Prostheses in classical antiquity: a taxonomy

Draycott, J. (2021) Prostheses in classical antiquity: a taxonomy. In: Adams, E. (ed.) Disability Studies and the Classical Body: The Forgotten Other. Routledge: London. ISBN 9780429273711

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The literary, documentary, archaeological, and bioarchaeological evidence attests that a variety of different types of prosthesis were used by Greeks and Romans to replace their missing body parts, but the ways that these prostheses were described, discussed, and conceptualised could be very different, with some being viewed with considerably more favour than others. In this chapter, I shall examine the discourses surrounding prostheses in classical antiquity in an attempt to determine the place that each type had in ancient culture and society, and the ways in which the type of prosthesis that an individual used could affect their life and lived experience, for better or for worse. I shall explore the extent to which an individual’s age, gender, status, or other significant factors about them had an impact upon not only the type of prosthesis they chose to use, but also the ways that they and their prostheses were viewed by their contemporaries. I shall propose that, although prostheses were not necessarily commonplace in classical antiquity, there was something of a recognised taxonomy.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Draycott, Jane
Authors: Draycott, J.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Classics
Published Online:14 May 2021
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