Ancient Greece

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Ancient Greek Medicine

The Ancient Greeks were philosophical and therefore searched for the answers to many questions. As a result the Ancient Greeks were the first civilisations to search for a natural treatment to disease. However this does not mean that the Ancient Greeks did not use supernatural treatments to cure and explain disease.

Asklepios & Asklepions

Some Ancient Greeks believed that there was a Greek God of Healing - Asklepios. When a person was ill then they would have to visit an Asklepion (a temple for the God) in order to be cured. The belief was that as a patient slept Asklepios and his two daughters Hygea and Panecea would come and cure them of whatever illness they suffered from. Furthermore Asklepios carried a staff which had a snake wrapped around it, this symbol can be seen on medical equiptment, vehicles and buildings today.

There are many accounts and plays of people being miraculously cured of their ailments after visiting the temple. There is one well-known account of a blind man being cured after a visit to the Asklepion and was able to see perfectly afterwards.

However the Asklepion was a place that was quiet and the patient could rest, sometimes this could cure them of all symptoms and ailments, however the Greeks still believed that this was because of the Gods.

Hippocrates

Nevertheless the superstitious belief wasn't the only one to the cause of disease. An individual called Hippocrates developed a theory to explain this. His name was Hippocrates and is often referred to as the 'Father of Modern Medicine' because many of his ideas and practices are used in medicine today.

Hippocrates' method was the theory of the four humours, in which he believed that the…

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