Hippocrates, the Founder of Scientific Medicine

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Hippocrates, the Founder of Scientific Medicine Empty Hippocrates, the Founder of Scientific Medicine

Post by Guest on Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:02 pm

‘Of all the arts, the art of medicine is the most distinguished,’ declared Hippocrates, who first released it from the shackles of magic and religion. By Colin Davies.

Five centuries before the birth of Christ, in the greatest period of Greek civilization, a guild of doctors was beginning to assert the claims of medicine to be an independent science, and to expose the ignorance of the priests and philosophers to whom it had long been but a subordinate branch of religion or metaphysics. It was no easy task they undertook; for the philosophers limited the application of their theories of substance to an understanding of the composition of the universe, but had assumed that their pronouncements about earth, air, fire, and water enjoyed a universal validity, being equally relevant to the human body and to its environment.

Consequently, the understanding and cure of human ailments was restricted by the tendency of the philosophers to see the various phenomena of nature as the endless modifications of a limited number of basic elements, and to identify the diseases of the human body also with the excess or deficiency of such constituents.
The priesthoods, too, were not sympathetic to a movement that deprived them of their previous monopoly of influence over superstitious populations, to whom in sickness the incantations of the temple were the final resort. But philosopher and priest reluctantly yielded to the spread of a new scientific attitude to the patient and his malady, an attitude for which the medical school of Hippocrates on the Aegean island of Cos was largely responsible.

http://www.historytoday.com/colin-davies/hippocrates-founder-scientific-medicine

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