Saturday, October 5, 2013

Imhotep of ancient Egypt

Imhotep, the earliest physician known to historians, lived during the Third Dynasty of the Old Kingdom around 2650 BC and was High Priest of Heliopolis.

He was known as High Priest of Heliopolis, Chief Magician and Physician of the Realm, Architect Royal, Grand Vizier to the Pharaoh Djoser and the first commoner of Pharaonic Egypt to be deified.

He dealt with questions of space, time, volume, the nature of illness, physical and mental disease and immortality.

Succeeding generations of Egyptians, however, would honor Imhotep not for his building expertise but instead for his healing power.

They would even elevate him to the ranks of the divine and worship him as their god of medicine. As a physician, Imhotep is believed to have been the author of the ‘Edwin Smith’ Papyrus in which more than 90 anatomical terms and 48 injuries are described.

At that time, elements of religion and magic were closely intertwined with drug use, incantations routinely being uttered prior to administration in order to confer the healing property upon it.

Greeks regarded him as the Father of Medicine, associating him with Asclepius and thus bestowing on him the unique position of being a historical human.

The magic he was repute to practice may well have been grounded in the considerably well-developed art of healing in ancient Egypt.
Imhotep of ancient Egypt

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