Editors: George N. Christodoulou, Dimitris N. Ploumpidis, Athanasios Karavatos
A new WPA book of the series “Anthologies of International Psychiatric Texts” has just appeared and will be launched at the Greek Embassy in Buenos Aires on Tuesday, 20th September at 7.00 p.m.
The Anthology of Greek Psychiatric Texts will be distributed free of charge to 10.000 participants of the 15th World Congress of Psychiatry in Buenos Aires.
The book consists of 519 pages, including a Preface by Helen Herrman, Mario Maj and Driss Moussaoui. Of special interest to the reader are three introductory articles by the editors of the book in which the historical evolution of psychiatric thinking from the time of Hippocrates and the Greek philosophers to modern times is presented. The various stages of this evolutionary process and the way in which the wisdom of the ancient Greek physicians and philosophers has influenced psychiatric thinking in modern Greece are presented. More specifically it is pointed out that following the fall of the Byzantine Empire, Greek physicians and philosophers have moved to the west where they have brought the light of ancient thinking. This light has returned to Greece in a mutated form by the students who have studied medicine in the West and have brought this ancient knowledge to modern Greece after their return to their motherland. Thus, loans have been followed by counter-loans.
This collection of articles contains a great number of authors ranging from Hippocrates, Plato, Aretaeus and Galen to modern professors of Psychiatry, like Patrikios, Anastasopoulos, Lyketsos, Diacoyiannis, Kouretas and others and a great variety of topics ranging from “the sacred disease” and hypnotism to psychoanalysis and early observations on “ the formation of delusional ideas under the influence of Hashish”. The interested reader will find some real jewels in this book.
Professor Christodoulou and his collaborators conclude the first of their introductory articles by stating that “scientific theory and practice do not exist in a vacuum but have roots in the past and that familiarizing ourselves with these roots will help us acquire a historical perspective of our discipline, learn from the past and build on our achievements”. This statement applies not only to Greek Psychiatry but to International Psychiatry as well.
The “Anthology of Greek Psychiatric Texts” can be downloaded from the website of the PAEEB (Psychiatric Association for Eastern Europe and the Balkans) (www.paeeb.com)