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Hippocrates Airs, Waters, Places

Course Code
Victoria Wohl

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CLA232 Greeks and BarbariansWednesday February 9th 2011
Hippocrates Airs, Waters, Places
10 11:30
Part 1: Extremely short answers: one word/one sentence answers *spelling counts!
Example: Who whipped the Hellespont and what vice does that represent?
Xerxes and hubris
10 of these questions, worth 2 points each
Part 2: Pretty short answers: One paragraphs
Kind of questions on the reading guides
Example: How is Odysseus represented in contrast to the Cyclopes
Avoid plot summary, focus on analysis
Choose 4 out of 5 questions, 10 points year
Part 3: Essay.
Choose 1 out of 2 topics
Very broad, youll be able to choose which texts to focus on
Graded by:
1.Structure of the argument: Do you have a clear and focused thesis
statement? Did you argue your thesis? Did you draw logical conclusions?
2.Support and examples: Do you choose good examples to support your
thesis? Do you explain how they support your thesis? Are these examples
discusses with accuracy and detail.
3.Style, organization, and clarity of writing and argumentation
4.Originality: Points will be given for degree of difficulty. Dont just
memorize lecture notes.
We have been looking at the alterity between the Greek self and the barbarian other

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CLA232 Greeks and BarbariansWednesday February 9th 2011
Hippocrates Airs, Waters, Places
How is this alterity shaped by historical events and how did the historical events in
turn affect it?
So the way that prejudice has shaped the way that history is told
Today: the same relationship between the Greek and barbarian, but through the
perspective of medicine
Medicine is a good lenses on society because while it aims for objectivity, it often
reflects social assumptions and prejudice
In Hippocrates, we can see how medicine reflected contemporary thought of the
Airs, Waters, Places was written in the 5th century
Hippocrates was known as the Father of Greek Medicine, and hes the origin of our
Hippocratic oath
The reason he had an oath was because he was writing at a time when medicine was
first coming into its own as a field
Medicine was quite unknown and very vaguely differentiated in peoples minds from
Before Hippocrates style medicine, when you were sick you went to the temple of
Asclepius where you would sleep and a snake would whisper in your ear what was
wrong with you
Hippocrates is largely responsible for defining what medicine is both has a theory
and as a practice
There are examples of within the text when he talks about the Scythians’
impotence, he says that the Scythians themselves think its a divine curse, but
Hippocrates says that no disease has divine causes, all diseases have natural causes
Hes trying to formulate a general theory for the causes and development of diseases
His theory is based on the balance of fluids within the body
The healthy body to him was a body in balance between wet and dry, soft and hard,
hot and cold
Medical version of ‘NOTHING IN EXCESS
The first section is about the environment and how it affects the body
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