Sick with fear in Mesopotamia

“Sick with Fear” examines the culturally specific handling of diseases as triggers of fear in the different societies of Mesopotamia. The focus lies on the coping strategies, curative treatments, adaptation and prevention strategies developed by different groups of people (like family units) up to entire societies. Methodologically, the project uses the complementary perspectives of philology and archaeology to analyse the object of investigation. The issue of how the collective dealt with illness as an individual as well as a societal threat bridges ancient studies to the present. In this context, the project illustrates how the driving force of fear as a universal part of being human and at the same time a socio-cultural construct can be navigated and sometimes misused. The long-term goal of the project is to consolidate and expand emotion research in Ancient Near Eastern Studies, and with it the emergence of a more comprehensive funding application (ANR-DFG). The project is led by the University of Freiburg and carried out in cooperation with the University of Strasbourg. Eucor – The European Campus supports the consortium with the Seed Money funding instrument in the “Research and Innovation” funding line.

This project is now closed. You can find out more about its implementation here: