‘The ‘Lived’ Body in Pain. Illness and Initiation in Lucian’s Podagra and Aelius Aristides’ Hieroi Logoi’



Petridou, Georgia ORCID: 0000-0002-0101-3626
(2020) ‘The ‘Lived’ Body in Pain. Illness and Initiation in Lucian’s Podagra and Aelius Aristides’ Hieroi Logoi’. In: Lived Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World: Approaching Religious Transformations from Archaeology, History and Classics. DeGruyter, 237 - 259.

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Abstract

The ‘lived’ body is a concept I have borrowed from Meredith McGuire, a sociologist of religion whose work has contributed greatly to the conceptualization of the ‘Lived Ancient Religion’ approach. This paper employs recent advances in history of religions and socio-anthropology and divides its attention between Aelius Aristides’ Hieroi Logoi and Lucian’s Podagra, Lucian’s tragicomic take on gout. In a nutshell, the argument is that pain, both physical and mental, is the tertium comparationis in the cultural conception of illness as initiation that runs through both narratives. The perception of extreme physical pain and anguish as an initiation rite may not make immediate sense to the clinician, or indeed the patient, of the 21st century. However, this view of pain did resonate with the ‘lived’ bodies of members of the socio-political elite in the Antonine period. Raising awareness of this culture-specific cognitive process is, thus, a sine qua non for our understanding of the ‘lived’ body in that era.

Item Type: Book Section
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2020 09:49
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2021 12:10
DOI: 10.1515/9783110557596-013
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3075609