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Greek Medicine

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Nicholaus Johnson

on 3 October 2015

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Transcript of Greek Medicine

Nicholaus Johnson
What Would You Do?
Two Approaches to Healing
...if you woke up with a migraine, vomiting, and you could barely get out of bed?
Greek Medicine
CNE 401
Dr. Clark
A. Call Student Health or the Hospital

B. Go to St. John's and pray for a cure

C. Both are equally appropriate and it would depend on which one was more convenient
"If the bronchial tube of the lung ulcerates, or one of the narrow vessels leading to the lung tears, or if some of the pipes extending through the lung rupture into one another and are filled with blood--most often such ruptures and tears occur as a result of the following insults: exertion; running; falls; blows; when there is violent vomiting; from fevers--the patient suffers the following: first he has a dry cough; then, a little later, he expectorates sputum charged with blood, and then clear sputum."
The Human Body: A Development of Thought
The Man, The Myth
“Therefore it shall be much more naturally suitable if, for all temples in the first place, the most healthy sites be chosen and suitable springs of water in those places in which shrines are to be set up”
Location of Temples
The god of music, poetry, plague, oracles, sun, medicine, light and knowledge
Balance ("isonomia")
Alcmaeon of Croton (c. early 5th century)
Empedocles (c. 495 - 435 BCE)
Four Elements
Democritus (460 - 370 BCE)
Atomic Theory
Temple Treatment
Step 1: Bathe and make a sacrifice.
Step 2: Perform some rituals and then lie down on a pallet in the great hall, go to sleep, and await the arrival of the deity.
Step 3: Be a willing participant in the healing process experienced throughout your dream.
Step 4: If Asclepius did not heal you in your dream, then you were to now follow his proscriptions for healing.
Step 5: Make An Offering
The Iliad
"The old man went back angry, and Apollo heard his beloved preist's prayer. He hit the Greeks hard, and the troops were falling over dead, the god's arrows raining down all through the Greek camp. [ . . . ] And I demanded that the god be appeased.

"Help me and take me back to my ship. Then cut the arrow out of my thigh, was the dark blood out with warm water, and sprinkle some soothing drugs on the wound, the kind they say Achillles instructed you to use, whom Chiron, the most righteous of the Centuars, taught. For our medics, Podalirius and Machaon, are both unavailable."

Achilles Tending to The Wound of Patroklos
The Cult of Asclepius
420s Plague of Athens
A Second Chance At A Cure
Hippocrates (c. 460 - 370 BCE)
In classical age Greece, the most popular school for physicians was located on the Island of Kos, and was directed by Hippocrates.
The most important contribution of this school, was the production of the Hippocratic Corpus
Things to Know
More rational and scientific approach to medicine and healing
Reliance on a scientific method
Categorizing of diseases
Pro: Understanding of human anatomy
Con: Poor treatment
# 5 #12
The Past In The Present
The Hippocratic Oath

"Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course"

Scientific Method

Science/Medicine vs Religion/Faith
Patients 1, 6, and 15
Patients 10, 16, and 4
Patients 19, 14, and 8
Patients 13 and 7
Patient 3
Together, Asclepius and Hippocrates provided the Greeks with a comprehensive approach to medicine and healing.
"You must treat the patient whose illness is from the sun thus: moisten his body with a vapour-bath, and by means of food, drinks and other things you give; give these warm and moist, all of them boiled. As cereal let him employ soft unkneaded barley-cake, and drink white wine well mixed with water. Let him rest his body; if he is able to stand up, let him take short walks, but avoid having a chill; let him bathe each day with very little water."
Temple Testimony-Snakes
"A man had his toe healed by a serpent. He, suffering dreadfully from a malignant sore in his toe, during the daytime was taken outside by the servants of the Temple and set upon a seat. When sleep came upon him, then a snake issued from the Abaton and healed the toe with its tongue, and thereafter went back again to the Abaton. When the patient woke up and was healed he said that he had seen a vision: it seemed to him that a youth with a beautiful appearence had put a drug upon his toe."
Temple Testimony-Surgery
"A man with an abscess within his abdomen. When asleep in the Temple he saw a dream. It seemed to him that the god ordered the servants who accompanied him to grip him and hold him tightly so that he could cut open his abdomen. The man tried to get away, but they gripped him and bound him to a door knocker. Thereupon Asclepius cut his belly open, removed the abscess, and, after having stitched him up again, released him from his bonds. Whereupon he walked out sound, but the floor of the Abaton was covered with blood."
Patients 9, 17, and 11
Patients 18 and 2
Sthenelus (left) bandages Diomedes’ hand.
Aeneas receives surgery for a leg trauma from a professional healer before leaving Troy with his family.
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