• The Open University

Health and Wellbeing in the Ancient World

Use literary and archaeological evidence to see how ancient Greeks and Romans approached health, well-being and societal issues.

29,288 enrolled on this course

Health and Wellbeing in the Ancient World

Understand Greek and Roman approaches to health and well-being

What did being healthy in ancient Rome or Greece look like? How can we tell what well-being meant in ancient times?

This online course will help you investigate these questions, using both literary and archaeological evidence, to uncover details of real life in ancient societies.

We will divide the body up into organs and systems, using each to explore ancient theories on the structure and function of the human body.

We will discover what ancient societies thought about topics that we still wrestle with today – from the relationship between mind and body, to sexuality, ageing and gender.

What topics will you cover?

  • What is health? Ancient and modern perspectives on health and disease
  • Medicine, religion and magic
  • Using online resources
  • Vision: theories of sight, approaches to eye disease, including drugs and surgery
  • Body modifications
  • Diet and digestion
  • Human waste: using evidence from toilets and sewers
  • Conception and birth: theories and practices
  • Ideal bodies and disabled bodies
  • The health of the army: recruiting and treating soldiers

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Develop confidence in exploring the variety of fields that constitute classical studies.
  • Explore and become familiar with open-access resources for classical studies.
  • Develop the ability to critically analyse primary sources.
  • Apply and gain skills in analysing complex problems based on fragmentary evidence.
  • Engage with contemporary interpretations and scholarly debates.

Who is the course for?

There are no special requirements for this course, but an interest in the ancient world or classics might be useful.

Who will you learn with?

I'm Professor Emerita in Classical Studies at The Open University. My main research interests are in the history of medicine and I'm passionate about extending access to learning for everyone.

I have an interest in sensory studies, and how this helps us to understand human experience in the ancient Roman world. See more at: http://www.open.ac.uk/people/eb2278

Who developed the course?

The Open University

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning, with a mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.

  • Established

    1969
  • Location

    Milton Keynes, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020
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Upgrade this course for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year. Or, join with basic access.

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$74

Unlock your expertise

  • Access to this course
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Certificate when you're eligible

Unlimited

$15.83/month

Billed annually at $189.99/year

Endless possibilities!

  • All of the above for ALL eligible short courses, for a year*

*Digital certificates only

Basic access

Free

Try before you buy

  • Limited access to course content for 8 weeks

Find out more about certificates, Upgrades or Unlimited.

Available until 22 November 2021 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Find out more about certificates, Upgrades or Unlimited.

Available until 22 November 2021 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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