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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 Sept 25, 2013.docx

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Department
History of Science
Course
History of Science 2220
Professor
Prof
Semester
Winter

Description
September 25, 2013 HIS 2220: Ancient Medicine • Written documentation available • Still looking at artifacts as well as written material to understand this period • Ancient civilization – groups of people within a specific time who are considered to have a more advance state of establishment – such as living in homes • Mesopotamia – land between the rivers – referring to geographical area o Geographically it corresponds with modern day Iraq and some of Syria/Iran o Within, several different civilizations have existed  Sumerian, Chaldean, Assyrian, Babylonian o Ancient history period: 3000 BC – 450 BC o Land is very fertile which leads to agriculture o People flock to the area = large number of humans • Sumerians (ca. 4000 to 1500 BC) o These people developed many features that were civilized ex: cities, writing forms, temples built, worked with metal etc. o Economically = agricultural society o Made an important contribution  the wheel o Cuneiform (3100 BC) – clay tablet and would work wedge shapes into clay = writing form  Dominant system of writing in mesopotamia for 2000 years  Some recorded ideas about science, medicine, math  Two categories scholars labelled cuneiform  scientific and practical • Two categories reflected nature of the knowledge within the tablets September 25, 2013 • Practical – designed to be educational – such as: “if a man is sick and suffers from….” It would provide instructions what to do for that sickness • Scientific – looked at symptoms as omens that identified the disorder – tried to find supernatural explanations for certain symptoms – about trying to diagnose the patient • Illness = from sins • To be healed, treatment = exorcism, confession, Purgative (cleansing) drugs could be used as a form of treatment o Law Code of Hammurabi (ca. 1700BC) – Hammurabi was a Babylonian monarch – legal decisions made by Hammurabi will he was judge – his “justice” / laws were put on a tablet  Law: Doctors were responsible for any errors made when treating patient  Compensation of doctor was dependent on status of patient – if patient lived and got better, doctor would be compensated  Laws for slaves – doctor may be called in to treat slave, if slave lived, doctor would be compensated, if slaved died, doctor would have his hand cut off and would have to repay to have that slave replaced o Ashurbanipal – last Great King of Syria – library with 420 tablets discovered in his palace in Nineveh – these 420 tablets covered anything from disorders, to gynecology to pediatrics  Texts = keen observation and rationality (less spiritual element)  Tablets revealed concepts of disease and healing  Recognized various organs could malfunction, not related to a bad sin  Would use plants as treatment • Different kinds of Medical Practioners in Ancient Medicine o Ashipu = Sorcerer and Asu = Herbalist September 25, 2013  Ashipu = diagnose the illness – internal disorder/disease Ashipu would determine if it were a sin, may attempt to cure with spells/potions – if Ashipu could not diagnose/treat, would get referred to  Asu –Herbalist – referred to as a physician in Ancient documents – relied on three fundamental techniques: washing, bandaging and making plasters of patient – knowledge of making plasters is what is of interest (of plant based compounds and had healing property to them) • Ex: plant and animal fat compound = soap – helped with bacterial problems and would benefit that • Majority of people would have received treatment within home • Home based treatment was often spiritual Ancient Egypt • 3000BC – 537 AD • Egyptian civilization = fishing and trading • Used boats heavily for transportation • Ancient Egyptians believed animals were sacred, esp cats • Highly advanced in architecture • Famous for their form of writing – Egyptians were first to start an organized form of language • Medically = highly advanced for their time o Practiced non-invasive surgery, bone setting and extensive pharmacopeia th • 19 century: archeologist discovered a series of ancient medical documents: o Ebers Papyrus – evidence of anatomical obserevation o Edwin Smith Papyrus – text on surgery o Hearst Papyrus – information about examination, diagnoses, treatment, prognosis September 25, 2013 o London Medical Papyrus – same as Hearst  Proof Medical culture existing in Ancient Egypt  Believed humans started off Healthy when born but susceptible to disorders and disorders, especially those caused by intestinal putrefaction  Also believed body was threatened by Winds – originate by weather, spirits, ghosts, or poisoned breath  These documents and archeologist evidence, shows some knowledge of human anatomy – evidence: • Mummification  religious practice – they removed organs (knowledge) and used tools to take out the brain (showing the have understanding of soft internal organs)–then embalm the body • Paleopathologists  study old diseases using scientific techniques – gone through xray, ct scans etc. to mummies – able to determine that ancient Egyptians suffered from malaria, anemia, parasitic diseases o Mummies also offer info about trauma, disorders etc. o Irritation by parasitic worms lead to decrease mental and internal deterioration (worms in that area) o Wind would carry sand – causes disorder similar to black lung—inhale sand and lodge in lungs  Sand Pneumoconiosis o Therefore, they were not free from disease and what the suffered from tended to be from the geographic area in which they were situated Conclusions about Medical Practioners: • Priest physicians and held idea that every part of body was a particular spirit or God o Tended to be specialist in a particular organ or disease o Conduct series of observations to try to diagnose a patient – colo
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