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Dr. Rebecca Flemming named University of Exeter chair

Dr. Rebecca Flemming has been appointed as the first University of Exeter A. G. Leventis Chair in Ancient Greek Scientific and Technological Thought.

Flemming is best-known for her scholarship on ancient medicine, especially as it intersects with the social and cultural history of the Greco-Roman world, and the subjects of women, sexuality, and gender.

Dr. Rebecca Flemming
Dr. Rebecca Flemming. Photo courtesy of the University of Exeter.

The A. G. Leventis Chair in Ancient Greek Scientific and Technological Thought is funded through a donation from the A. G. Leventis Foundation. The start of this position in 2022 marks the 25th anniversary of the partnership between the foundation and the university.

This endowed position forms part of the Department of Classics and Ancient History in the College of Humanities, a leading international center for the study of all aspects of the ancient world and its reception and legacy, with a strong tradition of scholarship in ancient medicine and the scientific imagination.

Flemming will engage in teaching, research, and outreach activities. She will work to communicate the importance of ancient science and technology to a broad and diverse audience, through an innovative public engagement program, aiming to bring new participants into discussions around classical ideas and practices.

“I am excited to take up this timely and prestigious position and look forward to fostering new investigations and new conversations in the fields of ancient science and medicine as they include debates about connections between the environment, health, and disease, for example, as well as about methods of argument and proof,” said Flemming.

Flemming currently is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Classics at the University of Cambridge.

“We are delighted to have received this significant philanthropic donation to create the A. G. Leventis Chair in Ancient Greek Scientific and Technological Thought. There is a growing recognition of the need for a major expansion of research in ancient medicine and science, both to enhance our understanding of ancient Greek culture itself and to help us address some of the global challenges we face today. In bringing Rebecca to the University of Exeter as the inaugural holder of this Chair, we look forward to further developing this important field,” said Professor Jo Gill, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean, College of Humanities.

Scientific and technological innovation is a fundamental aspect of ancient Greek culture and its continuing legacy. Developments in philosophy and empirical research led to important innovations and wider intellectual interest in a range of fields including medicine, astronomy, zoology, botany, physics, ecology, mechanics, engineering, and automation. The University of Exeter’s Department of Classics and Ancient History already has established a strong reputation in the field, including through its recently established Centre for Knowledge in Culture in Antiquity and Beyond.

“Over the past 25 years, we have built a successful partnership with the University of Exeter and are delighted to extend our relationship with the support of this new Chair. This is a hugely important area of research and teaching and we are looking forward to following Dr. Flemming’s progress and seeing the impact that this work will have,” said Chairman, Anastasios Leventis from the A. G. Leventis Foundation.

The ambition of the A. G. Leventis Foundation is to disseminate Greek cultural heritage in a novel and engaging manner and transform the role of the discipline of classics within contemporary society.

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