MEDICAL IN ANCIENT GREECE – ASKLIPIOS – HIPPOCRATES – GALENOS – Dioscouridis & More
In ancient Greece the god of medicine and health was Asclepius. (Check up page: Hippocrates – Asclepius school)
Mercury (Hermes) & merchant approach disapproving Asclepius (Physician) and the naked Graces ( Meditrine , Hygeia and Panacea )
According to mythology, Asclepius was the son of Apollo and Coronis, daughter of the king of Thessaly, phlegyas. When the Koronis was pregnant, expecting the child of Apollo, he fell in love and married a mortal, the power load. Apollo enraged by this and ordered his sister, the goddess Artemis, to kill Koronis, did. While the dead body of Coronis burning Apollo took the baby from her womb and gave it to the centaur Chiron to grow.
Chiron taught Asclepius medicine and hunting. Asclepius participated later in the Argonauts with Jason and his sons fought in the Trojan war. The ancient Greeks imagined Asclepius as a strong man with beard sitting on a throne. The sacred animal was the snake and the symbol was a stick.
ASKLIPIOS – Ασκληπιός from: ΑΣΚΕΛΗΣ + ΠΙΟΣ (= haggard + Humble) is the one who”turns the hard & dry illness into healthy mildness stage “.
In Greek mythology there was the face of Machaon. He was the son of the god Asklepios and Ipionis and patron of doctors. Today, no doctor in Greece does not know! The Machaon participated, in Homer, the Trojan war and took care of the wounded and sick of the Greeks (Achaean).
Asklipios Bellow: Asklipios & Ipioni on Ivory sculpture
The Greeks had the great temple of Asclepius in Epidaurus and many other churches across the country were called “Asclepieia” (in fact hospitals were) the most important of which was the island Kos. These spaces attending patients. There the god priests gave various herbal medicines and recommend the appropriate diet. Patients purified and having offered their gifts to the temples. After undoing in rooms in which the night was coming, supposedly, the god transformed – usually in snake – and healed them. In fact the treatment was done by the priests who were using natural medicines and often did surgeries !!!
At Epidaurus Asklepios was worshiped from the 16th century BC Originally the god worshiped in the temple of Epidaurus. The Asklepieion of Epidaurus had more religious character, unlike the Asklepieion of Kos had more scientific nature. The Temple of Asclepius in Epidaurus had inside the gold and ivory statue of the god was seated on his throne holding a stick. In Asklepion came sick from all over Greece and after the entire known world. Patients initially made a sacrifice to Asclepius father, Apollo, who also was a doctor. Indeed, Apollo and he was considered god of medicine and a skillful surgeon. In the sanctuary of Asclepius were medical instruments such as scalpels, and there were also medical procedures!
In Asklepion of Epidaurus was a place, the “Abaton”, where the patient is asleep. During sleep the insight given to the way in which they should act so as to cure and heal and others. In the 4th century BC the Asklepieion created spa and patients about the benefits to their health spas, as they do today in spas. At the same time in storey building Asklepios at Epidaurus were built two other floors, to accommodate the dozens of patients who flocked from across the country.
The first established medicine was the philosopher (disciple of Pythagoras) Alkmaion (late 6th – early 5th century BC) of Croton, a Greek colony in southern Italy. First he argued that the brain is the center of consciousness and physiological functions. The Alkmaion wrote the first medical book: the “On Nature” (common titles for older philosophers).
The Alkmaion, among others, described the optic nerve and the Eustachian tube in the ear. Also invented surgical instruments and did brain surgery. The Chalkidios featuring Alkmaiona as the father of anatomy, while others describe him as the father of medicine. The writer describes the grandfather of medicine! The Alkmaion established medicine and later Hippocrates of made them a science.
Equally important is the contribution of Empedocles in medicine. Empedocles (494-434 BC) was from Agrigento (Greek colony in Sicily). He dealt with physics, music and medicine. In medicine was the first to speak about the development of the human organism. He said the bodies of man from birth, undergo a process in which progressively developed and refined – as generally all tissues of the human body.
Also important was the contribution of the Diogenis Apoloniates (Apollonia Crete) was a philosopher of the 5th century BC Diogenes lived in Athens as a doctor. Probably went to dissections in corpses, since anatomically describe the circulatory system of man.
In Asklepion Kos before Hippocrates, the great physician, was Aineios (6th-5th century BC).
Hippocrates (460-377 BC) is the father of medicine. He lived on the island Kos. His father was a priest at the Asklepieion of Kos, where patients flocked from all regions of the country. His medical liked so he decided to deal with it. His studies debunking the disease that until then considered as a punishment from God and made a unique issue of Asclepius priests, doctors in training field – scientists.
Aslepius temple in Rome
By Hippocrates the cause of the disease is the very sick and the doctor needs to consider carefully to find it. Hippocrates founded a clinical examination of the patient (overview, percussion, palpation, listening – with ear then) and went on innovative methods of treatment with herbs, herbal teas etc. It was reported elsewhere that this was the first to discover the healing powers of Willow containing acetylsalicylic acid in late 19th century, the German company BAYER manufactured in synthetic form: the known to us all, aspirin! Aspirin is a painkiller, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory and protects against heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease (dementia).
Hippocrates dealt with anatomy. Also invented special surgical instruments and proceeded in difficult surgeries. Such were the opening of the chest (thoracotomy), the trepanation of the skull (for cerebral edema or volume) n. A. The surgical instruments used were scalpels, forceps, endoscopes Exclamation mark, cranial tools for cranial surgery, forceps for childbirth and many other tools. Surgical instruments used by the disinfected before surgery, in fire or old wine (rich in alcohol).
The reputation of Hippocrates was huge and influenced all subsequent philosophers and doctors (medical). Hippocrates wrote his famous oath in which even today swear graduates all of the world’s medical schools. Among other oath says:
“… I recommend to my patients diet that science and the crisis I consider more appropriate and will chase away from them any harm and damaging food. I will never give them poison (see. Today euthanasia), nor give them incorrect advice (vl.simera medical errors and medical malpractice). Nor would prevent women from conceiving (in ancient Greece the family and children was something sacred) and will help them to have an abortion (see. Today unwanted pregnancies and abortions). Above all I would keep my life pure and undefiled my art. In that house will go only offer assistance to the sick and will depart every wrongful act and profane contact. And that listen from now on in the exercise of my medical duties on the common life of the people, if I am not allowed, I clam up and keep it secret, closely guarded … “.
With his last words Hippocrates and introduces the concept of medical confidentiality.
Hippocrates had school in Kos, wrote 59 books. First he talked about acute diseases like saying, kill most patients. He spoke about chronic diseases. Also described many diseases and symptoms such as pleurisy, pneumonia, the “frenitin” (fever with delirium), the lethargy, the “heat” (high fever) etc. Hippocrates gave great importance to the prevention of diseases and know the phrase: “Kallion (better) prevention is despite the cure.”
This was the general belief of the ancient Greeks who followed healthier life: the right diet (standard diet, the ancient Greek) and continuous exercise (from childhood). Moreover, few know that Hippocrates even founded homeopathy, centuries before its founder. This was the German physician Samuel Hahnemann started his experiments in 1813, 183 patients with typhus that had success 99. 95% !!!
Hippocrates founded homeopathy with the famous phrase: “like the like eisin remedies’, the same can be treated with the same. It is not unlikely Hippocrates and other doctors of ancient Greece to using homeopathic medicines, ie potent drugs diluted to such an extent that is not toxic but can cause symptoms similar to the disease and the mechanism to heal.
Generally, the ancient Greeks had developed the medicine that has experienced particular growth in the time of Hippocrates. First, first discovered the immunity acquired by the body after the attack from certain infections. This describes Thucydides saying that the plague in Athens in 430 BC, who got sick and survived any disease.
Also, the ancient Greeks used various therapeutic agents, such as bleeding (it might help to pulmonary edema and in some other diseases such as heart disease and kidney disease), medication herbal, administration of infusions, cauterization wounds, proper diet ( which today usually neglected) any illness, surgery – where necessary, as well as baths. In other words, first the ancient Greeks created the holistic medicine and seeing each patient as an individual, as a unique personality. Not see him as a figure, commodity and customer as modern medicine has enslaved to pharmaceutical companies and physicians are professionals …
The ancient Greeks usually die in old age, if we exclude deaths from wars and epidemics. This can determine the reader with the periods that were born the ancient Greeks died listed in this book. Most listed here, died after 70 !!! Unacceptable ‘surveys’ some (non-Greek) “scholars” of envy have supposedly low average life of the ancient Greeks.
The low average age in Greece applicable since the early to mid 20th century AD (Hunger, constant wars). Generally, the Greeks are characterized by their longevity. The current exceptions are due to the adoption of western lifestyle and especially the western diet causes heart disease and cancer. Besides, toxic and carcinogenic substances are everywhere: in the air, in food, in the water we drink, even in breast milk !!! The natural medicines of ancient Greek containing the substances pharmacology later isolated and proceeded to synthetic production.
In ancient Greece there were many medical schools such as Kos (Hippocrates) and Knidos (Greek colony in Asia Minor. – Opposite Kos). In Knidos was known physician Eudoxus lived in the 4th century BC There were also many Asclepieia was – as discussed above – temples in honor of the god Asklepios. In essence it was infirmaries and were called as the first hospital !!! We mentioned before the Asklepieion of Epidaurus. Other big Asclepieia was Athens, Kos and Pergamon.
Pergamos was a city in the Middle. Asia during the Hellenistic period became the capital of the kingdom of Pergamon. Medical schools in ancient Greece were in Kos by Hippocrates in Cyrene (Greek colony in Libya) and Croton (Greek colony in southern Italy) – from Alkmaiona. However, it is noted that all the ancient Greeks had medical knowledge and even in Athens and in many other cities and young people were taught the lesson of medicine, as part of their schooling! This unfortunately is not the current school …
Philolaus of Croton
Besides Hippocrates, in the middle of the 5th Philolaos century lived in Croton in southern Italy (Greek colony). Philolaos was Pythagorean philosopher and physician. After the destruction of the School of Pythagoreans in Croton, Filolaos fled to Thebes where he taught. When Filolaou diseases should seek the juices of man, ie blood, bile and phlegm. This accepts modern medicine with blood tests, biochemical tests and sputum (infection or macroscopic cancer or tuberculosis). Philolaos said also that excessive hot or cold, and too much food can cause diseases. As regards overeating known scourge of the western world, obesity. About extreme cold causes frostbite and vulnerability to infection, while excessive hot causes heat stroke.
Even Aristotle had medical knowledge. His parents were Asclepiadae and even his father Nicomachus( =Battle winner) was physician to the court of King of Macedonia Amyntas B. From his father, Aristotle taught medicine which broadcast and Alexander the Great student. Alexander seemed particularly useful medicine in his campaign in Asia and even special diets recommended in patients soldiers.
Herophilus the Chalkidonios
Another great physician, was Herophilus of Chalcedon in Bithynia who lived in the 3rd century BC The Herophilus brought the medicine in Alexandria and was the first anatomist. He cuts rather animal and not human. But perhaps eventually made it to the man, as accused for that. Moreover, it is said that the Ptolemies in Egypt allowed the anatomy to criminals bodies. In general, the anatomy in the human body was prohibited until shortly after the years of the Renaissance. The Herophilus distinguished tendons of the vessels, described the nervous system, stood out the motor from the sensory nerves and said that the seat of the mind is the brain. Also studied the liver, duodenum (that gave the name of the related length), prostate, lung, brain (brain correlated to the nervous system), the lymphatic vessels and liver.
The Herophilus distinguished the optic nerve and studied the eye, naming the retina and cornea. Great importance is given to the proper diet and exercise, which accepts the modern cardiology. The Herophilus and invented an instrument for the study of beats, because he realized the diagnostic and clinical worthy !!!
At the same time as Herophilus, ie the 3rd century BC, lived and Erasistratus from Kea (island of Cyclades) made in Alexandria anatomy and research on the heart. Erasistratus considered one of the founders of the anatomy. Note that Bithynia (area in northwestern Asia Minor.) Born Herophilus and generally southwestern Asia and Egypt were then Hellenistic kingdoms founded by Alexander the Great ruled that his successors and many Greeks lived there.
After Hippocrates, the greatest physician of antiquity was Claudius Galenos was the founder of experimental physiology and descriptive anatomy. Galenos was a Greek. He was born in 129 or 131 AD Pergamon in Asia Minor. (formerly Hellenistic kingdom passed to the Romans). He was son of Nicias architect. From child Galen frequented the Asklepieion city that the Greeks founded as in other cities in the territory of southwestern Asia. There, patients flocked from around the world. Galenos was attending medical school doctors to practice the medical profession. At age 14 he began philosophy and medicine courses. Note that in ancient medicine was an integral part of philosophy. Teacher was the Satyr, a student of the great anatomist Quintus.
Later, at age 16, Galenos began his medical studies in Pergamum and continued in Smyrna (Greek Ionian colony), Corinth and Alexandria. In Alexandria did anatomy animal. In 161 AD Galenos went to Rome, where he healed the Aristotelian philosopher Eudemus, the moment that no doctor could not cure him. This satisfied both Evdimos set up by Galenos in aristocratic circles and made him famous.
The reputation of Galen came as the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius and Lucius-Regent Oniro made Galenos official doctor of the court! Galenos gave many lectures and wrote several books. He died in 199 or 201 AD Unfortunately, his books – which were kept in the Temple of Peace – destroyed by fire. So they will stay hidden forever many of the innovative drugs and surgeries Galenos.
Galenos believed that good health was the result of a balance of four juices of the body: blood, bile, black bile and phlegm. Any disturbance in this balance or poor mixing juice leads to disease. Anatomy first, centuries before Darwin, discovered the similarity between man and ape !!! So used monkeys from northern Africa to anatomical studies (anatomy in humans above that forbidden). He also did anatomy in pigs.
Galenos studied the anatomy of the uterus, eye diseases and the movement of the chest and lungs during breathing. He described the liver and heart valves! Singled arteries from veins and said that the first releases his pure blood. Until then believed that the arteries circulating air. However, this is not a completely wrong and blood gases – oxygen and carbon dioxide – are transported in the blood dissolved. Mostly, however, found in red blood cells which are bound by and are released into the bloodstream.
Galenos reported that more blood is in the aorta. He said that the blood pumped into the aorta from the left ventricle after being passed through the right. Galenos spoke about muscle movement, breathing, semen, lung cancer, tumors, liver cirrhosis, convulsions and epilepsy (the sacred disease of the ancient Greeks), shivering, the delirium tremens, tuberculosis, stones in the bile and spleen ailments. Also dealt with the diet, he built many surgeries and medications.
Specifically manufactured teas, extracts and preparations, for example, drug plants such as opium, henbane and the bulbs squill. The last used them as cordial, diuretic and expectorant drug! Therapeutically used the poison of vipers! Today various poisons such as beeswax, of snakes and other natural substances (trunk fir, sharks and other substance) scientists searching drugs for cancer therapy. Some of them, in laboratory studies, stabilize or reduce tumor size or prevent irrigation with blood.
It should also mention the name of the Pedaniou Dioscorides who was a Greek physician, botanist and pharmacist of the 1st century AD by Anazargo of Cilicia. He wrote the book “On medical matter” 77 AD.
The Pedanius Dioscorides (40-90 AD) was an important physician, pharmacologist and botanist from Anazarbus of Cilicia, known for his five-volume work “On medical matter”, the most influential in pharmacology until 1600 AD . There are many copies of his work, even in the 5th century. Considered the leading pharmacologist of antiquity, the scientific contribution of which is considered equivalent to that of botany Theophrastus . Manuscripts by Dioscorides treatise, especially the oldest, as the code of the monastery of Great Lavra of Mount Athos, Konstantinoupoulis located in Vienna’s library, Naples and Michigan are of particular interest. In miniature of the 15th century is represented by Sofia shows a plant and a painter to portray who writes it.
2 Archival material
3 Other works
4.1 Greek literature
7 External links
Life [edit | edit source]
Portrait of Dioscorides, Lefnten 1603
He was born around 40 AD the city Anazarbus Cilicia (pt. Northern Turkey) and little information delivered on his youth. Dioscorides was particularly inclined to study plants and herbs from an early age. After finishing medical studies at Tarsus near Supreme Court of Asklipieiadas School served to research the pharmacological properties of many plants, following the Roman army in several Mediterranean countries , serving as a doctor and having the responsibility of care for the injured.
His name Pedanius acquirer when it was adopted by the Roman family of Pedanion to acquire Roman citizenship rights. It was named Pedanius more to be distinguished from the: poet Dioscorides, and the historian Dioscorides.
He knew the properties of mandrake(μανδραγόρα), the therapeutic value and utility for premedication and sedation . He had also noticed and described the phenomenon of allergic shock from taking drugs .
Dioscorides recorded more than 1,000 drugs, the majority of which came from plants. He also described substances that are now known as antiseptic, anti-inflammatory or contraceptives. Copies of the multi-volume work “On medical matter” were in constant circulation and used in practice by the heyday of the Roman Empire.
The first Latin version dates from 1478, a few decades after the invention of printing. The influence of his work spans at least until the Renaissance period and generally estimated tell Dioskourides methods of observation offered a solid foundation for the development of pharmacological science. Apart from its value as a medical textbook, high value is considered the wealth of information that gives the plants and herbs of southeastern Europe.
From Antiquity to the Renaissance, and later with the typography, the “On Ylis Medicine” was writen to all then known languages in the West and in the East, and to the 19th century. He was a model for all medicinal books.
The Arabs called it even Dioscorides “Envoy of God Botanikis” .The most famous and valuable copy that is kept today in the Vienna National Library (Cod med.gr. 1). Copied by “commandment of residents and guilds of Pera in 512 AD and donated to Julian on amic. Other precious copies are the Code of Naples in 512 AD, several Arab codes, and the famous Turkish codes Topkapı Istanbul.
Certainly, Dioscorides not found himself the properties of all these plants. As pointed out by E. Mpaouman in his book “The Greek Flora ‘knowledge about the healing properties of nature are lost in the mists of time, and the first recording of treatment with herbs owe to Theophrastus. But the feat is that Dioscorides had recognized as therapeutic approximately 500 plants from 6000 found in Greece (8%), while today only 5% of the 600,000 plants that grow worldwide has erefnithei.To “Great Safflower”, one of 70 Centaur growing in Greece and still holds the name “Chiron” or “Blood of Hercules”, reminds us that the Centaur Chiron had affixed this herb on the wound that caused him Hercules. O Dioscorides considers herb valuable drug for the treatment of open wounds.
The “Elenion” is rather the “chiffons Cheironion” Theophrastus, the current Inola heleniom. Its roots contain substances Alantolaktoni, Inulin, etc. and used stimulant, a stimulant, such as for the treatment of respiratory diseases or angina. And today is used in chronic cough or chronic duodenal ulcer. In trade we find the name Hanopect or within the elixir Mellissengeist.I Mandrake root of the plant is already used by Homer as hypnotic and / or as a painkiller. The son of Asclepius Machaon had used on the wound of Philoctetes. In other cases they chewed piece for hypnotic. Dioscorides was getting juice from the root of mandrake was making and diluted mixture for controlled dosage, because high doses could be dangerous. The root of the mandrake contains alkaloids like Hyoscyamine, scopolamine and atropine. Still, there are homeopathic medicines prepared from the root of like Anhaloniom, Claoparest etc. But they have been replaced by purely chemical preparations. Being the first known hypnotic, the Mandrake has been chosen as the emblem of Greek Society of Anesthesiologists.
The atropos, the current Atropa belladonna, is a tall shrub toxic properties of which had described Dioscorides. The weight of an ancient drachma could cause fantasies in a double dose fantasies kept four days, and a quadruple dose cause death. Ten or twelve fruits are fatal. Name Belladona (Bella Donna) mean good woman because few drops of the fruit in the eyes causing dilated pupil, which is considered to embellish old women. Atropine is also used in ophthalmology, and against bradycardia and / or as an antidote to poisoning by insecticides or nerve gas.
Pro Dioskourides, otherwise “soul balm” today neat “balm”, used mainly for the treatment of wounds. As tea is considered today the best antidepressant after inhibitors Serotonin. In Europe and in America is known by the name St. John’s Wort or Johanneskraot, not the sales exceed 1 billion. Dollars a year. In Greece grows outside our door and our grandmothers used it as a pain reliever in babies. The antidepressant activity has xechastei.To juice of kafkalithres, the “Iordylion” gave him, mixed with wine, for certain kidney diseases, not the mallow, the “Malachi,” for bites from poisonous snakes, or used the flowers as Tea as today.
But medicinal plants that have survived until today are infinite, and those numerous history and mythology have connected with some treatment, so it is impossible to fit the brief reference to the contribution of Dioscorides. The influence of his work spans at least until the Renaissance period and generally estimated tell Dioskourides methods of observation offered a solid foundation for the development of pharmacological science. Apart from its value as a medical textbook, high value is considered the wealth of information that gives the plants and herbs of southeastern Europe.
Arabic book for simple medications: On medical matter Dioskourides. Cumin and Dill c. 1334. British Museum
The homepage of the Vienna Dioscorides, Blackberry Artemisia.
Dioscorides De Materia Medica Spain 12th 13th century.jpg
Dioscorides writes seated
Rare copy (515 AD) from the bird collection from Dioscorides, Vienna, Austrian National Gallery
On medical matter in Byzantine version of the 15th century
Manuscript (Wiener Dioskurides)