ancient alexandrian and roman medicine
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ANCIENT ALEXANDRIAN AND ROMAN MEDICINE

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Before we discuss the Hellenistic medical world - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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ANCIENT ALEXANDRIAN AND ROMAN MEDICINE. Jonathon Erlen , Ph.D . University of Pittsburgh. Before we discuss the Hellenistic medical world, we need to define what we mean by the Hellenistic period, which is 1 of the most intriguing, yet confusing eras in world history.

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ancient alexandrian and roman medicine

ANCIENT ALEXANDRIAN AND ROMAN MEDICINE

Jonathon Erlen, Ph.D.

University of Pittsburgh

slide2
Before we discuss the Hellenistic medical world, we need to define what we mean by the Hellenistic period, which is 1 of the most intriguing, yet confusing eras in world history.
slide18

Unfortunately we hit a major roadblock in our examinations of the work of these 2 great Alexandrian medical figures because we have none of their original writings. All we have are the commentaries about their work by Galen of Pergamon who lived in the 2nd century AD and other later medical compilers.

slide20

After perhaps this one century of scientific research freedom, outside forces such as religions factors were to create barriers to medical research and education that in some cases lasted into the 19th century in the United States.

slide21

In Alexandria, Ptolemy Physcon, during the 2nd century B.C.E., for unspecified reasons, decided to severely limit the academic freedom which had existed under his predecessors at the museon. He ordered the execution of a number of scholars for no apparent reason, and dispersed many more researchers to various points throughout the Mediterranean world.

slide22

The remaining medical scholars formed 2 bitterly opposing factions of medical thought, with 1 upholding the anatomical doctrines of Herophilus, while the other staunchly supported the precepts of Empedocles and the 4 elements.

slide23

What emerged from the Hellenistic and Alexandrian medical endeavors were 4 competing schools of medical philosophy, all of which were transmitted, to some degree, to ancient Rome.

slide30

Long before this time; however, ancient Romans had developed their own, very different pattern of health care.

common roman diseases

Common Roman Diseases

Malaria

Anthrax

Typhus Fever

slide40

The first Greek doctor to supposedly arrive in Rome was Archagathus of Sparta in 219 B.C.E., though there certainly were others who preceded him.

slide41

Over the following centuries Greek iatroi from the various parts of the Hellenistic world arrived in Rome in ever increasing numbers.

slide42

At first many of these philosophically trained iatroi came as slaves, as Rome solidified its military hold over the Near East.

slide43

As Greek medical concepts became more popular, especially among members of the upper class; however, we find efforts in the Empire period to actively attract Greek doctors to Rome.

roman emperors granted greek physicians willing to come to rome

Roman emperors granted Greek physicians willing to come to Rome:

high status of Roman citizenship

freedom from military service

no taxation of their incomes

slide68

It was in their practicality and their greatness in large‑scale organization that the Romans made their major contributions to medicine and public health.

slide69

This point is well illustrated by the massive public works projects during the Roman Empire, undertaken to assure an adequate water supply and acceptable public sanitation.

slide85

Roman technical and hygienic public health achievements clearly surpassed any purely medical advances made in this period, and this fact can at least be partially attributed to the Roman belief that it was far more important to maintain one\'s good health than to depend on medicine’s ability to cure disease.

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