Reading Seminar on Galen’s The Capacities of the Soul Follow the Mixtures of the Body (20-21 September 2019).
Each year in September Dutch and Belgian historians of ancient philosophy meet to read a particular text. This year the venue was the beautiful Westmalle abbey, a Cistercian monastery founded in 1794 and famous for its brewery of Trappist beer (in addition, the monks produce their own Trappist cheese in the abbey’s cheese workshop). The strict monastic regime provided the ideal circumstances for a close reading of Galen’s The Capacities of the Soul Follow the Mixtures of the Body on the basis of Bazou’s new edition. The Utrecht Galenists took turns in guiding the participants through the entire text and discussing points of philosophical interest e.g. the question how far Galen’s argument commits him to a materialist position on the body-soul relationship. A fair share of attention went towards the textual uncertainties marking this treatise of Galen’s old age. For the Galen group the reading seminar was an exquisite opportunity to exchange ideas and viewpoints with the other participants. The picture shows Aistė Čelkytė in learned confrontation with Jan van Ophuijsen.