Ancient Medicine

notes on egyptians, greek and roman surgery and anatomy

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: jemx
  • Created on: 02-05-12 18:34
Preview of Ancient Medicine

First 421 words of the document:

Egyptians mummified their dead and through this they learned a lot about human anatomy.
For example they knew about the whereabouts of organs but not their uses. Egyptians believed in
life after death and that destroying a body meant that that person couldn't travel to the afterlife so
didn't dissect bodies, this hindered knowledge.
Egyptians were polytheistic and believed in many gods, one god they believed in was the god Thoth;
they believed that he gave doctors the ability to cure people. Although a lot of Egyptian medicine
was spiritual they also had a natural aspect to medicine for example the diagnosed their patients
before treating them. High priests kept the book of Thoth which contained accepted treatments and
spells. They used willow on wounds which contains salicylic acid which is a mild antiseptic.
Alexandria became an important city in medical history, it allowed dissection of humans and
for a short time vivisection on criminals. The Greeks were always at war and so needed to keep their
army healthy; Greeks became experts at external surgery and knew how to relocate dislocated
bones. Greeks only used internal surgery as a last option.
There were many advances in medicine with the Greeks for example Herophilus made a connection
between animals and humans and studied the nervous system discovering the connection with the
Hippocrates who is known as the founding father of medicine developed the theory of the four
humours; that the body was made up of black bile, yellow bile, phlegm and blood and that when they
weren't in balance a person would fall ill. He is also known for the Hippocratic oath taken by doctors
today which was an oath that doctors should do their best to care for their patients and do things
only to benefit their patients and not them. As well as the Hippocratic oath, Hippocrates is also
known for the Hippocratic corpus, a collection of medical books. Hippocrates encouraged doctors to
use more natural methods of healing rather than spiritual.
Galen was a greek doctor, he worked as a doctor for gladiators. He increased his anatomical
knowledge by dissecting animals. He couldn't dissect human bodies outside of Alexandria so used
corpses. Because he could only study animals he made anatomical mistakes because animals and
humans aren't exactly alike


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all resources »