Saturday, July 30, 2016

Medicine in ancient Egypt

Egyptian medicine experienced a surprisingly rapid development as early as the Old Kingdom and preserved it s good reputation both as home and abroad even in the following centuries.

Ancient Greek writers from Homer to Herodotus praised the physicians of Egypt for their wisdom and skill, but the Greeks also knew Egypt as the ‘mother country of diseases’.

The abundance of disease that flourishes in Egypt provides a rational for Herodotus’ observation that the while country swarmed with highly specialized physician dedicated to care the eyes, head, teeth, stomach and obscure ailments.

Egyptian medicine was a compendium of treatments and prescriptions compiled almost exclusively through trial and error over the course millennia.

Medicine was part healing, part magic and part religion. Doctors of ancient Egypt knew much about human anatomy and how to treat many diseases. They set broken bones, delivered baboies and prospered dressings for wounds.

Treatment for an illness might combine chanting a magical spell, prayers to god or goddess, and a potion prepared by the doctor.

Surgery was rare, and dissection was the province of butchers and embalmers most depictions of internal organs are of cattle and other animals rather than human being.

Physicians employed a vast pharmacopeia of natural substances. Honey was used for its medicinal properties as well as its sweetness and the juice of pomegranates served as both an astringent and a delicacy.

It is indisputable that ancient Egyptian medicine influenced the advancement of medicine in cultures around the Aegean Sea, but primarily in Greece, where its uninterrupted continuation through the medicine of the Roman Empire eventually became European medicine.
Medicine in ancient Egypt 

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