Ancient Greek medicine

The word medicine comes from the Latin medicine and, according to the dictionary Aurélio, means “art and science to avoid or cure disease, or to alleviate its effect (s)”. Used by different peoples, this term today represents a field where science advances in the treatment and prevention of diseases, but it was not always so.

This is because, the history of medicine begins in ancient times, can be found in the Egyptian Civilization, China, but mainly in Ancient Greece . The birthplace of this science is located in Greek lands, having as reference Hippocrates, considered the father of medicine. By receiving this prominence, in such a distant time, ancient Greek medicine deserves to be studied.

The beginning of knowledge

According to the article published by Denise F. Barbosa and Pedro Carlos Piantino Lemos, for the magazine of the University of São Paulo (USP), the history of Greece is divided in four periods , they are: “Archaic period [ ) – century V (aC)]; Classic Period [ V (aC) – sec.IV (aC)]; Hellenistic-Macedonian period [ IV (aC) – sec. I (aC)]; Hellenistic-Roman period [ I (aC) – century V (dC)]. “

However, only two of them were essential for the development of medicine in this region of the world, they were: the Archaic and the Classic. In this first, little was known about the anatomy of the human organism and it was still believed that the body was fed on the “vital energy” present in the external elements that, for some reason, could harm the individual, thus generating diseases.

Then came the Classic period of Greece which brought with it names of medical philosophers with naturalistic theories about the functioning of the human organism. Among several names, there is that of Hippocrates , a Greek who became famous in the area of ​​medicine because of his concepts, formulations of theories and contributions in the medical field.

The Medicine of Hippocrates

Known as the Father of Medicine, Hippocrates had great influence on the concepts of this field, even in the face of a time with few resources. During this same period he used many techniques that are still used today by doctors, such as checking body temperature , examining the eyeball and recognizing some aspects of urine and faeces . Nowadays, the young doctors who are trained pay homage to Hippocrates by taking their oath.

Relationship of Asclepius with Medicine

Another great contribution that Greek culture gave to medicine was the use of a staff as a symbol of this field of action, which refers to Asclepius, considered the god of Medicine by the Greeks. The mark that is treated in this context is the stick with two snakes around and wings at the top.

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