0 FTE), the starting date of which is yet to be agreed, but with a preference for 1 April 2020. Initially a contract will be given for 18 months. An extension for the following 30 months will be granted on the condition of a good performance as well as a positive evaluation. The gross salary starts at €2,325 in the first year, increasing to €2,972 in the fourth year (scale P Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) for a fulltime employment.
Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information about working at Utrecht University can be found here.
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