Saturday, September 15, 2018

The works of Alcmaeon of Croton

Alcmaeon, or Alkameon, or Alkmaion (’Aλχμαιων ´ ), a pre-Socratic physician–philosopher, lived in Croton around 520–450 BC. According to Diogenes Laertius, Alcmaeon of Croton wrote chiefly on medical subjects. Regarding the birth date, Aristotle says that Alcmaeon of Croton lived when Pythagoras was old.

Croton, which he came from, was a scientific metropolis thanks to excellent medical school, run by Alcmaeon for some time. In ancient times, Croton was considered an important cultural center, famous for the temple to Hera Lacinia built on the cape by the same name: “Lakinion àkron”. To this city – Democedes (one of the most famous doctors in Hellas) arrived to practice medicine for five years (c.530-525 BC).

He is likely to have written his book sometime between 500 and 450 BCE. The surviving fragments and testimonia focus primarily on issues of physiology, psychology, and epistemology and reveal Alcmaeon to be a thinker of considerable originality.

Alcmaeon probably conducted autopsies on animal organisms. In ancient times, he was considered as a father of anatomy, which is proof of his very knowledgeable.

He was the first to identify the brain as the seat of understanding and to distinguish understanding from perception. He believed that the brain was the center of emotions, knowledge, mind, and the soul. Further, he associated the functions of the sense organs with the brain.

Alcmaeon's theory based on the Pythagorean beliefs that the brain is a source of mind, soul, and logic, and the heart he called the place of formation of feelings. Alcmaeon wrote several books about medicine and natural sciences. Laertius (1853) indicates that the title of Alcmaeon’s most important book was De Natura or “Natural Philosophy.” De Natura was quoted frequently in ancient times and influenced Hippocrates, Herophilus, Plato, Galen, and others.
The works of Alcmaeon of Croton
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