Medicine through time

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  • Created by: Chloe
  • Created on: 19-04-14 15:35

Ancient Greek

Ancient Greece

Religion is beginning, slowly, to be challenged, but are two distinct groups: rational philosophers and the cult of Asclepius.


- Greek gods stopped people looking at rational solutions. Ascelpius was the God of healing. Had two daughters: Panacea and Hygeia. There were temples where the sick would go and Gods would send cure in their dreams.

- otherwise no understanding on illnesses scientifically except that inbalance made illness; something is not right, makes you ill. Better than supernatural beliefs.


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Ancient Greek


- Asclepia were temples. If a sick person slept inside, they’d be healed, because they’d get a visit from the Gods in a dream. All over Greece - show popularity.

- most famous was Epidauras. In mountains. Gym, stadium, library, temples. A health centre. Was hygiene, fresh air, a gym, keep fit. People thought the gods made them better but it was likely to do with the surroundings and a better quality of life.

 - belief that a healthy body was one in balance. Start of Four Humours. Each humour had a season and an element. All linked.

- got confused between the effects and the cause.

- used natural remedies, plants, handed down.

-clinical observation, diagnose: study symptoms, prognosis:consider and predict, observation:observe,note,compare, treatment:treat with confidence.


- bled or purged. Flush body, restore balance.

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Ancient Greek


- more libraries put in, and dissection allowed at Alexandria - the ideas about the human body from before from China, India and Egypt and Greek could be found in one place and learnt from.

- weren’t sure what happened inside, only Galen gave more ideas

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Ancient Greek


-mechanics of surgery improved eg where to cut and how

-didn't have effective anaesthetics, antiseptics and no understanding of germs or infection.

-it was a last resort


-created better surgical equipment

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Ancient Greek

  Public Health

- encouraged to keep fit and healthy, just like today, good diet, sleep etc. Should all have regimen.

- rich could afford better health care.

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Ancient Greek


Important as:

  • allowed disections
  • university and library built there: 700,000 different items
  • centre of new ideas and knowledge
  • herophilus did disections on corpses and discovered: brain controlled the body, difference between nerves and arteries, identified parts of stomach duodenum and prostate
  • Erasistratus noticed four one way valves on heart. Pump?
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Ancient Greek

Four Humours- humours had to be balanced to be healthy

  • Water- cold and moist-winter-phlegm-sneezing colds
  • Air-hot and moist- spring-blood-nose bleeds
  • Fire-hot and dry- summer- yellow bile-fevers vomiting yellow skin
  • Earth- cold and dry- autumn- black bile- dry skin vomiting

Didn't link cause and effects. 

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Ancient Greek

Asclepius- God of Healing

People stay at his temples Aslcepions where they will do exercise and relax.

Sleep in an abaton where Asclepius and his daughters Panacea and Hygeia will visit in sleep and show them the cure.

Better style of life often cured people not the religious reason. 

Offerings to the Gods.

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Ancient Greek

Hippocrates-Father of Medicine

Hippocratic oath- promise made by doctors to obey rules of behaviour in their professional lives.

Hippocratic Corpus- collection of books that may have been written by Hippocrates and his       followers.

Clinical observation

  • Diagnosis- study the symptoms
  • Prognosis- consider and predict
  • Observation- observe, note, compare
  • Treatment- treat with confidence
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Ancient Greek


  • Empire- allowed sharing ideas and medicine with other countries.
  • books to record and pass on knowledge
  • universities as it was an organised society
  • chance- asclepions rest and exercise improved health, 4 humours some cures helped
  • disections in alexandria improved knowledge of anatomy
  • philosophy- more natural ideas
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