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Lecture 13

Hellenistic Medicine - Lecture 13.doc

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Classical Studies
Classical Studies 2900
Beate Gundert

Hellenistic Medicine • After Alexander the Great who "hellenized" the people he conquered by introducing Greek language and culture however these people still kept their original culture • This was the only time human dissection was performed. Vivisection might have occurred as well to criminals who were condemned to death. • Diocles of Carystus • Praxagoras of Cos • We know these names and know a little about their theories but we do not have their writings. • This is the same for Herophilus and Erasistratos. • It is very difficult to know what language these people used and who they wrote be- cause others who write about them always inject their own opinions. • Diocles wrote a book on humoral pathology… • Praxaogoras extended the humours and also was very interested in anatomy and distinguished vessels between veins and arteries. • Arteries actually move and these tell us something about changes elsewhere in the body and he noticed the pulse and thought this was a diagnostic change for changes in the body. How are arteries connected to the pulse and to air? We also find it in the Hippocratic Collection but it meant just windpipe. • Arteria comes from air and the two are connected. Herophilus and E • Primary interest on research and they start with the assumption that the knowledge of what is inside the body contributes to treatment. • Interested in anatomy as well. • Hippocratics tried to understand the body by seeing what comes out of it and by drawing conclusions from analogies. They also compared the body to instru- ments such as the head and the cupping instrument. • However at this time the body is being opened and can be observed directly. One can use discoveries and use the new knowledge for treatment. Passage 165, Page 79 • All had certain beliefs about how diseases arrived. • Dogma "believe" - in antiquity, these people were called dogmatists. They were also called rationalists and in Greek Logos which means reason; used reason to figure out causes of diseases. • Hidden causes - things that go on inside the body like the movement of fluids • Evident causes - causes that you can observe. These can be environmental factors like heat or cold. • Natural actions - physiological processes such as the pulse or how respiration works. • Internal parts - the lung liver, etc. and their shapes, position and texture. • One who is ignorant about the origin of the diseases is unable to learn how to treat them surgically. • Anatomy, antome or dissection - dissection is the literal translation of anatomy from Greek. • All of these details of parts, the dogmatists believe you can see best while the per- son is still alive. • If you don't know where a part is, you can't really know how to treat the part. You cannot even apply external remedies. Furthermore, if you see by chance a part in a wound, you don't know if it is healthy or not because you're not sure how it looks in health. • In the execution of criminals, we should seek remedies for innocent people of all ages. • Dissection and vivisection are necessary for treatment or at least for health treat- ment. • H and E created human anatomy just as Aristotle created human anatomy. • This was a time in a certain time in Greek culture • Anatomical discoveries - they include the area of neurology. They distinguished be- tween motor and sensory nerves and their connection to the brain. They also re- alized the brain had a cognitive function. The Pre-Socratics also thought that the sense organs were connected to the brain and that when there is something wrong in the brain, sensation is blurred. Passage 170 • According to both H and E, the origin of the sensory nerves are in the meninges and the motor nerves are located in the cerebrum and in the hindbrain. The hind- brain which is the cerebellum was the origin of the motor nerves. • Motor nerves are voluntary. • Motor nerves according to H are not quite distinguished between nerves, ligaments and tendons - these distinguishes are not clear yet. • He w
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