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Lecture 2

PUBH2209 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Papaver Somniferum, Hemorrhoid, Humorism


Department
Population Health
Course Code
PUBH2209
Professor
Angus Cook
Lecture
2

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Also guarded sacred healing sites such as wells and springs
-
Snakes/serpents were considered to be divine and wise beings, and were symbols of
rejuvenation and healing
The influence of the cult of Asclepius1.
Healers and those in need of healing invoked Asclepius' name in prayer and healing
ceremonies in temples and at home
Thought to be an actual historical figure as a person
Known as priest physicians- asclepiads
Inherited a knowledge and mystical power of healing from him
A religion in that treatment/healing in effect involved an act of worship and a
system of therapeutics
Over time Asclepius became deified and a religious cult build up around him and his
followers
One of the main Greek gods that was linked to healing was Asclepius
Special rites were observed
Spend the night in the temple
Doctors would do rounds and administering cure or giving advice straight away
Asclepian temples
Management of wounds (often cleaned and sprinkled with plan extracts and wine)
Use of bandaging
Treatment of fractures and joint problems
Surgical implements used for minor surgery (ulcers, tumours, haemorrhoids
Cauterisation of infections, wounds and external tumours
Opium poppy
Hippocrates/Hippocratic theories:2.
Hippocrates of cos (c.460-c.375 BCE) is considered to be the "Father of Medicine"
physician
Was probably an Asclepiad
Over 50 medical treaties are traditionally attributed to him
Greek medical and surgical techniques:
Happiness
Health and Medicine in Classical Greece
Saturday, 9 March 2019 4:55 PM
Lectures Page 1

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Written after the life of Hippocrates by other several authors
All tended to limit/avoid references to the use of sorcery and magic
Moved away from a divine basis of medicine and more towards using empirical observation
of the body as a basis for medical knowledge
Most not written by Hippocrates himself
Eg: cause of epilepsy was an unnatural accumulation of phlegm in the veins of the
head
Conditions did not arise from the gods, and therefore the use of prayers and incantations
would not be useful in providing a cure
Attempt to establish natural or non
-
religious explanation for illness
Practical and observation-based explanations and supernatural explanations for diseases did not
exclude completely each other
Hippocratic ideas on physiology, illness and treatment was largely based on what is known as the
humoral theory of health
Whereby these four bodily fluids or Humors of blood, phlegm, yellow bile (choler) and black bile
needed to be kept in balance
Hippocrates and humoral theory:
When the humors are balanced and working well together= known as eucrasia, or good mxiture
Illness was caused when these humors/fluid shifted out of balance
When the humors are unbalanced known as dyscrasis or bad mixture
The Greeks viewed the human body as interconnected with the 'wider universe'
All visible materials were a mixture of the fundamental elements: earth, air, fire and water around
460 BC
Lectures Page 2
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