There are many groups that are often overlooked in both ancient and modern societies. One of those are people with disabilities, and we were fortunate to talk to expert Dr Debby Sneed about her work on impairment in antiquity. Dr Sneed has examined a range of sources about this topic, including human remains, temples and textual evidence.
Her focus has mostly been on physical impairments that leave a trace in human remains. Sneed's focus is ancient Greece, but we couldn’t resist bringing Rome into the conversation every now and then!
In order to make this episode as accessible as possible, a full transcript will be provided for this episode.
Special Episode - Disability in Ancient Greece with Dr Debby Sneed
What's up for discussion?
In this conversation we delve into a number of questions, including:
* How do you classify a disability in this line of research?* How many people in the ancient world would have had a disability?* What kinds of sources are available for studying disability in the ancient world?* What would life have been like for people with disabilities in the ancient world?
Topics that come up in the conversation:
* Artistic representations of disability in Greece and Rome* The Panhellenic Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidauros with its eleven ramps!* The practice of infanticide in ancient Greece* Disability and impairment among the elite including King Agesilaus II of Sparta, Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, and the Roman Emperor Claudius * Welfare systems in ancient Athens, as highlighted by Lysias 24, For The Disabled Man.
If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out some of the suggested readings. This is a huge topic, and we did not get the chance to discuss issues that leave less of a physical trace, such as blindness or muteness, nor did we touch on disabilities that might have arisen from disease or mental illness.
You can also follow Dr Sneed on Twitter @debscavator and track her research at Academic.edu.
This vase by the 'Clinic Painter' is one of Dr Debby Sneed's favourites. It may show two men in a courtship pose, but this is still debated by scholars. One of the men is a dwarf or little person.Photograph by Maria Daniels, courtesy of the Musée du Louvre, January 1992.
Hello, there! You are in for a treat and you're going to be hearing a special episode from The Partial Historians. Today we're going to be talking to Dr. Debby Sneed. Dr. Debby Sneed is a lecturer in Classics at California State University. She has a PhD in Archaeology from UCLA. And a MA in Classics from the University of Colorado, at Boulder, as well as a BA in English and History from the University of Wyoming. She has worked on archaeological projects in Greece, Italy, Ethiopia, and the American Southwest.
[00:00:46] And she's currently working on a monograph about disability accommodations in ancient Greece.