Sunday, 28 October 2012


Hippocrates was born around 420BC on the island of Kos and died in 377BC in Larissa. He was a very famous Greek Physician of Classical Greece and is considered one of most outstanding figures in medicine. He is sometimes referred to the father of medicine. He was given a prison sentence because his perspective of medicine was different from the whole of Greece. During his prison days, he wrote the book The Complicated Body which contains many things we believe to be true today.
He had two sons who were named Thessalus and Draco and he also had a son-in-law named Polybus. Galen, a later physician, stated that Hippocrates successor was Polybus. Historians have said that each of his sons, Thessalus and Draco, had a son named Hippocrates.
Hippocrates is well-known for his theory of the four humours and his advancement of clinical medicine. The theory of the four humours is Hippocrates' most famous theory. Although it is now not used anymore, it is medically important. This theory was about how Hippocrates thought he could treat patients. The four humours were: Black bile (maybe vomit which contains blood), yellow bile (vomit), blood and phlegm. These four humours were often associated with the four seasons: Spring (blood), Summer (yellow bile), Autumn (black bile) and Winter (phlegm). They were also associated with the four elements: Air (blood and spring), Fire (yellow bile and summer), earth (black bile and autumn) and water (phlegm and winter).
Finally, Hippocrates made an oath. It was called the Hippocratic Oath. It was written in Greek. Also, it was part of the Hippocratic Corpus and historians are wondering if he wrote this corpus or not. The Hippocratic Oath was a document and historians believe that he did not write this document and that it was written after his death. This document is used very rarely today, but it have been an inspiration for similar oaths used by physicians today.
The judgement of this article is that Hippocrates is very important in the field of medicine. Although his theory of the four humours was incorrect, his mistake inspired people to learn more about the human body and may have helped improve people's understanding of medicine. So Hippocrates might really be the 'father of medicine'.
By Aynan Muse

Picture does not belong to Medical History 101

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