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Myth, history and science in Kos

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Myth, history and science in Kos. Maria Botsivali. 35th Annual Meeting of the European Environmental Mutagen Society Kos, 3 – 7 July 2005. EEMS2005. Heraclitus ~500 B.C. Pythagoras 550 – 480 B.C. Thales ? – 547 B.C. “I will send you to school in Ionia…”. Elytis

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slide1

Myth, history and science

in Kos

Maria Botsivali

35th Annual Meeting of the

European Environmental Mutagen Society

Kos, 3 – 7 July 2005

slide3

Heraclitus

~500 B.C.

Pythagoras

550 – 480 B.C.

Thales

? – 547 B.C.

“I will send you to school in Ionia…”

Elytis

(poet, Nobel laurate,

1911-1996)

Ionia

slide4

Macars´ island (“island of blessed”)

André Thevet (16th cent.): “Kos with its gardens and the fine fragrance of its flowers is heaven on earth”

Eustathios (12th cent.): “The food that one cannot find in Kos, cannot find even in Egypt”

EEMS2005

slide5

…Nowadays famous for its bicycles…

Short history of Kos

Prehistoric to classical era

Inhabited since 2900 B.C.

Mycenaean era (1600-1150 B.C.)

Participation in Trojan war with thirty ships

Hellenistic period – its brightest period

Roman period

Byzantine period

Occupied by the order of Ioannite Knights (Knights of St. John) (1314-1523)

Turkish domination (1523-1912)

Italian domination (1912-1943)

EEMS2005

slide6

Coronis

Apollon

Asclepios

Chiron

(Centaur, plant healer, surgeon)

Epione

(“mild cure”)

Asclepiade physicians

Hygeia (“health”)

Iaso (“cure”)

Aegle (“radiant”)

Panacea (“heal-all”)

Acesso (“healing”)

Machaon

Podaleirios

Kos

Hippocrates

18th descendant of Asclepios

Troy

God of medicine

EEMS2005

slide7

Machaon

(“machaera”

lance / knife)

surgeon

Podaleirios

(“poda”=foot, “leirion”=lily;

“the one walking among the lilies”)

physician

Pancratium maritimum,

sea lilly from Kos coast

EEMS2005

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Asclepios

His emblem is the caduceus:

a staff (tree of life) with a snake (wisdom and earth) coiled round it –

not poisonous, but curing.

Punished by Zeus who changed him into the constellation of the Ophiuchos (“snake holder”)

EEMS2005

slide9

Hippocrates (Kos, 460 – 357 B.C.)

Books: DIET (nutrition, all foods, all herbs)

AIRS, WATERS and PLACES (environment)

EEMS2005

slide10

“Each disease has its nature and cause”

“The changes of nature are extremely important”

“Nature is the healer of disease”

“All fresh foods are more dynamic because are nearer to life”

Scientific scepticism…

“This, or something very like this, is the truth.”

EEMS2005

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Other famous men of ancient Kos

Epicharmos (540-450 B.C.): dramatist, the first comic writer, philosopher

Plato used to sleep with his words under his pillow

“The mind sees and the mind hears, the rest are blind and deaf”

Philetas (330- 285 B.C.): Poet and scholar, founder of the Alexandrian school of Literature and Poetry. Tutor of Ptolemy II the Philadelphos, who was also born in Kos.

He died because he could not solve the sophists’ riddle known as the Liar

EEMS2005

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Theocritus (310-245 B.C.): Bucolic poet, born in Syracuse of a Koan father, lived some years in Kos. He wrote the Idylls

Herondas(3rd century BC): Poet, inventor of mime iambic poetry. His IV mime describes a scene of two women sacrificing a rooster in the Asclepeion of Kos and admiring the paintings of Apelles (Antigonos and Aphrodite Anadyomeni – rising from the sea)

Aphrodite Anadyomeni

in Pompei

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Apelles (352-308 B.C.): Greatest painter of ancient Greece. Painter of Alexander the Great

Boticcelli, inspired by the descriptions of Apelles‘ Aphrodite, created his own Aphrodite emerging from the water

EEMS2005

slide14

“Life is short, art is long, occasion sudden and dangerous, experience deceitful, judgment difficult”

“Ars longa, vita brevis”

(Hippocrates)

“Eat progress with its peel and with its seeds”

(Elytis)

EEMS2005

slide15

Kos

Kosmos (“κόσμος” – ornament)

Knowledge

Of

Self,

Magnificence

Of

Science

EEMS2005

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