Classical Studies 1000 Final: Classics 1000 Study Notes - Term 2

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Classics Study Notes
Term 2
Hippocratic Corpus is an ancient medical text that outlines and analyzes disease
oEmphasis on balance and morbid imbalance
Asclepius = God of Healing
Galen – gladiator turned physician
oUsed the four-humour system:
Yellow Bile (chole)
Black Bile (melaina chole)
Juices are essential constituents of the human body
oThree organic systems:
Greeks did not practice dissection because it was an act of desecration and mutilation of the dead
Extispicy = “gazing at guts”; religious practice used to make inference about organs  often performed
on sacrificed animals by a priest
Herophilus – Greek physician who worked in close proximity to Egyptian [ractice so he culd explore the
inside of the human body for the first time
oPerformed vivisectory experiments on criminals (opened up living people)
Erasistratus – formulated the general principles for discussing anatomy
Hystera = “womb”
Greeks thought the brain (“enkephalos”, “myelos”) was semen  saw marrow and brain matter as the
same thing
During the Classical Period, thought that consciousness and the organs of thought were in chest
Nous = “intellectual”
Thumos = more emotional brain and attached to anger
Liver was thought to be connected to sexual passion but also deep feelings in general
oThis is why in the myth, the eagle pecks out part of Prometheus’ liver every day  the punishment
was meant to cause the greatest hurt possible
In Greek medical writings, there are a series of theories about health and disease that are almost entirely
focused around the individual and there is no room for thinking about disease in terms of population
oDiseases can be sent by the gods or cured by the gods  thus an aspect of religion
oEx. a seizure was sent by the god Pan in a panic attack
The Great Plague of Athens:
oBroke out in 420
oSpartans began to push Athenian territory and may moved into Athens’ city for safety  many
people close together and issues of hygiene
oPericles died; Thucydides lived and was able to explain the symptoms and progression in case it
started again
oCould have been typhus, smallpox, measles; maybe something that has passed out of existence or
mutated significantly
oDid Thucydides grasp the concepts of contagion and acquired immunity?
No evidence in most ancient medical writings that ancient medical theory recognized
contagion and acquired immunity
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oHieronymus Fracastorius – First formal theory of western medicine proposing contagion, 1546
Connection between ancient athletic training and military training
Training of the body was crucial to Greek (and Roman) education
oMousike kai gymnastike = “music and athletics”
oMens sana in corpore sano = “sound mind in a sound body”
Agones = “competitions”
No second or third place, only first
Athletics was an important part of the idea of training people to fight, compete, and win
Origins of Sport: 2 theories
1. According to ethologists, sport derives from primitive hunting ritual and is a kind of sacrifice
a.i. The ritual sacrifice of physical energy
a.ii. Rooted in the more violent form of food-collecting
Problem: wasn’t a hunting-based society
2. The games originated in death ritual
a.i. The earliest games were funeral games and performed in the context of the
commemorations of a notable dead person
The Games:
Earliest description of athletic competition was in the Iliad (book 23)
4 competitions in the historical games:
1. Olympic Games (Olympia)
a.i. Olympia was the central cult center for the worship of Zeus
a.ii. Women competed in separate games, the Heraea (in honour of Hera, Zeus’ wife)
RARE  usually male only competitions
2. Pythian Games (Delphi)
a.i. In honour of Apollo
3. Nemean Games (Nemea, NW Argolid)
a.i. Zeus
4. Isthmian Games (Isthmia near Corinth)
a.i. Poseidon
oThese four games were different from other competitons because they were Panhellenic (people
from all over the Greek world could compete)
Sociology and Sport:
Athletics were a part of everyday life but competition was a part of elite society
oCouldn’t be working class because needed time to train
oCompeted for status
History of the 4 th
Century BC
Period following the Peloponnesian War was a time of transition and crisis
oWar undermined commerce by land and sea
oWar and plague at Athens reduced the population of male citizens dramatically
oSome cities had been eradicated
Greece was ready to fall
Philip II – the architect of Macedonian greatness (even though Alexander gets all the credit)
oSon was Alexander, the Macedonian king
Alexander III (aka “the Great”) – expanded Macedonian control to the East by subjugating the former
Persian Empire; also conquered Egypt and most of India
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