Mental well-being in ancient Greece: Commentary on the paper by I. Graiver “A Historical Perspective on Mental Health: Proposal for a Dialogue Between History and Psychology”

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Abstract

In her thought-provoking article, Graiver (see record 2021-21903-001) argues that many early Christian monks achieved sustained psychological health, perceived as joyful serenity by their contemporaries, and admired within their milieu and the society at large. This state was attained by means of dispassion (apatheia) and culminated in spiritual enlightenment. In the author's opinion, conclusions of this historical research call for a reassessment of modern attitudes to psychological health that can be construed only “in a culturally sensitive manner” (p. 1). In my opinion, limitation of the evidence on mental health in Ancient Greece to medical authors only is hardly justified. The word psuchê is virtually ignored by Greek medical authors. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-21
Number of pages5
JournalHistory of Psychology
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Christian monasticism
  • apatheia
  • history and psychology
  • late antiquity
  • mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Psychology (all)

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