Hippocrates - Physician Hippocrates and Greek Medicine

Hippocrates. Clipart.com

Definition: Hippocrates, "the father of medicine," may have lived from c. 460-377 B.C., a period covering the Age of Pericles and the Persian War. Like other details about Hippocrates, we really know very little beyond the fact that he is considered a great physician and was counted the greatest by the ancient Greeks.

Born in Cos, site of an important temple of Asclepius, god of medicine, Hippocrates may have studied medicine with his father.

He traveled around Greece training medical students that there are scientific reasons for ailments. Before him, medical conditions were attributed to divine intervention. Hippocrates maintained that all diseases have natural causes. He made diagnoses and prescribed simple treatments like diet, hygiene, and sleep. Hippocrates is the author of the saying "Life is short, and the Art long" (from his Aphorisms). The name Hippocrates is familiar because of the oath that doctors take (Hippocratic Oath) and a body of early medical treatises that are attributed to Hippocrates (Hippocratic corpus), which includes the Aphorisms.

Hippocrates and Humoral Theory Quiz

Hippocrates Medical Texts

Hippocrates is on the list of Most Important People to Know in Ancient History.

Also Known As: The Father of Medicine, the divine old man, Hippocrates of Cos

Examples: Hippocrates of Cos isn't the mathematician Hippocrates of Chios.

Go to Other Ancient / Classical History Glossary pages beginning with the letter

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