School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Professor Philip van der Eijk

Visiting Research Professor of Greek



Philip van der Eijk is Visiting Research Professor of Greek at Newcastle University. He was born in Delft, the Netherlands, and read Classics at Leiden University, where he received his doctorate in 1991 and where he held a Postdoctoral Fellowship funded by the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO) from 1991 to 1994. In 1994, he moved to Newcastle University to take up a Wellcome Trust University Award in the History of Medicine in the Classical World. At Newcastle, he was appointed (Personal) Professor of Greek in 1998, and Research Professor of Greek in 2005. With colleagues from Newcastle and Durham, he founded the Northern Centre for the History of Medicine in 2003, of which he was a Director until 2009. As of January 2010, he is Alexander von Humboldt Professor of Classics and History of Science at the Humboldt University in Berlin.


Research Interests

Ancient Medicine and Science, esp. the Hippocratic writings, Diocles of Carystus, Aristotle and the Aristotelian tradition, Galen and ancient Methodism; the history of medical historiography and the construction of canons; the communication and dissemination of medical ideas in antiquity; the comparative history of medicine in the Eastern Mediterranean; the history of melancholy and mental illness.

Main publications:

Medicine and Philosophy in Classical Antiquity. Doctors and Philosophers on Nature, Soul, Health and Disease, (Cambridge: CUP, 2005)
Diocles of Carystus. A Collection of the Fragments with Translation and Commentary, 2 Vols. (Leiden: Brill, 2000-1)
Ancient Histories of Medicine. Essays in Medical Doxography and Historiography in Classical Antiquity (Leiden: Brill, 1999)
Hippocrates in Context (Leiden: Brill, 2005)
Ancient Medicine in its Socio-Cultural Context (with H.F.J. Horstmanshoff and P.H. Schrijvers, 2 Vols. (Amsterdam-Atlanta: Rodopi, 1995)


Ancient Philosophy, in particular Aristotelian philosophy and Neoplatonism; philosophy of mind; philosophical theology; ethics.

Main publications:

Philoponus On Aristotle On the Soul 1.1-2 and 1.3-5, 2 Vols. (London: Duckworth, 2005-6)
Aristoteles. De insomniis. De divinatione per somnum (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1994)


Early Christian Literature and Thought, especially Nemesius of Emesa and Origen

Main publication:

Nemesius of Emesa. On the Nature of Man (with R.W. Sharples), (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2008)


Comparative Literature, especially German literature of the late 19th and early 20th century.

Main publications:

Translations (with introductory essays and notes) of Rainer Maria Rilke, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Georg Trakl, Gottfried Benn and Novalis.

Current work
  • Aristotle, Aristotelianism and Medical History
  • The Rhetoric of Ancient Scientific Discourse
  • Cambridge Galen Translations
  • Historiography and Canonisation in Ancient Science
  • Ancient Concepts of Mental Health and Mental Illness
  • The History of the Medical Encyclopaedia in Late Antiquity
  • Accessing Ancient Medicine