Homeric medicine and its contribution to
The Iliad on the other hand is a tragedy. Like all ancient peoples, Homer explains natural phenomena and disease in terms of magic and religion.
The phrasing here is very likely reflective of the 8th century BC, because later Greek medical texts also mention sicknesses caused by demons and ghosts. According to this classification, the reported injuries were mild in These habits aid the extemporizing bard, and are characteristic of oral poetry.
The gods could save him but Fate and Destiny were irreversible and not to be trifled with.
Download preview PDF. As early as BC, opium poppy was cultivated in lower Mesopotamia where it was known as the "joy plant. Gill 4 Photo Credit: G. Martin, T. Take cabbage, put in boiling water, boil briefly till half cooked…. Egypt: Ritner , ; Nunn , Arnott , Instead, it was the great center of Greek learning at Alexandria , founded in BCE by Alexander the Great and governed by a dynasty stemming from his general Ptolemy. Homer says that when the physician Machaon was wounded, the Achaeans quickly took him away from the battlefront to their ships for speedy treatment for he was "worth a regiment" since he was a surgeon of supreme skill in his ability "to cut an arrow and heal the wounds with his ointments. He claimed that human physiology can be explained by the principal activities of nature, which are genesis, growth and nutrition. He viewed the human body as an organism whose parts must be understand as a whole. Finally, there are reported 54 consecutive thoracic injuries in the Iliad. It is generally agreed that the Iliad and the Odyssey were composed in the style of oral poetry.
Textual references are used to describe several herbs and plants, easily identifiable today. The heart was probably often exposed and they must have observed the hairy appearance of the exposed heart, which is typical in pericarditis.
Why is homer important
Others, such as Martin West — or T. The god of healing, Asklepios, had a shrine at Epidaurus in southern Greece, where miraculous recoveries were said to have been made by the sick and lame by sleeping in the temple overnight. Instead, he averred that they are solid, consisting of spinal marrow. Athena performs two similar transformations for Odysseus, and one for Penelope in the Odyssey. It is generally agreed that the Iliad and the Odyssey were composed in the style of oral poetry. Athens, Greece 3Pedagogic Literature. This mystical and unscientific approach is one of the hallmarks of quackery today. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Gill 8 Treatment in Homer is thus rather basic, and involves removing the foreign body, washing the wound, and applying soothing drugs upon it. Similarly, Odysseus removes a spear from his flesh at Il.
It was a sedative, which banished all his pain. Diomedes even removes an arrow from himself: Il. On his Quackwatch web site, Dr.
Detail from a red-figure crater, ca. This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. The transition from magic to science was a gradual process that lasted for centuries, and there is no doubt that ancient Greece inherited much from Egypt and Babylonia. Whilst there were observations of individual patients, there is no evidence of any organised medical experiments being conducted in ancient Greece and Rome, let alone clinical trials. The Homeric epics are largely set in the east and center of the Mediterranean , with some scattered references to Egypt , Ethiopia and other distant lands, in a warlike society that resembles that of the Greek world slightly before the hypothesized date of the poems' composition. Glaukos: Il. Of course, healing incantations were used in both ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia as well as Greece,78 and demons were believed to cause illness. One rather spectacular treatment often performed in public was succussion, where the patient would be tied upside down to a ladder and then repeatedly dropped from a height of several feet as illustrated below. They had the head, voice, hair, and body of swine, but their mind was intact as it was before. Griffith, personal communication. The son of Tydeus, strong Diomedes, was hit by an arrow, spear-famed Odysseus has been injured with a lunge, and Agamemnon too, while Eurypulos was hit in the thigh by an arrow. The wound began to dry and the blood ceased to flow. The Greek word pharmakon, usually translated as "drug" originally designated a substance with magical powers .
Women were traditionally presented as being incapable of knowing what was wrong with them or telling a doctor if they did know.
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