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By James Longrigg

The Greeks have been the 1st to increase rational platforms of drugs virtually completely freed from magical and spiritual parts and established upon average factors. the significance of this progressive innovation for the following background of drugs can't be under pressure adequate. Drawing upon the most recent fabric discoveries and scholarship, James Longrigg describes the foundation and improvement of rational medication in historical Greece and examines its advanced dating with philosophy all the way down to the third century B.C. Greek Rational medication examines the real courting among philosophy and drugs in historical Greece and past, revealing its importance for modern Western perform and concept.

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Additional info for Greek Rational Medicine. Philosophy and Medicine from Alcmaeon to the Alexandrians

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To practise medicine at Cos, then, it was necessary neither to be a priest nor a member of an exclusive guild. The cult of Asclepius and its temple healing in any case, as has already been seen, appears to have reached Cos relatively late. The initial development of the Asclepeion there does not seem to have actually taken place until about the middle of the fourth century BC by which time the island was already famous for its secular medicine. However, some striking affinities can be found between Hippocratic medicine and the healing practised within the temples of Asclepius.

Pausanias records that on his visit to Epidaurus he saw six votive columns upon which were engraved ‘the names of men and women healed by Asclepius, together with the disease from which each suffered and how he was cured’. Similar steles could be seen at the sanctuary at Cos and at other sanctuaries as well. Archaeological excavations at Epidaurus have disinterred three of the columns seen by Pausanias together with fragments of a fourth. They contain seventy case histories, ‘cures (iamata) of Apollo and Asclepius’, inscribed in the fourth century BC.

Moreover, the affluent environment of commercial Miletus provided both the leisure and the stimulus for disinterested intellectual inquiry. The claim of both Plato6 and Aristotle7 that the source and spring of philosophy is wonder or curiosity is justified. After making this point, the latter adds that history supports this conclusion; for it was after the provision of the chief necessities, not only for life, but for an easy life, that the search for intellectual satisfaction began. In pre-philosophical Greek poetry one finds a firm belief in supernatural causation.

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