Classics and Ancient History seminar: Hippocrates the Medical Revolutionary
Marguerite Heery | University of Sydney
Hippocrates the Medical Revolutionary
The concept of the human body as part of the cosmos, influenced by the supernatural, both in life and after death, was an inherent belief of ancient cultures from Mesopotamia to Egypt and Archaic Greece. Though the Classical Greek world admired the athletic body which is found in the Attic kouroi, and which was eulogised in the works of Pindar, it still regarded the human body as subject to the supernatural in life and death.
Hippocrates introduced a totally different concept of the human body. Following the principles of Ionian natural philosophy, the body was seen as an autonomous unit, complete in itself, unaffected by cosmic or supernatural forces. The principle that all things were capable of explanation from within themselves was applied to the body and its function. Meticulous examination of the body, and recording of the findings and outcomes over time, was used to develop an understanding of the natural history of the body in health and disease. This revolutionary objectification of the body, and collection of data on the natural history of disease, are our earliest written forms of the scientific investigation of man, and parallel our medical approach to the body today.
The Department of Classics and Ancient History hosts a lively departmental research seminar series. Everyone is welcome to attend.
If you haven’t already registered to receive the Zoom meeting details for our events, please click here to register your interest in the seminar.
3 September, 4:00-5:00pm
Seminar Series convenors:
Louise Pryke and Emma Barlow
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The Department of Classics and Ancient History is part of the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry (SOPHI).