When comparing Greek and Babylonian medicine, the role of magic or mageia in general within healing contexts is one of the crucial problems. How can we re-assess our perception of the ‘magical’ component in Greek medicine in relation to that of its neighbours? Is magic to be disclaimed as ‘superstition’, as the readings of classical authors might suggest?

Heinrich von Staden from thr Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton will open the discussion with a talk on aspects of magic in Greek and Roman healing practices, and Markham J. Geller from the BabMed research project at Freie Universität Berlin will respond with comments from a Babylonian perspective.