Ancient Greek medicine was a compilation of theories and practices that were constantly expanding through new ideologies and trials. Many components were considered in ancient Greek medicine, intertwining the penguin historical atlas of ancient greece pdf spiritual with the physical. It was also theorized that sex played a role in medicine because some diseases and treatments were different for females than for males. Moreover, geographic location and social class affected the living conditions of the people and might subject them to different environmental issues such as mosquitoes, rats, and availability of clean drinking water.

Ancient Greek medicine began to revolve around the theory of humors. The humoral theory states that good health comes from a perfect balance of the four humors blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile. Consequently, poor health resulted from improper balance of the four humors. The earliest known Greek medical school opened in Cnidus in 700 BC.

View of the Asklepieion of Kos, the best preserved instance of an Asclepieion. Asclepius was espoused as the first physician, and myth placed him as the son of Apollo. Asclepeia provided carefully controlled spaces conducive to healing and fulfilled several of the requirements of institutions created for healing. The Rod of Asclepius is a universal symbol for medicine to this day. However, it is frequently confused with Caduceus, which was a staff wielded by the god Hermes.

The Rod of Asclepius embodies one snake with no wings whereas Caduceus is represented by two snakes and a pair of wings depicting the swiftness of Hermes. Ancient Greek physicians regarded disease as being of supernatural origin, brought about from the dissatisfaction of the gods or from demonic possession. The fault of the ailment was placed on the patient and the role of the physician was to conciliate with the gods or exorcise the demon with prayers, spells, and sacrifices. Reconstructions based on descriptions within the Hippocratic corpus. The Hippocratic Corpus opposes ancient beliefs, offering biologically based approaches to disease instead of magical intervention. The Hippocratic Corpus is a collection of about seventy early medical works from ancient Greece that are associated with Hippocrates and his students. Ancient Greek physicians who followed humorism emphasized the importance of environment.

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