Background on Ancient Greece Medicine
Ancient Greece medicine stood on the pillars of religion and practical clinical approaches. While they believed on spirits, on a god of healing, prayers & spells, they also practiced scientific ways to treat a disease.
As the Greeks traveled a lot, they learned a lot from their neighboring places. The Egyptians proved to have been influenced the Greeks with their culture. The Ancient Greeks spent most of their time to discoveries in the fields of science, astronomy, mathematics, etc. They were seeking for explanations of the world around them both in terms of the spirit world and in terms of the natural world.
Ancient Greece medicine believed on Asclepius as the god of healing. They built a temple for the Asclepius and a place to stay for those desiring for a cure. These ancient Greeks believed that their god of healing could provide answers to their ailments and diseases.
Ancient Greece medicine believed in the four ‘humours’ in the human body namely: yellow bile, black bile, blood and phlegm. These were thought of to be affecting the person’s health. The right proportions of these ‘humours’ would be ideal to make one healthy. The ancient Greeks subscribed to the concept of balance in all aspects of their life. As applied to medicine, it was emphasized that a balanced lifestyle is best – that is to eat in moderation, to exercise regularly, to have enough sleep, and to be clean. A theory came about, that nature’s four elements – earth, air, water and fire, and the four seasons – summer, autumn, winter and spring had connections to the four ‘humours’ of the human body.
There was clearly a close link between religion and medicine during the ancient Greek times. In ancient Greece medicine, the healer is a holy man and cures the patients in their religious places. It was a time when treatments were made from medicines, with prayers said, charms held, and spells recited. Ancient Greece medicine had diverse approaches – taking into account the gods of healing, the spirits of the world, and the practical scientific considerations.
Ancient Greece medicine encompassed almost all available theories during their time in treating sickness and diseases. This goes to show how these ancient Greeks were in constant search for truth and explanations of the things in the world. The ancient Greeks were devotees to the search for knowledge – on matters of religion, on matters of science, and on matters of medicine.