Hippocrates of Kos (/hɪˈpɒkrətiːz/; Greek: Ἱπποκράτης ὁ Κῷος, translit. Hippokrátēs ho Kṓos; c. 460 – c. 370 BC), also known as Hippocrates II, was a Greek physician of the Age of Pericles (Classical Greece), who is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine. He is often referred to as the "Father of Medicine"[1] in recognition of his lasting contributions to the field as the founder of the Hippocratic School of Medicine. This intellectual school revolutionized medicine in ancient Greece, establishing it as a discipline distinct from other fields with which it had traditionally been associated (theurgy and philosophy), thus establishing medicine as a profession.[2][3]

However, the achievements of the writers of the Corpus, the practitioners of Hippocratic medicine and the actions of Hippocrates himself were often commingled; thus very little is known about what Hippocrates actually thought, wrote, and did. Hippocrates is commonly portrayed as the paragon of the ancient physician, and credited with coining the Hippocratic Oath, which is still relevant and in use today. He is also credited with greatly advancing the systematic study of clinical medicine, summing up the medical knowledge of previous schools, and prescribing practices for physicians through the Hippocratic Corpus and other works.[2][4]

Hippocrates of Kos
A conventionalized image in a Roman "portrait" bust (19th-century engraving)
Bornc. 460 BC
Diedc. 370 BC
(aged c. 90)
Larissa, Ancient Greece
EraClassical Greece
TitleThe Father of Western Medicine


Hippocrate refusant les présents d'Artaxerxès (original)
Illustration of the story of Hippocrates refusing the presents of the Achaemenid Emperor Artaxerxes, who was asking for his services. Painted by Girodet.[5]

Historians agree that Hippocrates was born around the year 460 BC on the Greek island of Kos; other biographical information, however, is likely to be untrue.[6]

Soranus of Ephesus, a 2nd-century Greek physician,[7] was Hippocrates' first biographer and is the source of most personal information about him. Later biographies are in the Suda of the 10th century AD, and in the works of John Tzetzes, Aristotle's "Politics", which date from the 4th century BC.[8]

Soranus wrote that Hippocrates' father was Heraclides, a physician, and his mother was Praxitela, daughter of Tizane. The two sons of Hippocrates, Thessalus and Draco, and his son-in-law, Polybus, were his students. According to Galen, a later physician, Polybus was Hippocrates' true successor, while Thessalus and Draco each had a son named Hippocrates (Hippocrates III and IV).[9][10]

Soranus said that Hippocrates learned medicine from his father and grandfather (Hippocrates I), and studied other subjects with Democritus and Gorgias. Hippocrates was probably trained at the asklepieion of Kos, and took lessons from the Thracian physician Herodicus of Selymbria. Plato mentions Hippocrates in two of his dialogues: in Protagoras, Plato describes Hippocrates as "Hippocrates of Kos, the Asclepiad";[11][12] while in Phaedrus, Plato suggests that "Hippocrates the Asclepiad" thought that a complete knowledge of the nature of the body was necessary for medicine.[13] Hippocrates taught and practiced medicine throughout his life, traveling at least as far as Thessaly, Thrace, and the Sea of Marmara. Several different accounts of his death exist. He died, probably in Larissa, at the age of 83, 85 or 90, though some say he lived to be well over 100.[10]

Hippocratic theory

It is thus with regard to the disease called Sacred: it appears to me to be nowise more divine nor more sacred than other diseases, but has a natural cause from the originates like other affections. Men regard its nature and cause as divine from ignorance and wonder....
— Hippocrates, On the Sacred Disease

Hippocrates is credited with being the first person to believe that diseases were caused naturally, not because of superstition and gods.[14][15][16][17] Hippocrates was credited by the disciples of Pythagoras of allying philosophy and medicine.[14] He separated the discipline of medicine from religion, believing and arguing that disease was not a punishment inflicted by the gods but rather the product of environmental factors, diet, and living habits. Indeed there is not a single mention of a mystical illness in the entirety of the Hippocratic Corpus. However, Hippocrates did work with many convictions that were based on what is now known to be incorrect anatomy and physiology, such as Humorism.[15][16][17]

Ancient Greek schools of medicine were split (into the Knidian and Koan) on how to deal with disease. The Knidian school of medicine focused on diagnosis. Medicine at the time of Hippocrates knew almost nothing of human anatomy and physiology because of the Greek taboo forbidding the dissection of humans. The Knidian school consequently failed to distinguish when one disease caused many possible series of symptoms.[18] The Hippocratic school or Koan school achieved greater success by applying general diagnoses and passive treatments. Its focus was on patient care and prognosis, not diagnosis. It could effectively treat diseases and allowed for a great development in clinical practice.[19][20]

Hippocratic medicine and its philosophy are far removed from that of modern medicine. Now, the physician focuses on specific diagnosis and specialized treatment, both of which were espoused by the Knidian school. This shift in medical thought since Hippocrates' day has caused serious criticism over the past two millennia, with the passivity of Hippocratic treatment being the subject of particularly strong denunciations; for example, the French doctor M. S. Houdart called the Hippocratic treatment a "meditation upon death".[21]

Analogies have been drawn between Thucydides' historical method and the Hippocratic method, in particular the notion of "human nature" as a way of explaining foreseeable repetitions for future usefulness, for other times or for other cases.[22]


Another important concept in Hippocratic medicine was that of a crisis, a point in the progression of disease at which either the illness would begin to triumph and the patient would succumb to death, or the opposite would occur and natural processes would make the patient recover. After a crisis, a relapse might follow, and then another deciding crisis. According to this doctrine, crises tend to occur on critical days, which were supposed to be a fixed time after the contraction of a disease. If a crisis occurred on a day far from a critical day, a relapse might be expected. Galen believed that this idea originated with Hippocrates, though it is possible that it predated him.[23]

Hippocratic medicine was humble and passive. The therapeutic approach was based on "the healing power of nature" ("vis medicatrix naturae" in Latin). According to this doctrine, the body contains within itself the power to re-balance the four humours and heal itself (physis).[24] Hippocratic therapy focused on simply easing this natural process. To this end, Hippocrates believed "rest and immobilization [were] of capital importance."[25] In general, the Hippocratic medicine was very kind to the patient; treatment was gentle, and emphasized keeping the patient clean and sterile. For example, only clean water or wine were ever used on wounds, though "dry" treatment was preferable. Soothing balms were sometimes employed.[26]

Hippocrates was reluctant to administer drugs and engage in specialized treatment that might prove to be wrongly chosen; generalized therapy followed a generalized diagnosis.[26][27] Generalized treatments he prescribed include fasting and the consumption of a mix of honey and vinegar. Hippocrates once said that "to eat when you are sick, is to feed your sickness." However, potent drugs were used on certain occasions.[28] This passive approach was very successful in treating relatively simple ailments such as broken bones which required traction to stretch the skeletal system and relieve pressure on the injured area. The Hippocratic bench and other devices were used to this end.

One of the strengths of Hippocratic medicine was its emphasis on prognosis. At Hippocrates' time, medicinal therapy was quite immature, and often the best thing that physicians could do was to evaluate an illness and predict its likely progression based upon data collected in detailed case histories.[17][29]


Ancientgreek surgical
A number of ancient Greek surgical tools. On the left is a trephine; on the right, a set of scalpels. Hippocratic medicine made good use of these tools.[30]

Hippocratic medicine was notable for its strict professionalism, discipline, and rigorous practice.[31] The Hippocratic work On the Physician recommends that physicians always be well-kempt, honest, calm, understanding, and serious. The Hippocratic physician paid careful attention to all aspects of his practice: he followed detailed specifications for, "lighting, personnel, instruments, positioning of the patient, and techniques of bandaging and splinting" in the ancient operating room.[32] He even kept his fingernails to a precise length.[33]

The Hippocratic School gave importance to the clinical doctrines of observation and documentation. These doctrines dictate that physicians record their findings and their medicinal methods in a very clear and objective manner, so that these records may be passed down and employed by other physicians.[10] Hippocrates made careful, regular note of many symptoms including complexion, pulse, fever, pains, movement, and excretions.[29] He is said to have measured a patient's pulse when taking a case history to discover whether the patient was lying.[34] Hippocrates extended clinical observations into family history and environment.[35] "To him medicine owes the art of clinical inspection and observation."[17] For this reason, he may more properly be termed as the "Father of Medicine".[36]

Direct contributions to medicine

Clubbing of fingers in a patient with Eisenmenger's syndrome; first described by Hippocrates, clubbing is also known as "Hippocratic fingers".

Hippocrates and his followers were first to describe many diseases and medical conditions.[37] He is given credit for the first description of clubbing of the fingers, an important diagnostic sign in chronic lung disease, lung cancer and cyanotic heart disease. For this reason, clubbed fingers are sometimes referred to as "Hippocratic fingers".[38] Hippocrates was also the first physician to describe Hippocratic face in Prognosis. Shakespeare famously alludes to this description when writing of Falstaff's death in Act II, Scene iii. of Henry V.[39][40]

Hippocrates began to categorize illnesses as acute, chronic, endemic and epidemic, and use terms such as, "exacerbation, relapse, resolution, crisis, paroxysm, peak, and convalescence."[29][41] Another of Hippocrates' major contributions may be found in his descriptions of the symptomatology, physical findings, surgical treatment and prognosis of thoracic empyema, i.e. suppuration of the lining of the chest cavity. His teachings remain relevant to present-day students of pulmonary medicine and surgery.[42] Hippocrates was the first documented chest surgeon and his findings and techniques, while crude, such as the use of lead pipes to drain chest wall abscess, are still valid.[42]

The Hippocratic school of medicine described well the ailments of the human rectum and the treatment thereof, despite the school's poor theory of medicine. Hemorrhoids, for instance, though believed to be caused by an excess of bile and phlegm, were treated by Hippocratic physicians in relatively advanced ways.[43][44] Cautery and excision are described in the Hippocratic Corpus, in addition to the preferred methods: ligating the hemorrhoids and drying them with a hot iron. Other treatments such as applying various salves are suggested as well.[45][46] Today, "treatment [for hemorrhoids] still includes burning, strangling, and excising."[43] Also, some of the fundamental concepts of proctoscopy outlined in the Corpus are still in use.[43][44] For example, the uses of the rectal speculum, a common medical device, are discussed in the Hippocratic Corpus.[44] This constitutes the earliest recorded reference to endoscopy.[47][48] Hippocrates often used lifestyle modifications such as diet and exercise to treat diseases such as diabetes, what is today called lifestyle medicine. He is often quoted with "Let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food" and "Walking is man's best medicine",[49] however the quote "Let food be your medicine" appears to be a misquotation and its exact origin remains unknown.[50]

In 2017, researchers claimed that, while conducting restorations on the Saint Catherine's Monastery in South Sinai, have found a manuscript which contains a medical recipe of Hippocrates. The manuscript also contains three recipes with pictures of herbs that were created by an anonymous scribe.[51]

Hippocratic Corpus

A 12th-century Byzantine manuscript of the Oath in the form of a cross

The Hippocratic Corpus (Latin: Corpus Hippocraticum) is a collection of around seventy early medical works collected in Alexandrian Greece.[52] It is written in Ionic Greek. The question of whether Hippocrates himself was the author of any of the treatises in the corpus has not been conclusively answered,[53] but current debate revolves around only a few of the treatises seen as potentially by him. Because of the variety of subjects, writing styles and apparent date of construction, the Hippocratic Corpus could not have been written by one person (Ermerins numbers the authors at nineteen).[28] The corpus came to be known by his name because of his fame, possibly all medical works were classified under 'Hippocrates' by a librarian in Alexandria.[11][32][54] The volumes were probably produced by his students and followers.[55]

The Hippocratic Corpus contains textbooks, lectures, research, notes and philosophical essays on various subjects in medicine, in no particular order.[53][56] These works were written for different audiences, both specialists and laymen, and were sometimes written from opposing viewpoints; significant contradictions can be found between works in the Corpus.[57] Notable among the treatises of the Corpus are The Hippocratic Oath; The Book of Prognostics; On Regimen in Acute Diseases; Aphorisms; On Airs, Waters and Places; Instruments of Reduction; On The Sacred Disease; etc.[28]

Hippocratic Oath

The Hippocratic Oath, a seminal document on the ethics of medical practice, was attributed to Hippocrates in antiquity although new information shows it may have been written after his death. This is probably the most famous document of the Hippocratic Corpus. Recently the authenticity of the document's author has come under scrutiny. While the Oath is rarely used in its original form today, it serves as a foundation for other, similar oaths and laws that define good medical practice and morals. Such derivatives are regularly taken today by medical graduates about to enter medical practice.[11][58][59]


Mural painting showing Galen and Hippocrates. 12th century; Anagni, Italy

Hippocrates is widely considered to be the "Father of Medicine".[55] His contributions revolutionized the practice of medicine; but after his death the advancement stalled.[60] So revered was Hippocrates that his teachings were largely taken as too great to be improved upon and no significant advancements of his methods were made for a long time.[11][25] The centuries after Hippocrates' death were marked as much by retrograde movement as by further advancement. For instance, "after the Hippocratic period, the practice of taking clinical case-histories died out," according to Fielding Garrison.[61]

After Hippocrates, the next significant physician was Galen, a Greek who lived from AD 129 to AD 200. Galen perpetuated the tradition of Hippocratic medicine, making some advancements, but also some regressions.[62][63] In the Middle Ages, the Islamic world adopted Hippocratic methods and developed new medical technologies.[64] After the European Renaissance, Hippocratic methods were revived in western Europe and even further expanded in the 19th century. Notable among those who employed Hippocrates' rigorous clinical techniques were Thomas Sydenham, William Heberden, Jean-Martin Charcot and William Osler. Henri Huchard, a French physician, said that these revivals make up "the whole history of internal medicine."[65]


Hippocrates rubens
Engraving by Peter Paul Rubens, 1638

According to Aristotle's testimony, Hippocrates was known as "The Great Hippocrates".[66] Concerning his disposition, Hippocrates was first portrayed as a "kind, dignified, old country doctor" and later as "stern and forbidding".[11] He is certainly considered wise, of very great intellect and especially as very practical. Francis Adams describes him as "strictly the physician of experience and common sense."[18]

His image as the wise, old doctor is reinforced by busts of him, which wear large beards on a wrinkled face. Many physicians of the time wore their hair in the style of Jove and Asklepius. Accordingly, the busts of Hippocrates that have been found could be only altered versions of portraits of these deities.[60] Hippocrates and the beliefs that he embodied are considered medical ideals. Fielding Garrison, an authority on medical history, stated, "He is, above all, the exemplar of that flexible, critical, well-poised attitude of mind, ever on the lookout for sources of error, which is the very essence of the scientific spirit."[65] "His figure... stands for all time as that of the ideal physician," according to A Short History of Medicine, inspiring the medical profession since his death.[67]


The Travels of Sir John Mandeville reports (incorrectly) that Hippocrates was the ruler of the islands of "Kos and Lango" [sic], and recounts a legend about Hippocrates' daughter. She was transformed into a hundred-foot long dragon by the goddess Diana, and is the "lady of the manor" of an old castle. She emerges three times a year, and will be turned back into a woman if a knight kisses her, making the knight into her consort and ruler of the islands. Various knights try, but flee when they see the hideous dragon; they die soon thereafter. This is a version of the legend of Melusine.[68]


Hippocrates' legendary genealogy traces his paternal heritage directly to Asklepius and his maternal ancestry to Heracles.[28] According to Tzetzes's Chiliades, the ahnentafel of Hippocrates II is:[69]

HSAsclepiusKos retouched
A mosaic of Hippocrates on the floor of the Asclepieion of Kos, with Asklepius in the middle, 2nd-3rd century

1. Hippocrates II. "The Father of Medicine"
2. Heraclides
4. Hippocrates I.
8. Gnosidicus
16. Nebrus
32. Sostratus III.
64. Theodorus II.
128. Sostratus, II.
256. Thedorus
512. Cleomyttades
1024. Crisamis
2048. Dardanus
4096. Sostratus
8192. Hippolochus
16384. Podalirius
32768. Asklepius


Hippocrates statue in Brisbane
Statue of Hippocrates in front of the Mayne Medical School in Brisbane

Some clinical symptoms and signs have been named after Hippocrates as he is believed to be the first person to describe those. Hippocratic face is the change produced in the countenance by death, or long sickness, excessive evacuations, excessive hunger, and the like. Clubbing, a deformity of the fingers and fingernails, is also known as Hippocratic fingers. Hippocratic succussion is the internal splashing noise of hydropneumothorax or pyopneumothorax. Hippocratic bench (a device which uses tension to aid in setting bones) and Hippocratic cap-shaped bandage are two devices named after Hippocrates.[70] Hippocratic Corpus and Hippocratic Oath are also his namesakes. The drink hypocras is also believed to be invented by Hippocrates. Risus sardonicus, a sustained spasming of the face muscles may also be termed the Hippocratic Smile. The most severe form of hair loss and baldness is called the Hippocratic form.[71]

In the modern age, a lunar crater has been named Hippocrates. The Hippocratic Museum, a museum on the Greek island of Kos is dedicated to him. The Hippocrates Project is a program of the New York University Medical Center to enhance education through use of technology. Project Hippocrates (an acronym of "HIgh PerfOrmance Computing for Robot-AssisTEd Surgery") is an effort of the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science and Shadyside Medical Center, "to develop advanced planning, simulation, and execution technologies for the next generation of computer-assisted surgical robots."[72] Both the Canadian Hippocratic Registry and American Hippocratic Registry are organizations of physicians who uphold the principles of the original Hippocratic Oath as inviolable through changing social times.

See also


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  2. ^ a b Garrison 1966, pp. 92–93
  3. ^ Nuland 1988, p. 5
  4. ^ Garrison 1966, p. 96
  5. ^ Pinault, Jody Rubin (1992). Hippocratic Lives and Legends. Brill. p. 79. ISBN 978-90-04-09574-8.
  6. ^ Nuland 1988, p. 4
  7. ^ Britannica Concise Encyclopedia 2006
  8. ^ Aristotle. "Politics Book VII". Internet Classics Archive.
  9. ^ Adams 1891, p. 19
  10. ^ a b c Margotta 1968, p. 66
  11. ^ a b c d e Martí-Ibáñez 1961, pp. 86–87
  12. ^ Plato 380 B.C.
  13. ^ Plato 360 B.C. 270c
  14. ^ a b Adams 1891, p. 4
  15. ^ a b Jones 1868, p. 11
  16. ^ a b Nuland 1988, pp. 8–9
  17. ^ a b c d Garrison 1966, pp. 93–94
  18. ^ a b Adams 1891, p. 15
  19. ^ Margotta 1968, p. 67
  20. ^ Leff & Leff 1956, p. 51
  21. ^ Jones 1868, pp. 12–13
  22. ^ "L'influence de la médecine hippocratique sur la Guerre du Péloponnèse de Thucydide". www.academia.edu. Retrieved 2019-04-18.
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  24. ^ Garrison 1966, p. 99
  25. ^ a b Margotta 1968, p. 73
  26. ^ a b Garrison 1966, p. 98
  27. ^ Singer & Underwood 1962, p. 35
  28. ^ a b c d Encyclopædia Britannica 1911
  29. ^ a b c Garrison 1966, p. 97
  30. ^ Adams 1891, p. 17
  31. ^ Garrison 1966
  32. ^ a b Margotta 1968, p. 64
  33. ^ Rutkow 1993, pp. 24–25
  34. ^ Martí-Ibáñez 1961, p. 88
  35. ^ Margotta 1968, p. 68
  36. ^ Leff & Leff 1956, p. 45
  37. ^ Starr, Michelle (18 December 2017). "Ancient Poo Is The First-Ever Confirmation Hippocrates Was Right About Parasites". Science Alert. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  38. ^ Schwartz, Richards & Goyal 2006
  39. ^ Singer & Underwood 1962, p. 40
  40. ^ Margotta 1968, p. 70
  41. ^ Martí-Ibáñez 1961, p. 90
  42. ^ a b Major 1965
  43. ^ a b c Jóhannsson 2005, p. 11
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  45. ^ Jóhannsson 2005, p. 12
  46. ^ Mann 2002, pp. 1, 173
  47. ^ Shah 2002, p. 645
  48. ^ NCEPOD 2004, p. 4
  49. ^ Chishti, Hakim (1988). The Traditional Healer's Handbook. Vermont: Healing Arts Press. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-89281-438-1.
  50. ^ Cardenas, Diana (2013). "Let not thy food be confused with thy medicine: The Hippocratic misquotation". e-SPEN Journal.
  51. ^ GIBBENS, SARAH (2017). "Text by 'Father of Medicine' Found in Remote Egyptian Monastery". nationalgeographic.
  52. ^ Iniesta, Ivan (20 April 2011), "Hippocratic Corpus", BMJ, 342: d688, doi:10.1136/bmj.d688
  53. ^ a b Singer & Underwood 1962, p. 27
  54. ^ Smith, Wesley D. (2002). "The Hippocratic Tradition" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-10-18. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  55. ^ a b Hanson 2006
  56. ^ Rutkow 1993, p. 23
  57. ^ Singer & Underwood 1962, p. 28
  58. ^ Jones 1868, p. 217
  59. ^ Buqrat Aur Uski Tasaneef by Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman, Tibbia College Magazine, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India, 1966, pp. 56–62.
  60. ^ a b Garrison 1966, p. 100
  61. ^ Garrison 1966, p. 95
  62. ^ Jones 1868, p. 35
  63. ^ West, John B. (Spring 2014). "Galen and the beginnings of Western physiology". Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 307: L121–L128.
  64. ^ Leff & Leff 1956, p. 102
  65. ^ a b Garrison 1966, p. 94
  66. ^ Jones 1868, p. 38
  67. ^ Singer & Underwood 1962, p. 29
  68. ^ Anthony Bale, trans., The Book of Marvels and Travels, Oxford 2012, ISBN 0-19-960060-0, p. 15 and footnote
  69. ^ Adams 1891
  70. ^ Fishchenko & Khimich 1986
  71. ^ "The dilemma of balding solve by father of medicine Hippocrates". Healthy Hair Highlights News. 15 August 2011.
  72. ^ Project Hippocrates 1995


A woodcut of the reduction of a dislocated shoulder with a Hippocratic device
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Further reading

  • Adams, Francis (translator) (1891) (1994) [1891], Works by Hippocrates, The Internet Classics Archive: Daniel C. Stevenson, Web Atomics © 1994–2000.
  • Coulter, Harris L (1975), Divided Legacy: A History of the Schism in Medical Thought: The Patterns Emerge: Hippocrates to Paracelsus, 1, Washington, DC: Weehawken Book
  • Craik, Elizabeth M. (ed., trans., comm.), The Hippocratic Treatise On glands (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2009) (Studies in ancient medicine, 36).
  • Di Benedetto, Vincenzo (1986), Il medico e la malattia. La scienza di Ippocrate, Turin: Einaudi
  • Edelstein, Ludwig (1943), The Hippocratic Oath: Text, Translation, and Interpretation, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Goldberg, Herbert S. (1963), Hippocrates, Father of Medicine, New York: Franklin Watts
  • Heidel, William Arthur (1941), "Hippocratic Medicine: Its Spirit and Method", Nature, 149 (3781): 422, Bibcode:1942Natur.149..422J, doi:10.1038/149422a0
  • Hippocrates (1990), Smith, Wesley D (ed.), Pseudepigraphic writings : letters, embassy, speech from the altar, decree, Leiden: Brill, ISBN 978-90-04-09290-7
  • Jouanna, Jacques (1999), Hippocrates, M.B. DeBevoise, trans, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, ISBN 978-0-8018-5907-6
  • Jori, Alberto (1996), Medicina e medici nell'antica Grecia. Saggio sul 'Perì téchnes' ippocratico, Bologna (Italy): il Mulino.
  • Kalopothakes, M.D. (1857), An essay on Hippocrates, Philadelphia: King and Baird Printers.
  • Langholf, Volker (1990), Medical theories in Hippocrates : early texts and the "Epidemics", Berlin: de Gruyter, ISBN 978-3-11-011956-5
  • Levine, Edwin Burton (1971), Hippocrates, New York: Twayne
  • Lopez, Francesco (2004), Il pensiero olistico di Ippocrate. Percorsi di ragionamento e testimonianze. Vol. I, Cosenza (Italy): Edizioni Pubblisfera, ISBN 978-88-88358-35-2.
  • Moon, Robert Oswald (1923), Hippocrates and His Successors in Relation to the Philosophy of Their Time, New York: Longmans, Green and Co
  • Petersen, William F. (1946), Hippocratic Wisdom for Him Who Wishes to Pursue Properly the Science of Medicine: A Modern Appreciation of Ancient Scientific Achievement, Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas
  • Phillips, E.D. (1973), Aspects of Greek Medicine, New York: St. Martin's Press
  • Pliny the Elder, Natural History: Book XXIX., translated by John Bostock. See original text in Perseus program.
  • Sargent, II, Frederick (1982), Hippocratic heritage : a history of ideas about weather and human health, New York: Pergamon Press, ISBN 978-0-08-028790-4
  • Smith, Wesley D. (1979), Hippocratic Tradition, Cornell University Press, ISBN 978-0-8014-1209-7
  • Temkin, Owsei (1991), Hippocrates in a world of pagans and Christians, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, ISBN 978-0-8018-4090-6 online free to borrow

External links


The Alcmaeonidae or Alcmaeonids (Ἀλκμαιωνίδαι) were a powerful noble family of ancient Athens, a branch of the Neleides who claimed descent from the mythological Alcmaeon, the great-grandson of Nestor.The first notable Alcmaeonid was Megacles, who was the Archon Eponymous of Athens in the 7th century BC. He was responsible for killing the followers of Cylon of Athens during the attempted coup of 632 BC, as Cylon had taken refuge as a suppliant at the temple of Athena. As a result of their actions, Megacles and his Alcmaeonid followers were the subject of an ongoing curse and were exiled from the city. Even the bodies of buried Alcmaeonidae were dug up and removed from the city limits.

The Alcmaeonids were allowed back into the city in 594 BC, during the archonship of Solon. During the tyranny of Pisistratus, the Alcmaeonid Megacles married his daughter to Pisistratus, but when the tyrant refused to have children with her, Megacles banished him. Later the Alcmaeonids would claim to have been exiled following Pisistratus' return in 546 BC so as to distance themselves from possible accusations of complicity, but epigraphic evidence in fact proves that Cleisthenes was archon for the year 525-4. Megacles was able to marry (for a second or third time) Agarista, the daughter of the tyrant Cleisthenes of Sicyon. They had two sons, Hippocrates and Cleisthenes, the reformer of the Athenian democracy. Hippocrates' daughter was Agariste, the mother of Pericles.

This Cleisthenes overthrew Hippias, the son and successor of Pisistratus, in 508 BC. He had bribed the oracle at Delphi (which the Alcmaeonidae had helped to build while they were in exile) to convince the Spartans to help him, which they reluctantly did. Cleisthenes was, at first, opposed by some who felt the curse made the Alcmaeonidae ineligible to rule; the Spartan king Cleomenes I even turned against Cleisthenes and the latter was briefly exiled once more. However, the citizens called for Cleisthenes to return, and the restored Alcmaeonids were responsible for laying the foundations of Athenian democracy.

The Alcmaeonidae were said to have negotiated for an alliance with the Persians during the Persian Wars, despite the fact that Athens was leading the resistance to the Persian invasion. Pericles and Alcibiades also belonged to the Alcmaeonidae, and during the Peloponnesian War the Spartans referred to the family's curse in an attempt to discredit Pericles. Alcibiades, as the previous generation of Alcmaeonidae had done, tried to ally with the Persians after he was accused of impiety. The family disappeared after Athens's defeat in the Peloponnesian War.

Ancient Greek medicine

Ancient Greek medicine was a compilation of theories and practices that were constantly expanding through new ideologies and trials. Many components were considered in ancient Greek medicine, intertwining the spiritual with the physical. Specifically, the ancient Greeks believed health was affected by the humors, geographic location, social class, diet, trauma, beliefs, and mindset. Early on the ancient Greeks believed that illnesses were "divine punishments" and that healing was a "gift from the Gods". As trials continued wherein theories were tested against symptoms and results, the pure spiritual beliefs regarding "punishments" and "gifts" were replaced with a foundation based in the physical, i.e., cause and effect.

Humorism (or the four humors) refers to blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. It was also theorized that sex played a role in medicine because some diseases and treatments were different for females than for males. Moreover, geographic location and social class affected the living conditions of the people and might subject them to different environmental issues such as mosquitoes, rats, and availability of clean drinking water. Diet was thought to be an issue as well and might be affected by a lack of access to adequate nourishment. Trauma, such as that suffered by gladiators, from dog bites or other injuries, played a role in theories relating to understanding anatomy and infections. Additionally, there was significant focus on the beliefs and mindset of the patient in the diagnosis and treatment theories. It was recognized that the mind played a role in healing, or that it might also be the sole basis for the illness.Ancient Greek medicine began to revolve around the theory of humors.The humoral theory states that good health comes from a perfect balance of the four humors: blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile. Consequently, poor health resulted from improper balance of the four humors. Hippocrates, known as the "Father of Modern Medicine", established a medical school at Cos and is the most important figure in ancient Greek medicine. Hippocrates and his students documented numerous illnesses in the Hippocratic Corpus, and developed the Hippocratic Oath for physicians, which is still in use today. The contributions to ancient Greek medicine of Hippocrates, Socrates and others had a lasting influence on Islamic medicine and medieval European medicine until many of their findings eventually became obsolete in the 14th century.

The earliest known Greek medical school opened in Cnidus in 700 BC. Alcmaeon, author of the first anatomical compilation, worked at this school, and it was here that the practice of observing patients was established. Despite their known respect for Egyptian medicine, attempts to discern any particular influence on Greek practice at this early time have not been dramatically successful because of the lack of sources and the challenge of understanding ancient medical terminology. It is clear, however, that the Greeks imported Egyptian substances into their pharmacopoeia, and the influence became more pronounced after the establishment of a school of Greek medicine in Alexandria.


Hippocras (Latin: vīnum Hippocraticum), sometimes spelled hipocras or hypocras, is a drink made from wine mixed with sugar and spices, usually including cinnamon, and possibly heated. After steeping the spices in the sweetened wine for a day, the spices are strained out through a conical cloth filter bag called a manicum hippocraticum or Hippocratic sleeve (originally devised by the 5th century BC Greek physician Hippocrates to filter water). This is the origin of the name hippocras.

Hippocrates Glacier

Hippocrates Glacier (64°22′S 62°22′W) is a glacier at least 3 nautical miles (6 km) long and 2 nautical miles (4 km) wide, draining the southeast slopes of Stribog Mountains and flowing southeast between Solvay Mountains and Gutsal Ridge into Buls Bay on the east side of Brabant Island, in the Palmer Archipelago, Antarctica. It was shown on an Argentine government chart in 1953, but not named. The glacier was photographed by Hunting Aerosurveys Ltd in 1956–57, and mapped from these photos in 1959. It was named by the UK Antarctic Place-Names Committee for Hippocrates, a Greek physician and author of numerous works on medicine, who also established a professional code of medical conduct.

Hippocrates Health Institute

The Hippocrates Health Institute (HHI) is a nonprofit organization in West Palm Beach, Florida, USA, originally co-founded in 1956 in Stoneham, Massachusetts, by Lithuanian-born Viktoras Kulvinskas and Ann Wigmore.The Hippocrates Health Institute is controversial for giving patients false hope about treating cancer with "natural" methods that are unproven and implausible despite claims otherwise.In February and March 2015, cease-and-desist orders were issued against co-directors Brian and Anna-Maria Clement, both of whom represented themselves as doctors, requiring them to immediately cease the unlicensed practice of medicine. The Florida Department of Health formally informed Hippocrates Health Institute that it has subsequently withdrawn and dismissed the cease and desist orders due to lack of sufficient evidence.Brian Clement and his institute have been directly criticized for promoting a number of ineffective treatments, including ones claimed to "reverse" cancer and multiple sclerosis. He is not a medical doctor. His treatments have been widely criticized as ineffective and possibly dangerous. Former staff members of the institute have filed suit against Brian Clement for being fired after raising concerns about ethical wrongdoing in treating patients at the center.

Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine

The Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine was founded in 2009 by Donald Singer and Michael Hulse. The founders "wished to draw together national and international perspectives on three major historical and contemporary themes uniting the disciplines of poetry and medicine: medicine as inspiration for the writings of poets; effects of poetic creativity on the experience of illness by patients, their families, friends, and carers; and poetry as therapy".

Hippocrates of Chios

Hippocrates of Chios (Greek: Ἱπποκράτης ὁ Χῖος; c. 470 – c. 410 BC) was an ancient Greek mathematician, geometer, and astronomer.

He was born on the isle of Chios, where he was originally a merchant. After some misadventures (he was robbed by either pirates or fraudulent customs officials) he went to Athens, possibly for litigation, where he became a leading mathematician.

On Chios, Hippocrates may have been a pupil of the mathematician and astronomer Oenopides of Chios. In his mathematical work there probably was some Pythagorean influence too, perhaps via contacts between Chios and the neighbouring island of Samos, a center of Pythagorean thinking: Hippocrates has been described as a 'para-Pythagorean', a philosophical 'fellow traveler'. "Reduction" arguments such as reductio ad absurdum argument (or proof by contradiction) has been traced to him, as has the use of power to denote the square of a line.

Hippocratic Corpus

The Hippocratic Corpus (Latin: Corpus Hippocraticum), or Hippocratic Collection, is a collection of around 60 early Ancient Greek medical works strongly associated with the physician Hippocrates and his teachings. Even though it is considered as a singular corpus that represents Hippocratic medicine, they vary (sometimes significantly) in content, age, style, methods, and views practiced; therefore, authorship is largely unknown. Hippocrates began society's development of medicine, through a delicate blending of the art of healing and scientific observations. The Hippocratic Corpus became the foundation for which all future medical systems would be built.

Hippocratic Oath

The Hippocratic Oath is an oath of ethics historically taken by physicians. It is one of the most widely known of Greek medical texts. In its original form, it requires a new physician to swear, by a number of healing gods, to uphold specific ethical standards. The oath is the earliest expression of medical ethics in the Western world, establishing several principles of medical ethics which remain of paramount significance today. These include the principles of medical confidentiality and non-maleficence. As the seminal articulation of certain principles that continue to guide and inform medical practice, the ancient text is of more than historic and symbolic value. Swearing a modified form of the oath remains a rite of passage for medical graduates in many countries.

Hippocrates is often called the father of medicine in Western culture. The original oath was written in Ionic Greek, between the fifth and third centuries BC. It is usually included in the Hippocratic Corpus.


Humorism, or humoralism, was a system of medicine detailing the makeup and workings of the human body, adopted by Ancient Greek and Roman physicians and philosophers.

Ibn Abi Sadiq

Ibn Abi Sadiq al-Naishaburi, Abu al-Qasim ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Ali (Arabic and Persian: أبوالقاسم عبد الرحمن بن علي بن أبي صادق النيشابوري ) was an 11th-century Persian physician from Nishapur in Khorasan.

He was a pupil of Avicenna. As he composed a popular commentary on the Aphorisms of Hippocrates, he was known in some circles as "the second Hippocrates" (Buqrat al-thani). Ismail Gorgani, the author of Zakhireye Khwarazmshahi, completed his studies under his guidance.His commentary on the Hunayn ibn Ishaq's Questions on Medicine, however, may have been even more popular, judging from the large number of copies preserved today. Ibn Abi Sadiq also wrote a commentary on the Prognostics of Hippocrates, on Galen's treatise On the Usefulness of the Parts, and on Razi's treatise Doubts about Galen (Shukuk ‘alá Jalinus). According to the medieval biographical sources, he completed the commentary on Galen's On the Usefulness of the Parts in the year 1068 AD, which provides us with the one firm date in his biography.

Kos International Airport

Kos International Airport "Hippocrates" (Greek: Διεθνής Αερολιμένας Κω "Ιπποκράτης") (IATA: KGS, ICAO: LGKO) is an airport serving the island of Kos, Greece. The airport is located near to Andimachia village. It is also the second-closest airport to Bodrum after Milas-Bodrum Airport.

Lune of Hippocrates

In geometry, the lune of Hippocrates, named after Hippocrates of Chios, is a lune bounded by arcs of two circles, the smaller of which has as its diameter a chord spanning a right angle on the larger circle. Equivalently, it is a non-convex plane region bounded by one 180-degree circular arc and one 90-degree circular arc. It was the first curved figure to have its exact area calculated mathematically.

Medicine in the medieval Islamic world

In the history of medicine, Islamic medicine is the science of medicine developed in the Islamic Golden Age, and written in Arabic, the lingua franca of Islamic civilization.Islamic medicine preserved, systematized and developed the medical knowledge of classical antiquity, including the major traditions of Hippocrates, Galen and Dioscorides. During the post-classical era, Islamic medicine was the most advanced in the world, integrating concepts of ancient Greek, Roman and Persian medicine as well as the ancient Indian tradition of Ayurveda, while making numerous advances and innovations. Islamic medicine, along with knowledge of classical medicine, was later adopted in the medieval medicine of Western Europe, after European physicians became familiar with Islamic medical authors during the Renaissance of the 12th century.Medieval Islamic physicians largely retained their authority until the rise of medicine as a part of the natural sciences, beginning with the Age of Enlightenment, nearly six hundred years after their textbooks were opened by many people. Aspects of their writings remain of interest to physicians even today.

Mystery Men

Mystery Men is a 1999 American superhero comedy film directed by Kinka Usher and written by Neil Cuthbert and Bob Burden, loosely based on Burden's Flaming Carrot Comics, and starring Hank Azaria, Claire Forlani, Janeane Garofalo, Eddie Izzard, Greg Kinnear, William H. Macy, Kel Mitchell, Lena Olin, Paul Reubens, Geoffrey Rush, Ben Stiller, Wes Studi, and Tom Waits. The film details the story of a team of lesser superheroes with unimpressive powers who are required to save the day.

Despite its list of stars, Mystery Men made a little over $33 million worldwide against a $68 million budget.


Neuropsychology is the study and characterization of the behavioral modifications that follow a neurological trauma or condition. It is both an experimental and clinical field of psychology that aims to understand how behavior and cognition are influenced by brain functioning and is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of behavioral and cognitive effects of neurological disorders. Whereas classical neurology focuses on the pathology of the nervous system and classical psychology is largely divorced from it, neuropsychology seeks to discover how the brain correlates with the mind through the study of neurological patients. It thus shares concepts and concerns with neuropsychiatry and with behavioral neurology in general. The term neuropsychology has been applied to lesion studies in humans and animals. It has also been applied in efforts to record electrical activity from individual cells (or groups of cells) in higher primates (including some studies of human patients).In practice, neuropsychologists tend to work in research settings (universities, laboratories or research institutions), clinical settings (medical hospitals or rehabilitation settings, often involved in assessing or treating patients with neuropsychological problems), or forensic settings or industry (often as clinical-trial consultants where CNS function is a concern).

Papilio machaon

Papilio machaon, the Old World swallowtail, is a butterfly of the family Papilionidae. The butterfly is also known as the common yellow swallowtail or simply the swallowtail (a common name applied to all members of the family, but this species was the first to be given the name). It is the type species of the genus Papilio.


Physiology (; from Ancient Greek φύσις (physis), meaning 'nature, origin', and -λογία (-logia), meaning 'study of') is the scientific study of the functions and mechanisms which work within a living system.As a sub-discipline of biology, the focus of physiology is on how organisms, organ systems, organs, cells, and biomolecules carry out the chemical and physical functions that exist in a living system.Central to an understanding of physiological functioning is the investigation of the fundamental biophysical and biochemical phenomena, the coordinated homeostatic control mechanisms, and the continuous communication between cells.The physiologic state is the condition occurring from normal body function, while the pathological state is centered on the abnormalities that occur in animal diseases, including humans.According to the type of investigated organisms, the field can be divided into, animal physiology (including that of humans), plant physiology, cellular physiology and microbial physiology.The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded to those who make significant achievements in this discipline by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Protagoras (dialogue)

Protagoras (; Greek: Πρωταγόρας) is a dialogue by Plato. The traditional subtitle (which may or may not be Plato's) is "or the Sophists". The main argument is between the elderly Protagoras, a celebrated Sophist, and Socrates. The discussion takes place at the home of Callias, who is host to Protagoras while he is in town, and concerns the nature of Sophists, the unity and the teachability of virtue. A total of twenty-one people are named as present.

Plants / animals

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