ISAW's First Virtual Exhibition Coming Soon!

By Rachel Herschman

Now open! Click here to visit The Empire's Physician website.

We are pleased to announce that ISAW will be launching its first virtual exhibition this coming February, The Empire's Physician: Prosperity, Plague, and Healing in Ancient Rome. Presenting the life of the influential Roman doctor Galen (ca. 129­–216/7 CE), this richly-illustrated, interactive online exhibition will contextualize the doctor’s biography within the ancient medical landscape as well as within his broader historical situation. A learned, accomplished physician, he treated a range of patients—men and women, adults and children, citizens and emperors—afflicted with a variety of conditions. Additionally, he described the several crises of his day, including the Great Fire and the Antonine Plague. Galen’s prolific writings provide not only an account of the ancient healing arts and attendant debates, but also a broader sense of life in the Roman Empire.

The Empire's Physician will give visitors a chance to explore many different dimensions of this wide-ranging healer and thinker as well as diverse patient perspectives through personal narratives, historical descriptions, object histories, manuscripts, illuminations, anatomical illustrations, diagrams, architectural recreations, and more, in a scholarly-yet-accessible style.


The Empire’s Physician: Prosperity, Plague, and Healing in Ancient Rome is made possible by generous support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) and the Leon Levy Foundation. Additional support provided by Dr. Angelo D. Reppucci.