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Hippocrates Summary

  • Born c460 BC on the Greek Island of Kos
  • Traveled around, taught medicine in Kos and died in Larissa c377 BC 
  • Known as the 'Father of Modern Medicine' 
  • Philosopher - tried to find rational explanations for things [disease] 
  • Led the way for more practical, environmental causes of disease rather than supernatural or spiritual (Asclepios) 
  • Theory of the four humours - Hippocrates believed that a 'healthy' body was IN BALANCE and so illness was caused by an IMBALANCE of the 'humours' which were: yellow bile, black bile, blood and phlegm. 

What was it like BEFORE Hippocrates? 

  • Less recording of symptoms/treatments 
  • Vessel theory (Egyptians) 
  • No set standard for Doctors
  • Medicine based solely on supernatural/superstition/spiritualism 
  • Belief that EVIL SPIRITS cause disease ^

Factors that helped Hippocrates

  • Privileged/settled life - time to study. 
  • Good education 
  • Communication - based his work on other Greek doctors and their ideas e.g. Aristotle 

Factors that hindered Hippocrates

  • Lack of technology, e.g. printing


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