Hercules and epilepsy: the sacred disease

Project: Research Project

Project Details


Epilepsy is one of the medical conditions for which there are oldest descriptions, some of them more than 2,000 years ago. Over time it has had multiple names, almost all of them in disuse. In ancient Greece it was called the sacred disease and it was considered that it was the product of a decision of the gods, who sent it to some mortals. One of these denominations, morbus herculi - mal herculeo is the object of the investigation. Heracles (name in Greek), Hercules the one assigned in Roman mythology was the son of Zeus and a mortal named Alcmena. It was the result of one of the many infidelities of God, and Hera, the wife of Zeus decided to take revenge by becoming a fierce enemy of the illegitimate son of her husband. She produced serious behavioral disorders classified as madness, leading him to commit murder. In order to redeem himself, he had to complete twelve jobs that he successfully carried out, becoming one of the greatest heroes of Greek and Roman mythology. The name Herculean evil comes from the fact that a person can, during a focal or bilateral seizure, make very strong movements, as was the mythological character, or from the idea that Hercules may have suffered from epilepsy.
Effective start/end date1/1/2012/31/20

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Main Funding Source

  • Installed Capacity (Academic Unit)


  • Bogotá D.C.


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