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CLA 236 Hypocritis.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Victoria Wohl

CLA  Hypocratic oath (this is what the current Hypocratic medical oath is based on, and born from ) o First clause, “Do no harm” o Other clauses on honesty, dealing with abortion (clauses that stand today) o Other that don’t apply today, such as when walking into ones’ house don’t talk to his wife or his slaves  Medicine was a very new discipline, and Hypocratis was the father of medicine, the first doctor  Love could be described as a disease. Like crazy love, love with an animal or one of your relatives. You are being punished by the gods.  Madness is a disease sent by the god.  So instead of seeing a doctor when you were sick, you would go to Asclepius temple. You would sleep there, and a snake would come out of the ground and whisper in your ear what was wrong with you and then those doctors would treat you. (a very religious way of practicing ‘medicine’) Hypocratis was the first who separated medicine from religion.  He cut into the brain of a dead goat, and see what was maybe causing epilepcy in the goat. o So he was the first to try and find a scientific answer. o So he was the first to say that epilepcy is caused by things in your brain.  He also ‘explained’ medically why sapiens people were impotent. Not a curse from the gods.  Hypocratis develops a theory about the balance of fluids in the body. o The Reason why its fluids, is that this is the thing that the doctor can see!  Autopsy.  They performed some autopsy on animals, cutting into inside the body during the classical period.  Finally near the end of the classical period, there is some evidence that this was done on slaves, but never on non-slaves.  You shouldn’t be too wet, too dry, too hard, too soft.  This is a medical version of adan? – shouldn’t be in excess of anything. You have lost balance and you are unhealthy. This was really a practical guide for doctors in antiquity.  If you want to become a doctor, you go and study with Hypocratis.  Doctors at the time would be moving around all around Greece, stopping in towns where there is a disease or anything like that.  The doctor can use this guide to know what it is possible to be in this place. Bring the right tools to be able to help the disease. Have an idea how to deal with them. Know how the disease might progress. o Helps with Diagnosis and the prognosis  The guide tells the doctor to look at the wetness of the town, the direction of the town, the nature of the soil, what are the people’s pursuits (exercise? Or drinking and eating)  Hypocrites is a ethnographer, kind of like Herodotus (of all they are contemporary) o Discussing their cultural issues. o The same questions that Herodotus asks when they get in there. o The aims are different, hypocratis uses them for medicine, Herodotus for history  However, just like in Herodotus, where he is called the father of lies o Hypocratis talks about this group of people called Sauromatae warrior women, who are like the amazon women. Burn off their breasts in order to be able to shoot their arrows better, etc.  Completely mythical society just like the amazon.  Sometimes Hypocratis offers us details where we are not quite sure what is going on. Maybe it’s like Herodotus, when he misunderstood the cultural things  So when Hypocratis goes to Scythians (eastern Ukraine, Russia), he believes that those people are too moist to reproduce. So in order to help their moisture, they corralize (burn themselves). But in reality they were probably just branding, and he misunderstood this phenomenon.  When he is talking about _____, he talks about a place where they have prevalent warm winds. It makes hard for these people to drink wine and get drunk. So he takes the cultural perspective (it Is noble to be able to hold your wine, remember Cyclopes couldn’t) and passes subjective judgement on how it is effected medically.  Where cold winds prevail, those people can be rather long lived. They don’t have too many ulcers, and they are ferocious people. o He is always slipping back between these two, calling cultural differences as medical conditions.  He analyzes the effect of the environment not just in the individuals, but also in entire populations. o Medicine could ‘explain’ the cultural differences.  Objectively define the difference between one people and another. o Like in Southern south in US, “what defines a black person” – 1/16 of a drop of blood would mean the person is subject for slavery. o Or in Nazi Germany, what exactly is a jew, be given a yellow star and be sent to the gas chambers  Not that he is trying to DO this, but he is trying to figure out the scientific difference between Greek and Barbaric. Locate it in their nature (not just culture).  He starts with the environment in Asia from Europe.  The seasons change less and it’s always nice. (Spring) Everything is mild. Things grow. Animals are bigger, people are bigger.  The cause of this is the temperature of the seasons. A General equality of temperature prevails.  Sounds like a perfect environment (like southern California, haha)  Going back to his theory of balan
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