Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Philosophy, Science and the Sciences

Elena Bellini

Elena Bellini












Project Summary:

Herophilus and Erasistratus between tradition and innovation: the case of respiration

My project wants to offer a fresh perspective over the historical meaning of the innovations brought about by Herophilus of Chalcedon and Erasistratus of Ceos. Since a systematic analysis of their proceedings would have gigantic dimensions, not to mention the concrete risk of generalisation, I propose to narrow the focus to one single process: respiration. Now, never having been problematized the diversity emerging from their two theories of respiration, I believe that it would be particularly fruitful to regard Herophilus’ and Erasistratus’ account of it as paradigmatic of their methodology, while possibly shedding some light on the extent of the so-called “anatomical revolution” and its debts towards tradition.

Short CV:

Since November 2020
PhD candidate in History of Ancient Philosophy at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and part of the BerGSAS doctoral program “Ancient Philosophy and History of Ancient Science”.

M.A. in Philosophy and Forms of Knowledge (University of Pisa). Thesis: Il pensiero antico sulla respirazione. Da Omero ad Aristotele (Ancient theories of respiration. From Homer to Aristotle).


Erasmus year at the University of Oslo.

B.A. in Philosophy (University of Pisa). Thesis: L’epistemologia e la scienza del vivente nei libri De animalibus di Alberto Magno. (The epistemology of Albert the Great's commentary to Aristotle's zoological works).


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