A Brief History of Medicine

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Medicine is the science or practice of the diagnosis; treatment and prevention of disease. Ancient Greek civilization sprung up around the 8th century BC. The first evidence of Greek medicine becoming a factor in Greek life came from Homer's the Odyssey and Iliad. In these stories we hear about Machaon and Podalirius the brilliant doctors and excellent men who assisted the injured men in the siege of Troy. Out of every three children born, only two would ever reach the age of two years. The life-expectancy of a healthy Greek adult was about fifty years. It all started with priests, who also acted as magicians and healers. Greeks also viewed illness as a punishment for not keeping the rituals and for misbehaving or sinning. Any healing was done at by priest in temples as part of cults in early times. The people would consult the priest to ask the Gods if he or she could and would be healed or cured. Although the medicine in ancient Greece was not as advanced as modern day medicine, ancient Greek physicians such as Hippocrates performed many procedures, prescribed herbal remedies, educated young minds about medicine, and approached medicine like no other at the time. As time went on for the Greeks, the magic and appealing to the gods encouraged physicians to seek natural remedies for the causes of illnesses. This led to gathering more information about natural remedies and cures. Greek physicians became terrific herbalists of natural cures and because the natural remedies worked, the Greeks became convinced that nature was the best healer. This is what I have learned about different Greek medicine as it applies to childbirth, deadly diseases, and medical procedures, battle wound including damaged bone and joints, depression, acne, ... ... middle of paper ... ... of medicine until about the eighteenth century. One of the major medical minds during the time was Hippocrates. He approached health by changing patient’s diet and environment to hopefully help cure them. He also introduced new methods and herbs for healing yet still involved the Gods in his practice. For the time, the Greeks had excellent ideas involving childbirth, surgeries, damaged bones, and battle wounds even if they were in a distant land. Greek medicine usually consisted of many natural herbs and surgeries. Since the Greeks were so advanced in the field of medicine, it is understandable that the names of several diseases have Greek origins. However, it is important to remember that the Ancient Greeks gave us even more powerful healing words like harmony, ethics, music, melody, hope, and perhaps above all, empathy that brought hope to many medical conditions.
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