Medicine through time

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Hippocrates was a Greek philosopher who lived from approximately 460 BC to 377 BC. His work is of great significance to Historians as the books written by him, or his followers, are the first examples of what Greek medical thought was based upon.

The theories of Hippocrates dismissed the notion that Magic or spirits could cause or cure disease. Instead people such as Hippocrates argued that the doctor should not apply the same theory for the cause of a disease to every case. Instead the doctor ought to observe the patient carefully and make a judgment after careful consideration of the symptoms. this differed from the observations of the Egyptians in that there was no 'prescribed' method of treating the disease, superstition and religion were not part and parcel of Hippocrates method of treating the sick.

Essentially Hippocratic medicine allowed diseases to run their natural course, with doctors giving treatments such as herbal remedies to ease pain. Only when absolutely necessary and after a reasonable period of observation and thought should a doctor resort to Surgery: which in a world without anesthetics was not always successful.

Ancient Greece Section - pages in this unit

Unit home page -  Hippocrates: Background - Hippocrates: Theory of the Four Humors - The Cult of Asclepious - The City of Alexandria - Public Health in Ancient Greece - Activities - External Links



Greek and Roman Medicine

The second book in the History of Medicine series. This book is an ideal resource for students following the Medicine Through Time course at GCSE level. The book provides a clear understanding of the key ideas that formed medical practice throughout the Ancient and medieval worlds, making the content 'must know' material. Brilliantly summarised and supported by a wide range of images.

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GCSE History Resource Website - Crime and Punishment Through Time Site - Schools History Resources for all Key Stages