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Antieke Rome: mediese oortuigings en behandelings

Antieke Rome: mediese oortuigings en behandelings

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Hierdie kort video ondersoek die verskillende oortuigings rakende medisyne in antieke Rome, sowel as die behandelings wat ontdek is in reaksie op mediese siektes.


Romeinse medisyne: 6 maniere waarop mense in antieke Rome gesond gebly het

"Bad, wyn en seks bederf ons liggame, maar bad, wyn en seks maak die lewe die moeite werd." Hierdie inskripsie - uit die graf van 'n Romeinse handelaar in Efese, Tiberius Claudius Secundus - dui aan dat die Romeine, net soos ons, 'n sinvolle balans gesoek het tussen 'n aangename bestaan ​​en 'n gesonde bestaan. Dr Nick Summerton deel ses wenke uit antieke Rome om 'n gesonde lewe te lei ...

Hierdie kompetisie is nou gesluit

Gepubliseer: 16 Maart 2021 om 17:52

Hulle is bekend vir hul paaie, militêre strategie en die uitvinding van die boek - maar watter advies kan ons Romeinse voorvaders gee oor gesond bly? Dr Nick Summerton deel ses Romeinse medisyne ...

Neem verantwoordelikheid

Die Romeine het groot belang geheg aan die behoud van gesondheid

Die geneesheer van die tweede eeu, Galen, het beklemtoon dat dit die verantwoordelikheid van 'n persoon is om na hul liggame om te sien, en skryf dat mense dit moet "neem om die gesondheid te bewaar" deur 'n bepaalde lewenstyl (of 'higiëne') te volg. Hy beklemtoon die belangrikheid van vars lug en genoeg slaap, benewens die deeglike oorweging van dieet, oefening en hidrasie. Galen het beslis deur sy voorbeeld gelei en geskryf: “Nadat ek die agt-en-twintigjarige ouderdom bereik het, nadat ek myself oortuig het dat daar 'n kuns van higiëne is, het ek die res van my lewe die voorskrifte daarvan gevolg en was ek nooit siek aan enige siekte behalwe die af en toe koors. ”

Dit word as uiters belangrik beskou om die 'higiëniese benadering' vir individue aan te pas, om te verseker dat 'n persoon nie 'n spesifieke element as 'n onderdeel van hul gesondheidsplan onderbeklemtoon nie. Soos Galena verduidelik het: 'Net soos dit vir skoenmakers onmoontlik is om 'n laaste vir alle mense te gebruik, so is dit ook onmoontlik vir dokters om 'n lewensplan te gebruik wat vir almal voordelig is. Daarom sê hulle dat dit vir sommige die gesondste is om daagliks voldoende te oefen, terwyl daar vir ander niks is wat hulle verhinder om hul lewens heeltemal in ledigheid te verlaat nie. Vir sommige is dit ook die gesondste om te bad, terwyl dit vir ander nie so is nie. ”

Wat was die vier humors?

Die Romeine het geglo dat alle materie in die heelal - insluitend menslike liggame - bestaan ​​uit vier elementêre stowwe (vuur, lug, water en aarde) en vier elementêre eienskappe wat daarmee gepaard gaan (warm, koud, nat en droog). Daar word gedink dat die menslike liggaam vier ooreenstemmende humore bevat - bloed (warm en nat) geel gal (warm en droog) swart gal (koud en droog) en slym (koud en nat). Hierdie vier humours moes in die regte hoeveelhede en sterk punte wees om 'n liggaam gesond te kan wees. Die korrekte vermenging en balans van die vier humore staan ​​bekend as 'eukrasia' - terwyl 'n wanbalans van humours - of 'dyskrasia' - tot siektes gelei het. Siekte kom voor as daar 'n wanbalans tussen die vier humours in die liggaam was. 'Higiëne' (wat vandag in 'n effens ander sin as die definisie daarvan gebruik is) het gegaan oor die herstel van die normale ewewig van humeur en eienskappe - om sodoende siektes te voorkom en gesondheid te behou.

Eet 'n gesonde dieet

Kos en vars lug was die sleutel tot goeie gesondheid

Net soos vandag, word 'n gesonde dieet as deel van 'n gebalanseerde gesondheidsplan beskou. Onlangse bewyse wat gebaseer is op 'n ondersoek van materiaal uit verskeie Romeinse riole, het lig gewerp op die voedsel wat die gemiddelde Romein verbruik. Volgens moderne standaarde was die dieet van die bevolking in Herculaneum ten tyde van die uitbarsting van Vesuvius uiters gesond en ryk aan minerale, wat hoë vlakke van seekos en plantaardige proteïene bevat. (Trouens, die inwoners van Herculaneum het waarskynlik aansienlik meer vis geëet as wat die bevolking van die omgewing vandag verbruik!)

Tuine was ook gewild onder die Romeine en het, afgesien van die kweek van plante en groente, 'n baie groter rol gespeel in die verbetering van welsyn. In een van sy briewe beskryf Plinius die Jongere wandelroetes langs boomryke paadjies en paaie wat langs boksheinings langs sy villa in Toskane omring is. Hy het ook kommentaar gelewer op die heilsame lug met 'n wonderlike uitsig, koel wind en soet geure.

Kies u dokter versigtig

Die Romeine was versigtig om te veel vertroue in dokters te plaas

Die Romeinse historikus Plinius die Ouere het sy medeburgers gewaarsku oor die vertroue in die mediese beroep - veral die Grieke: “Dokters verkry hul kennis uit ons gevare en doen eksperimente ten koste van ons lewens. Slegs 'n geneesheer kan doodstraf pleeg. ”

Ondanks talle verwysings na 'dokters' regoor die Romeinse ryk, is dit dikwels onduidelik wat daartoe gelei het dat 'n individu die titel 'dokter' gekry het. Daar was geen eksamens, geen diploma's, geen grade en geen professionele lisensiëringsprosedures in die Romeinse wêreld nie; 'n dokter was bloot 'n persoon wat die titel opgeëis het en behandeling vir 'n soort vergoeding uitgevoer het.

Vir die Romeine was die konsep om 'n persoonlike professionele dokter te hê, 'n anathema. Dit was in stryd met die Romeinse waardes van selfvoorsiening en om na u eie om te sien. Op Romeinse plase was die hoof van die huishouding (pater familias) het die rol aangeneem as hoofgeneser wat verantwoordelik is vir die gesondheid van sy gesin en boedelwerkers. Soos die geleerde en landboukundige Varro verduidelik het: "Daar is twee afdelings in die behandeling van mense: in die een geval moet die dokter ingeroep word, terwyl in die ander selfs 'n oplettende veewagter bevoeg is om die behandeling te gee."

Die presiese omstandighede waarin advies van 'n geneesheer ingewin kan word, is ietwat vaag. Een van die skryfblaaie wat by Vindolanda, 'n Romeinse hulpfort net suid van Hadrianus se muur, ontdek is, dui egter aan dat daar van die vroue van militêre gesinne verwag word om die daaglikse gesondheidsprobleme wat in hul huishoudings ontstaan ​​het, te hanteer. Hulle het 'n verskeidenheid medisyne vir hierdie doel byderhand gehou. Paterna, die vrou van die garnisoenprefek in Vindolanda, het medisyne aan haar suster, Lepidina, verskaf: 'Ek sal u twee middels gee', het sy in 'n brief aan haar geskryf, waarvan een vir koors was.

Ongelukkig was daar vir die Romeinse pasiënt geen lyste met goedgekeurde praktisyns wat nagegaan kon word vir diegene wat die hulp van 'n dokter wou inroep nie. Om insig te kry in die vermoë van 'n dokter (en miskien ook vir vermaak), was dit nie ongewoon om openbare uitstallings van anatomiese vaardighede by te woon of om mediese kompetisies te kyk nie. Daarbenewens is Romeinse geneeskunde dikwels in die openbaar beoefen, met baie mense wat rondom die bed van 'n siek persoon saamgeklou is, en die sorg wat hulle bied, krities ondersoek. Galen het verduidelik hoe vreemdelinge selfs by huisbesoeke aangesluit het: “Boethus het my gegryp en my huis toe geneem om die seuntjie te sien. Mense wat ons op straat ontmoet het, waarvan u een was, het ook gekom. ”

Pas jou oë op

Oogprobleme was veral 'n bron van kommer vir Romeine

Vir die Romeine was die oë 'n bevoorregte liggaamsdeel en die oorgangspunt tussen die siel en die buitewêreld. Verskeie voorstellings van oë - in goud, brons en gips - is by Wroxeter in Shropshire gevind. Sulke godsdienstige stemmingsvoorwerpe is gelaat in afwagting op 'n geneesmiddel of as dankoffer.

Onvoldoende higiëne en stowwerige paaie sou bygedra het tot die groot aantal mense met oogprobleme. In 'n militêre sterkteverslag van die First Cohort of Tungrians uit Vindolanda word die 31 soldate spesifiek ingedeel as ongeskik in drie verskillende groepe: aegri (siek - 15) volnerati (gewond - 6) en lippientes (oogprobleme - 10).

Twee dosyn oogkundige (of kollyrium) seëls is in Brittanje ontdek - waaronder twee by Wroxeter. Hierdie klein groen stene is gebruik om die naam van die vervaardiger, sowel as die aard en doel van 'n oogbehandeling op 'n geharde blok medikasie (kollyrium). Die seëls bestaan ​​gewoonlik uit klein, dun vierkantige blokkies, gewoonlik met 'n opskrif op elk van die vier rande. In 'n paar gevalle is die steen langwerpig met twee ingeskrewe sye en in een van Wroxeter is dit sirkelvormig. Die letters word in 'n intaglio -vorm gesny en van regs na links geskryf, sodat dit op die kollyrium gestempel word, wat 'n indruk maak wat van links na regs lees.

In sy De Medicina, die eerste-eeuse skrywer Celsus bestee 'n hele hoofstuk aan oogsorg en gee 'n baie duidelike beskrywing van katarakchirurgie:

'Hy moet oorkant die chirurg in 'n ligte kamer sit, terwyl die chirurg op 'n effens hoër sitplek sit, en die assistent van agter hou die kop vas sodat die pasiënt nie beweeg nie; want die visie kan permanent vernietig word deur 'n effense beweging ...

'Daarop moet 'n naald so skerp getrek word dat dit kan deurdring, maar nie te fyn nie, en dit moet reguit deur die twee buitenste tunieke ingesteek word op 'n plek tussen die pupil van die oog en die hoek aangrensend aan die tempel, weg van die middel van die katarak, op so 'n manier dat geen aar gewond word nie.

'Die naald moet egter nie skugter ingedraai word nie ... As die [korrekte] plek bereik is, moet die naald skuins wees ... en moet dit saggies draai en dit geleidelik gelei [dws die lens met die katarak] onder die gebied van die leerling. ”

Oogbanknaalde om die prosedure te ondergaan, is gevind by Carlisle en Piddington Roman Villa, Northamptonshire.

Veilige deskundige wondsorg

Die oorlewingsyfer van Romeinse soldate na die geveg was beter as dié van hul teenstanders

Die sny en sny van wonde van lang swaarde sou veral algemene beserings gewees het vir Romeinse soldate wat oor Brittanje sukkel. Ander wapens wat deur die plaaslike stamme gebruik is, sluit in spiese, messe, byle, klipslinger en, minder algemeen, pyle. Die gevolge vir sommige ongelukkige Romeinse soldate was frakture, kop- en oogbeserings - benewens indringende maag- of borswonde.

Alle snye en skrape wat nodig is om skoon te maak en aan te trek: sommige ander benodig ook stikwerk. Soms was meer ingewikkelde chirurgie nodig om beenfragmente te verwyder, bloeding te stop of spiespunte te onttrek.

Traumatiese wonde het veral 'n risiko om besmet te raak, en heuningverbindings is gereeld deur die Romeine gebruik. Die militêre dokter Dioscorides het geskryf dat "heuning skoonmaak, porieë oopmaak en vloeistowwe verwyder. Gekook en toegedien, dit genees vlees wat geskei staan ​​”.

Baie basiese wondsorg sou deur mede -soldate verskaf word, van wie sommige - die capsarii - is opgeleide noodhulp. Die capsarii was onder die beheer van 'n dokter met die rang van 'n hoofman oor honderd, soos Anicius Ingenuus, medicus ordinarius van die eerste groep Tungriërs van Housesteads, op Hadrian's Wall.

Die herstel van 'n eenvoudige vleeswond was die chirurgiese prosedure wat die meeste uitgevoer is deur individue soos Anicius Ingenuus. Basiese chirurgiese stelle wat bestaan ​​uit sonde, hake, tang, naalde, versorgingsgereedskap en kopvelle was geredelik beskikbaar, en baie items is ontdek in opgrawings op Romeinse plekke in Brittanje.

Om snitte met 'n naald en gare te steek, verskil nie van die metode wat vandag gebruik word nie, maar as daar kommer is oor infeksie of inflammasie, word die fibulae -tegniek dikwels verkies. Dit het behels dat koperlegeringspies deur die wond gelei word en dan drade op 'n syfer-van-agt manier om hulle geslinger word. Die Romeinse mediese skrywer en denker Celsus het geskryf dat "fibulae die wond groter ooplaat om […]

Fokus op algemene welstand

Met die Romeine was fisiese en geestelike gesondheid nou verbind

Sorg vir die psige - of die siel - as 'n integrale deel van die liggaam se sorg beskou, en dit was 'n belangrike element om in vorm te bly saam met oefening, vars lug, slaap en dieet.

Baie Romeine -burgers het 'n lewensfilosofie gesoek, en die benadering wat deur die keiser Marcus Aurelius gewild was, was stoïsme. Die belangrikste doel was om negatiewe emosies soos hartseer, woede en angs te vervang deur positiewe emosies soos vreugde.

Ander individue, soos die keiser Caracalla, het gereeld genesings heiligdomme besoek. Dit het gefokus op die verskaffing van holistiese sorg (insluitend sielkundige welstand) deur 'n wye verskeidenheid behandelings aan te bied, asook om hulp te vra van genesende gode, waaronder Aesculapius.

In Brittanje is verskeie inskripsies van Aesculapius ontdek, benewens twee genesende heiligdomme in Lydney, in Gloucestershire en Bath, toegewy aan onderskeidelik Nodens en Sulis Minerva. Die terrein by Lydney is omvattend opgegrawe en onthul 'n tempel, 'n gastehuis, 'n goed toegeruste badbad en 'n lang smal gebou met baie hutte (abaton).

Die abaton was waar besoekers geneem sou word om rituele tempelslaap en droomgenesing te beleef - inkubasie genoem. Gedurende hierdie proses het priesters met slange of honde onder die dwarslope rondgeloop, en die genesende drome word aangevul deur lekke van die diere.

By Lydney is talle voorstellings van heilige Ierse wolfhonde gevind, benewens 'n mosaïek versier met visse en seemonsters met die opskrif: D M N T FLAVIUS SENILIS PR REL EX STIPIBUS POSSUIT O [PITU] LANTE VICTORINO INTERP [RE] TIANTE (vertaal as "vir die god Mars Nodens, het Titus Flavius ​​Senilis, superintendent van die kultus, uit die aanbod Victorinus, die tolk (van drome), sy hulp verleen").

Individue wat genesingswebwerwe besoek, sou onderworpe wees aan 'n reeks sielkundige ingrypings wat ontwerp is om hul rustigheid te herstel: groepsterapie, praatterapie, verskillende kunsterapieë, droomgenesing, gekombineer met rus en ontspanning. Daar is ook klem gelê op lokoterapie - die sielkundige voordele van beweging sowel as om op 'n spesifieke plek (plek) te wees. Daar is ook bewyse dat oogsorg en chirurgie by Lydney gedoen word.

Water was ook 'n uiters belangrike element van baie heiligdomme en is gedrink vanweë die genesende eienskappe, sowel as om te bad, hidroterapie en rituele reiniging. Sommige plekke, soos Bath, hou verband met warmwaterbronne of waters met spesifieke minerale bestanddele. By Lydney kan die ysterryke aard van die waters mense wat aan bloedarmoede ly, aangemoedig het om te besoek, gebaseer op die bevinding van 'n hand wat uitgestal is koilonychia (lepelvormige naels), 'n teken van ystertekort.

Nick Summerton is 'n mediese dokter met 'n jarelange belangstelling in Romeinse Brittanje. Sy vyfde boek Grieks-Romeinse medisyne en wat dit ons vandag kan leer word later vanjaar deur Pen and Sword Books gepubliseer. U kan hom op Twitter vind @YorkshireGP


1. Snake Oil —Verkeerders en dokters

Versameling eliksiere. (Krediet: Efrain Padro/Alamy Stock Photo)

Terwyl 'n verkoper van 'n slangolie vandag 'n bedrieglike goedere verkoop, het die gebruik van slangolie werklike medisinale roetes. Dit is onttrek uit die olie van Chinese waterslange en het waarskynlik in die 1800's in die Verenigde State aangekom, met die toestroming van Chinese werkers wat op die transkontinentale spoorlyn werk. Dit is ryk aan omega-3-sure en word gebruik om ontsteking te verminder en artritis en bursitis te behandel, en is na 'n lang dag op die spoorweg op die gewrigte gesmeer.Gee Clark Stanley, “The Rattlesnake King. x201D Stanley, wat oorspronklik 'n cowboy was, het beweer dat hy saam met 'n Hopi -medisyneman gestudeer het wat hom aangestel het vir die genesende kragte van slangolie. Hy het hierdie nuwe gevind “nowledge ” op die pad geneem, in 1893 'n show-stop-optrede uitgevoer op die Chicago World ’s Fair, waar hy in 'n sak gesteek het, 'n ratel beetgekry het, dit oopgesny het en dit ingedruk het. Hy noem die ekstrak slangolie, alhoewel die FDA later bevestig dat sy produkte geen soort slangolie, ratelslang of andersins bevat nie. Dit het ander gewetenlose dokters en bedrieglike verkopers, wat ook in die Amerikaanse Weste begin reis het, nie gestuit nie, en bottels vals slangolie gesmous, wat die werklike voordelige mediese behandeling 'n slegte naam gegee het.


Warmwaterbronne en termiese medisyne is 'n belangrike kulturele agtergrond regoor die wêreld. Die skrywers beskryf kortliks die geskiedenis van die spa van sy oorsprong tot vandag.

Termiese medisyne is 'n vakgebied wat die eienskappe van termiese behandelings, hul biologiese en farmakologiese werking en terapeutiese effekte bestudeer en leer.

Die voordelige gevolge van termiese geneesmiddels is bekend sedert die antieke tyd, toe mense die belangrikheid van water as 'n noodsaaklike element vir die menslike lewe ontdek het en die eerste beskawings naby see en riviere gebou het [1]. Indiane en Grieke het gedink dat die water op die basis van die wêreld (Arch è) en die mens was. Ook in die Genesis van die Bybel word water beskryf as die oorsprong van die kosmos.

Dit het nie lank geduur voordat mans die voordelige eienskappe van water ontdek het nie, soos die genesing en die beskerming van siektes. Vanweë die belangrikheid daarvan is water as 'n magie beskou en word dit as 'n gawe van die godheid beskou. Egiptenare en Israeliete het hulself in die sakrale water van Niles en Jordanië, Hindoes in die Ganges -rivier gedompel om hul siel en liggaam te genees.

In Egiptiese tye is die water ook vir higiëniese en kosmetologiese doeleindes gebruik. Dit lyk asof Egiptiese vroue vroeër waterdampe geoefen het om mooier te wees, en die legendariese Cleopatra het voorheen modder uit die Dooie See gemaak om haar legendariese skoonheid te behou. Nietemin is dit deur die Grieke dat termisme gebore is [2].

As gevolg van die bonatuurlike krag wat toegeskryf word aan die warm water en hul dampe, is dit nie verbasend hoe die eerste Thermal ontstaan ​​het naby die tempels en natuurlike warmwaterbronne nie. Antieke Grieke het die voordelige eienskappe van swaelwaterbronne goed geken, veral vir die genesing van velsiektes en vir die verligting van spier- en gewrigspyn. In die Homeriese gedigte en Hesiodos word baie verwys na die gebruik van herstellende baddens. Sommige van die beroemde filosowe van Griekeland, soos Hippokrates en Plato, het ook geskryf oor die voordele van hidroterapie. Hippokrates bestee 'n groot deel aan termiese water in sy werk � is, 'n vasvra by loci ”, waarin hy die chemiese en organoleptiese waterkenmerke en die uitwerking van warm en koue baddens op die menslike liggaam beskryf. Die filosoof het die hipotese voorgestel dat al die menslike siektes begin het in 'n wanbalans van liggaamsvloeistowwe. Om die balans te herstel, word veranderinge in gewoontes en omgewing aangeraai, insluitend bad, sweet, stap en massering. Om hierdie rede is baddens dikwels geassosieer met 'n gimnasium. 'N Liggaamsmassering met olie en losmaakmiddels is na die bad ingebring om die eienskappe van die vel te herstel en die pasiënt te ontspan.

Met verloop van tyd is nuwe baddens, beide openbare en private, binne verskillende stede gebou.

Selfs die Etruskers het groot belang geheg aan die gebruik van water, nie net vir die netheid en kosmetiese eienskappe nie, maar ook vir die genesende. Daarom het hulle lenteterme naby hul stad gebou.

As termisme in die antieke Grieks gebore is, was dit eers teen die Romeinse tyd dat dit sy goue era [3] beleef het. Die Romeine neem die leiding van die Grieke en beskou bad as 'n gereelde gesondheidsorg.

Met die Romeine het termiese bad 'n sosiale ervaring vir almal geword. In die eerste keer is talle baddens (Balnea), beide privaat en publiek, in Rome gebou en lande oor die hele Europa verower. Balnea is ook in privaat huise gebou, dikwels met spesiale areas vir die sauna of massage. Die koms van die akwadukte het gelei tot die bou van pragtige geboue (Thermae) met 'n kapasiteit vir honderde of duisende mense. Omdat termisme 'n goeie regime vir menslike gesondheid was, het dit 'n belangrike ervaring geword vir kuier, ontspanning en werk. Die nuwe termiese sentrums (of SPA, “Sanus per Aquam ”) het, benewens balnea, ook bestaan ​​uit tuine, winkels en biblioteke. Die Romeinse Thermae het ook 'n medisinale klem, en dit is grootliks gebruik as herstelsentrums vir die gewonde militêre soldate. Romeinse legioenen, wat deur oorloë moeg was, het gereeld ontspan en hul seer wonde en moeë spiere deur natuurlike bronwater behandel. Baie dokters, soos Galen en Celso, het die watersamestellings, die effekte daarvan en kliniese aanduidings bestudeer. Sommige van die Thermae is aangespreek vir hul terapeutiese eienskappe. Hidrologie het 'n ware wetenskap geword: termiese behandelings is voorgeskryf met spesifieke aanduidings om te volg en is ondergaan vir mediese toesig [4].

Ongelukkig het die geleidelike agteruitgang van die Romeinse Ryk, die barbaarse invalle en die verspreiding van die Christendom in die middeljare tot die termiese krisis gelei. Thermae het geleidelik woestyn geword. Bade is slegs aanvaar as 'n skoonmaak- of terapeutiese hulpmiddel [4]. Aan die ander kant het dokters terselfdertyd voortgegaan met die bestudering van die verskillende tipes water, wat hul spesifieke kliniese aanduidings onderstreep (bv.

In die Renaissance -era is spa's en hidrologie herwaardeer [5]. Nuwe wetenskaplike studies is uitgevoer en as gevolg van die bekendstelling van drukwerk het dit op groot skaal begin versprei. Spa -behandelings het meer doelgerig en spesifiek geword vir die behandeling van verskillende mediese toestande.

Die wettigheid van mediese termisme het tydens die illuminisme meer en meer versterk en in die XVIII en XIX eeue gekonsolideer. Op hierdie ouderdom het die wetenskaplike vordering van die mediese hidrologie 'n eksperimentele wetenskap gemaak en nie meer 'n empiriese nie. Die biochemiese studies oor mineraalwater het hul eienskappe en kliniese aanduidings onderstreep. Dokters was oortuig dat daar vir elke siekte 'n geskikte medisinale bron was. Volgens hierdie standpunt kan Vincent Priessnitz [6] en Sebastian Kneipp beskou word as die twee vaders van die moderne balneoterapie (medisinale gebruik van termiese water) en hidroterapie (onderdompeling van die liggaam in termiese water vir terapeutiese doeleindes).

Gekombineerde behandelings, soos kruiebaddens, modderpakkies, aktiewe fisiese oefeninge, masserings en dieet, is ook ontwikkel. Dikwels is groot en pragtige tuine naby die nuwe spa's gebou, wat die belangrikheid van die kombinasie ekologie-hidrologie [7] onderstreep.

Uiteindelik, in hierdie tydperk, is belangrike wetenskaplike instellings en beroemde akademiese skole gestig om termisme in baie Europese lande te bestudeer.

Die volgende Belle Epoque het die opkoms van 𠇎litist Thermalism ”. Dwarsdeur Europa en die Amerikas was die spa's aan die toeneem. Groot hotelle, casino's, kroeë en restaurante het ontstaan, naby die kuuroorde. Die nuwe termiese sentrums was 'n integrale deel van die nederigheid, 'n vergaderingsentrum vir die elite en 'n plek van kreatiwiteit vir skilders en komponiste.

Na twee Wêreldoorloë het die gewildheid van die termiese bad weer afgeneem. Die vernietiging van die baddens tot ruïnes, die sosio-ekonomiese krisis, die vordering van chemie en farmakologie het die manier van bad radikaal verander.

Termalisme het 'n sosiale vorm van hidroterapie geword, oop vir 'n groter publiek, en termiese geneesmiddels is ingesluit in die terapeutiese program van die nasionale gesondheidstelsel (tabel 1).

Tabel 1

Belangrikste dermatologiese siektes wat met termiese medisyne behandel kan word

Met die begin van die een-en-twintigste eeu het water sy belangrikheid herwin weens die terapeutiese ervaring van die dokters en die nuwe studies oor hidrologie, farmakologie en biochemie [8, 9]. In die besonder, as gevolg van die bydrae van Chinese, Amerikaanse en Spaanse studies [10], het termiese genesing nou 'n voorkomende, terapeutiese en rehabilitatiewe waarde aangeneem by baie siektes, waaronder kollageen -vaskulêre siekte [11].

Die belangrikste vernuwing in termisme is miskien dat die klassieke konsep van genesing nou verbind is met die konsep van welstand, met 'n buitengewone bloei van parallelle en komplementêre aktiwiteite. Nuwe spa -toerisme ontwikkel [12, 13].

Tans is gesondheids- en welstandstoerisme 'n vinnig groeiende sektor van die toerismebedryf, en dit het sy aktiwiteit wêreldwyd verhoog. Die toerisme is nie net gerig op 'n fisiese en sielkundige verbetering nie, maar ook omdat dit 'n kulturele en ontspannende ervaring is.


Mediese dienste van die laat Romeinse Republiek en die vroeë Romeinse Ryk was hoofsaaklik invoer uit die beskawing van die antieke Griekeland, eers deur die Grieks-beïnvloed Etruskiese samelewing en Griekse kolonies wat direk in Italië geplaas is, en dan deur die Grieke wat tydens die Romeinse verowering van Griekeland, Grieke, verslaaf was genooi na Rome, of Griekse kennis wat aan Romeinse burgers oorgedra word wat in Griekeland besoek of opgevoed word. [1] Deur die name van Romeinse dokters te lees, sal die meerderheid geheel of gedeeltelik Grieks wees en dat baie dokters van diensbare oorsprong was. [2]

Die stigma van diensbaarheid kom van die ongeluk dat 'n medies meer gevorderde samelewing deur 'n mindere oorwin is. [ aanhaling nodig ] Een van die kulturele ironieë van hierdie omstandighede is dat vrye manne soms in diens was van die slaaf of hooggeplaaste, of dat die mag van die staat toevertrou was aan buitelanders wat in die geveg verower is en tegnies slawe was. In die Griekse samelewing was dokters geneig om as edel beskou te word. Asclepius in die Ilias is edel.

Openbare medisyne Redigeer

'N Signale gebeurtenis in die Romeinse mediese gemeenskap was die bou van die eerste Aesculapium ('n tempel vir die god van genesing) in die stad Rome, op die Tiber -eiland. [3] In 293 vC het sommige amptenare die Sibylline Books geraadpleeg oor die maatreëls wat hulle moes tref en is aangeraai om Aesculapius van Epidaurus na Rome te bring. Die heilige slang van Epidaurus is ritueel aan die nuwe tempel toegeken, of, in sommige gevalle, ontsnap die slang uit die skip en swem na die eiland. Daar is baddens gevind, sowel as stembusse (donaria) in die vorm van spesifieke organe. In klassieke tye het die sentrum die hele eiland beslaan en 'n langtermyn herstel sentrum ingesluit. Die keiser Claudius [4] het 'n wet laat aanvaar wat vryheid verleen aan slawe wat vir genesing na die instelling gestuur is, maar daar verlaat is. Hierdie wet vergemaklik waarskynlik die toestand van die pasiënte en die herstel van die beddens wat hulle bewoon het. Die besonderhede is nie beskikbaar nie.

Dit was nie die eerste keer dat 'n tempel in Rome gebou is om pes te voorkom nie. Die konsul, Gnaeus Julius Mento, een van twee vir die jaar 431 vC, het 'n tempel opgedra aan Apollo medicus ("die geneser"). [5] Daar was ook 'n tempel om salus ("gesondheid") op die Mons Salutaris, 'n ingewing van die Quirinal. Daar is geen bewyse dat hierdie vroeëre tempels in daardie geval oor die mediese fasiliteite beskik wat met 'n Aesculapium verband hou nie; die latere besluit om dit in te bring, veronderstel 'n nuwe begrip dat wetenskaplike maatreëls teen pes getref kan word. Die gedenkwaardige beskrywing van die plaag in Athene tydens die Peloponnesiese oorlog (430 v.C.) deur Thucydides noem glad nie maatreëls om diegene wat daardeur geraak is, te verlig nie. Die sterwendes kan by die putte wat hulle besmet het, ophoop en die oorledene kan daar ophoop. In Rome het Cicero [6] die aanbidding van bose magte gekritiseer, soos Febris ("Koors"), Dea Mefitis ("Malaria"), Dea Angerona ("Keelpyn") en Dea Scabies ("Uitslag").

Die mediese kuns in die vroeë Rome was die verantwoordelikheid van die pater familias, of aartsvader. Die laaste bekende openbare advokaat vir hierdie standpunt was die relings van Marcus Cato teen Griekse dokters en sy aandrang om boererate aan sy seun oor te dra.

Die invoer van die Aesculapium het medisyne in die openbare domein gevestig. Daar is geen rekord van gelde wat ingesamel word vir 'n verblyf in een van hulle, in Rome of elders nie. Die koste van 'n Aesculapium moes op dieselfde manier gedek word as alle tempeluitgawes: individue het belowe om sekere aksies uit te voer of 'n sekere bedrag by te dra as sekere gebeurtenisse gebeur, waarvan sommige genesings was. So 'n stelsel kom neer op gegradeerde bydraes volgens inkomste, aangesien die bydraer slegs kan belowe wat hy kan voorsien. Die bou van 'n tempel en sy geriewe daarenteen was die verantwoordelikheid van die landdroste. Die fondse kom uit die staatskas of uit belasting.

Privaat medisyne Redigeer

'N Tweede seinwet was ook die aanvang van borgskap van privaat medisyne deur die staat. In die jaar 219 v.G.J. (Lucius Aemilius Paullus en Marcus Livius Salinator was konsuls), was 'n kwesbaarheid, of chirurg, Archagathus, het Rome vanaf die Peloponnesus besoek en is gevra om te bly. Die staat verleen burgerskap aan hom en koop vir hom a taberna, of winkel, naby die compitium Acilii ('n kruispad), wat die eerste geword het officina medica. [7]

Die dokter het noodwendig baie assistente gehad. Sommige het medisyne voorberei en verkoop en die kruietuin versorg. Daar was farmakopolae (let op die vroulike einde), unguentarii en aromatarii, wat almal maklik deur die Engelse leser verstaan ​​kan word. Ander het die dokter bygewoon indien nodig (die capsarii hulle het die dokter voorberei en gedra capsa, of sak.). Jerome Carcopino se studie oor beroepsname in die Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum het 51 geword medici, 4 medicae (vroulike dokters), an verloskundige ("vroedvrou") en a nutrix ("verpleegster") in die stad Rome. Hierdie getalle is natuurlik op sy beste eweredig aan die ware bevolkings, wat baie keer groter was.

Onderaan die skaal was die alomteenwoordige ontevrede ("diegene wat leer") of mediese vakleerlinge. Romeinse dokters van enige statuur het die bevolking gefynkam vir persone in enige sosiale omgewing wat belangstelling in en die vermoë gehad het om medisyne te beoefen. Aan die een kant gebruik die dokter hul dienste onophoudelik. Aan die ander kant is hulle behandel soos lede van die gesin, dit wil sê dat hulle by die dokter kom bly het, en toe hulle vertrek, was hulle self dokters. Die beste dokters was die voormalige vakleerlinge van die Aesculapia, wat in werklikheid daar koshuise gedien het.

Mediese waardes Redigeer

Die Romeine waardeer 'n toestand van valetudo, salus of sanitas. Hulle begin hul korrespondensie met die groet si vales valeo, "as dit goed gaan met jou, dit gaan goed met my" en het dit afgesluit met salf, "wees gesond". Die Indo-Europese wortels is *wal-, "wees sterk", 'n heelheid is tot 'n mate deur die regte lewe voortgesit. Die Hippokratiese eed verplig dokters om reg te lewe (deur 'n voorbeeld te stel). Die eerste oorsaak waaraan mense gedink het, was dat hulle nie reg gelewe het nie. In die kort gedeelte van Vegetius oor die gesondheid van 'n Romeinse legioen word slegs gesê dat 'n legioen siektes kan vermy deur uit malaria -moerasse te bly, gereeld te oefen en 'n gesonde lewe te lei.

Ondanks hul beste pogings het mense van tyd tot tyd wel geword aeger, "siek". Hulle kwyn, het naarheid (woorde van Romeinse ekstraksie) of 'geval' (insidere) in morbum. Hulle was bedroef en donker. Op daardie stadium het hulle die mediese res, die mans vaardig in die ars medicus, wie sal curare morbum, "have a care for the disease", who went by the name of medicus of medens. The root is *med-, "measure". The medicus prescribed medicina of regimina as measures against the disease. [8]

The physician Edit

The next step was to secure the cura van a medicus. If the patient was too sick to move one sent for a clinicus, who went to the clinum or couch of the patient. Of higher status were the chirurgii (which became the English word surgeon), from Greek cheir (hand) and ourgon (work). In addition were the eye doctor, ocularius, the ear doctor, auricularius, and the doctor of snakebites, the marsus.

That the poor paid a minimal fee for the visit of a medicus is indicated by a wisecrack in Plautus: [9] "It was less than a nummus." [10] Many anecdotes exist of doctors negotiating fees with wealthy patients and refusing to prescribe a remedy if agreement was not reached. Pliny says: [11]

"I will not accuse the medical art of the avarice even of its professors, the rapacious bargains made with their patients while their fate is trembling in the balance, …"

The fees charged were on a sliding scale according to assets. The physicians of the rich were themselves rich. For example, Antonius Musa treated Augustus' nervous symptoms with cold baths and drugs. He was not only set free but he became Augustus' physician. He received a salary of 300,000 sesterces. [12] There is no evidence that he was other than a private physician that is, he was not working for the Roman government.

Legal responsibility Edit

Doctors were generally exempt from prosecution for their mistakes. Some writers complain of legal murder. However, holding the powerful up to exorbitant fees ran the risk of retaliation. Pliny reports [11] that the emperor Claudius fined a physician, Alcon, 180 million sesterces and exiled him to Gaul, but that on his return he made the money back in just a few years. Pliny does not say why the physician was exiled, but the blow against the man was struck on his pocketbook. He could make no such income in Gaul.

This immunity applied only to mistakes made in the treatment of free men. By chance a law existed at Rome, the Lex Aquilia, [13] passed about 286 BCE, which allowed the owners of slaves and animals to seek remedies for damage to their property, either malicious or negligent. Litigants used this law to proceed against the negligence of medici, such as the performance of an operation on a slave by an untrained surgeon resulting in death or other damage.

Social position Edit

While encouraging and supporting the public and private practice of medicine, the Roman government tended to suppress organizations of medici in society. The constitution provided for the formation of occupational kollegia, or guilds. The consuls and the emperors treated these ambivalently. Sometimes they were permitted more often they were made illegal and were suppressed. The medici formed collegia, which had their own centers, the Scholae Medicorum, but they never amounted to a significant social force. They were regarded as subversive along with all the other collegia.

Doctors were nevertheless influential. They liked to write. Compared to the number of books written, not many have survived for example, Tiberius Claudius Menecrates composed 150 medical works, of which only a few fragments remain. Some that did remain almost in entirety are the works of Galen, Celsus, Hippocrates and the herbal expert, Pedanius Dioscorides who wrote the 5-volume De Materia Medica. Die Natuurlike geskiedenis of Pliny the Elder became a paradigm for all subsequent works like it and gave its name to the topic, although Pliny was not himself an observer of the natural world like Aristotle or Theophrastus, whose Ondersoek na plante included a book on their medicinal uses.

Republican Edit

The state of the military medical corps before Augustus is unclear. Corpsmen certainly existed at least for the administration of first aid and were enlisted soldiers rather than civilians. The commander of the legion was held responsible for removing the wounded from the field and insuring that they got sufficient care and time to recover. He could quarter troops in private domiciles if he thought necessary. Authors who have written of Roman military activities before Augustus, such as Livy, mention that wounded troops retired to population centers to recover.

Imperial Edit

The army of the early empire was sharply and qualitatively different. Augustus defined a permanent professional army by setting the enlistment at 16 years (with an additional 4 for reserve obligations), and establishing a special military fund, the aerarium militare, imposing a 5% inheritance tax and 1% auction sales tax to pay for it. From it came bonus payments to retiring soldiers amounting to several years' salary. It could also have been used to guarantee regular pay. Previously legions had to rely on booty.

If military careers were now possible, so were careers for military specialists, such as medici. Under Augustus for the first time occupational names of officers and functions began to appear in inscriptions. Die valetudinaria, [14] or military versions of the aesculapia (the names mean the same thing) became features of permanent camps. Caches of surgical instruments have been found in some of them. From this indirect evidence it is possible to conclude to the formation of an otherwise unknown permanent medical corps.

In the early empire one finds milites medici who were immunes ("exempt") from other duties. Some were staff of the hospital, which Pseudo-Hyginus mentions in De Munitionibus Castrorum [15] as being set apart from other buildings so that the patients can rest. The hospital administrator was an optio valetudinarii. The orderlies aren't generally mentioned, but they must have existed, as the patients needed care and the doctors had more important duties. Perhaps they were servile or civilians, not worth mentioning. Daar was 'n paar noscomi, male nurses not in the army. Or, they could have been the milites medici. The latter term might be any military medic or it might be orderlies detailed from the legion. Daar was ook medici castrorum. Not enough information survives in the sources to say for certain what distinctions existed, if any.

The army of Augustus featured a standardized officer corps, described by Vegetius. Among them were the Ordinarii, the officers of an Ordo or rank. In an acies triplex there were three such ordines, the centuries (companies) of which were commanded by centurions. Die Ordinarii were therefore of the rank of a centurion but did not necessarily command one if they were staff.

Die term medici ordinarii in the inscriptions must refer to the lowest ranking military physicians. During his reign, Augustus finally conferred the dignitas equestris, or social rank of knight, on all physicians, public or private. They were then full citizens (in case there were any Hellenic questions) and could wear the rings of knights. In the army there was at least one other rank of physician, the medicus duplicarius, "medic at double pay", and, as the legion had milites sesquiplicarii, "soldiers at 1.5 pay", perhaps the medics had that pay grade as well.

Augustan posts were named according to a formula containing the name of the rank and the unit commanded in the genitive case e.g., the commander of a legion, who was a legate that is, an officer appointed by the emperor, was the legatus legionis, "the legate of the legion." Those posts worked pretty much as today a man on his way up the cursus honorum ("ladder of offices", roughly) would command a legion for a certain term and then move on.

The posts of medicus legionis en a medicus cohortis were most likely to be commanders of the medici of the legion and its cohorts. They were all under the praetor or camp commander, who might be the legatus but more often was under the legatus homself. There was, then, a medical corps associated with each camp. The cavalry alae ("wings") and the larger ships all had their medical officers, the medici alarum en die medici triremis onderskeidelik.

Practice Edit

As far as can be determined, the medical corps in battle worked as follows. Trajan's Column depicts medics on the battlefield bandaging soldiers. They were located just behind the standards i.e., near the field headquarters. This must have been a field aid station, not necessarily the first, as the soldiers or corpsmen among the soldiers would have administered first aid before carrying their wounded comrades to the station. Some soldiers were designated to ride along the line on a horse picking up the wounded. They were paid by the number of men they rescued. Bandaging was performed by capsarii, who carried bandages (fascia) in their capsae, or bags.

From the aid station the wounded went by horse-drawn ambulance to other locations, ultimately to the camp hospitals in the area. There they were seen by the medici vulnerarii, or surgeons, the main type of military doctor. They were given a bed in the hospital if they needed it and one was available. The larger hospitals could administer 400-500 beds. If these were insufficient the camp commander probably utilized civilian facilities in the region or quartered them in the vici, "villages", as in the republic.

A base hospital was quadrangular with barracks-like wards surrounding a central courtyard. On the outside of the quadrangle were private rooms for the patients. Although unacquainted with bacteria, Roman medical doctors knew about contagion and did their best to prevent it. Rooms were isolated, running water carried the waste away, and the drinking and washing water was tapped up the slope from the latrines.

Within the hospital were operating rooms, kitchens, baths, a dispensary, latrines, a mortuary and herb gardens, as doctors relied heavily on herbs for drugs. Die medici could treat any wound received in battle, as long as the patient was alive. They operated or otherwise treated with scalpels, hooks, levers, drills, probes, forceps, catheters and arrow-extractors on patients anesthetized with morphine (opium poppy extract) and scopolamine (henbane extract). Instruments were boiled before use. Wounds were washed in vinegar and stitched. Broken bones were placed in traction. There is, however, evidence of wider concerns. A vaginal speculum suggests gynecology was practiced, and an anal speculum implies knowledge that the size and condition of internal organs accessible through the orifices was an indication of health. They could extract eye cataracts with a special needle. Operating room amphitheaters indicate that medical education was ongoing. Many have proposed that the knowledge and practices of the medici were not exceeded until the 20th century CE.

By the late empire the state had taken more of a hand in regulating medicine. The law codes of the 4th century CE, such as the Codex Theodosianus, paint a picture of a medical system enforced by the laws and the state apparatus. At the top was the equivalent of a surgeon general of the empire. He was by law a noble, a dux (duke) or a vicarius (vicar) of the emperor. He held the title of comes archiatorum, "count of the chief healers." The Greek word iatros, "healer", was higher-status than the Latin medicus.

Onder die comes were a number of officials called the archiatri, or more popularly the protomedici, supra medicos, domini medicorum of superpositi medicorum. They were paid by the state. It was their function to supervise all the medici in their districts i.e., they were the chief medical examiners. Their families were exempt from taxes. They could not be prosecuted nor could troops be quartered in their homes.

The archiatri were divided into two groups:

  • Archiatri sancti palatii, who were palace physicians
  • Archiatri populares. They were required to provide for the poor presumably, the more prosperous still provided for themselves.

Die archiatri settled all medical disputes. Rome had 14 of them the number in other communities varied from 5 to 10 depending on the population.


Ancient Rome: Medical Beliefs and Treatments - History

I’m not a student or scholar but I subscribe to Biblical Archaeology. I could have listened to her all night. I would have liked to know what the medical training was like. I guess I learned about dissections and anatomy they didn’t happen. I was wondering about that before she gave her lecture. I wonder if they had schools of medicine. Class lectures. Internships.

It was interesting that they were a lot more sophisticated medically than I thought they were. I’m going to have to kick my butt and read my Marcus Aurelius that’s in my Great Books.

Features of the Two Spices Offered to Jesus

Both frankincense, or olibanum, and myrrh came from resinous gum that was obtained by making incisions in the bark of small trees or thorny shrubs.

The frankincense tree grew along the southern coast of Arabia, and the myrrh bush thrived in the semidesert countries of present-day Somalia and Yemen. Both spices were highly esteemed for their fragrance. Jehovah himself chose them in connection with his worship—myrrh was a component of the holy anointing oil, and frankincense of the holy incense. (Exodus 30:23-25, 34-37) But they were used differently.

Frankincense, commonly used as incense, had to be burned to release its fragrance. The resin extracted from myrrh, on the other hand, was used directly. Myrrh is mentioned three times in accounts about Jesus: as a gift when he was a baby (Matthew 2:11), as an analgesic offered with wine when he was hanging on the stake (Mark 15:23), and as one of the spices used in the preparation of his body for burial (John 19:39).
http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2015172

Sarah Yeoman’s presentation was absolutely fascinating and one item got me thinking. The account of the magi in Matthew makes it clear that they were looking for the “the King of the Jews” because they wanted to “worship” him. Athough it also says they leave gifts of frankincense and myrrh, it does not say to what purpose these aromatic gums were to be put. Could the magi have intended the frankincense and myrrh for Mary as a protection against postpartum infection?

[…] [ad_1] During this time of the year, the world celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Around t… Magdalene and Mary went to the gravesite, the angels outside His tomb proudly declared those words […]

Baie interessant! I really enjoyed your thorough understanding of ancient Rome! God bless!

Thanks for this enlightening lecture. One surgical instrument was not present among those presented from Rimini archaeological finds that I assumed would be there, the pipettes for draining fluid from crushing wounds.

Very interesting and informative lecture. Many thanks to Sarah Yeomans. Hopefully we will be able to view a lecture next year on her findings regarding religion and Christianity during this era.

Fascinating – ironically I go to Rimini every year, next time I’ll be sure to go to the Domus del Chirurgo!

The Bible—A Book of Accurate Prophecy, “The Last Days”
Prophecy: “In one place after another pestilences.”—Luke 21:11.
Fulfillment: Despite medical advances, millions still die each year as a result of infectious diseases. International travel and the world’s growing urban population have increased the likelihood that disease outbreaks will spread rapidly.
What the evidence reveals:
● Smallpox killed an estimated 300 million to 500 million people in the 20th century.
● The Worldwatch Institute reports that during the past three decades, “more than thirty previously unrecognized diseases such as Ebola, HIV, Hantavirus, and SARS have emerged as new threats.”
● The World Health Organization has warned of the rise of drug-resistant germs, saying: “The world is heading towards a post-antibiotic era, in which many common infections will no longer have a cure and, once again, [will] kill unabated.”
http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200272858#h=0-1&selpar=0

Interesting lecture. Well organized.

Fascinating and most interesting – however one point is that the Egyptian Oxyrhynchus records of just about all periods show the village inhabitants ‘ran away’ (anachoresis) when ever things got sticky – from too high tax demands to local bandits and even when a Roman grandee came visiting (locals did not want to bear the cost), so I’d like to see more evidence the records show the absences were due to the plague at that period. The other thing that worries me are the ‘arguments from a negative’ – simply because records stop does not mean the practice stops (the Balkan Roman army discharges), only that the records are not there, so I’d like to know there was other positive evidence that this cessation was due to stopping discharges. But, despite these minor thoughts, again many thanks for a most interesting lecture.

Ms. Yeomans has given a fascinating talk. Well presented. I learned a great deal. Dankie.


Listing of even more Ancient Roman medicinal plants

I t is quite evident that the Romans used a great variety of medicinal plants. For example Melissa against insect bites and as a tea against melancholy. A few herbs used by the Romans are given below apologies for the lack of order, rather like a garden.


Sage (salvia officinalis) — The Roman name for the plant was Salvia coming from the word “salvare” or “ salus” meaning health. It was regarded as sacred and was gathered with pomp and ceremony after an offering of bread and wine and not to be cut with ferrous tools (which apart from anything would have been extremely expensive in those days).
Laurel (laurus nobilis) — famously used to crown emperors and great men, the Laurel was dedicated to the god Apollo and the god of medicine Aesculapius. Laurel (bay leaf) is lightly narcotic and as such was closely associated with trances and oracles. Laurel garldands soon became an architectural element as the plant was believed to protect from disease, evil spells and lightning. It was also used as a remedy against the plague (remember that Aesculapius was brought over to Rome in the event of a plague).
Oak (Quercus robur) — the bark, leaves and galls are powerful astringents. The high tannin content can also be used for tanning leather. A crushed leaf could be applied directly to wounds.
Munt (mentha spicata) — used to flavour wines and sauces. The poet Ovid mentions it as a symbol of hospitality. It was used as a diuretic and digestive as well as for coughs and colds.
Parsley (petroselinum hortense) — the Greeks had a variety of uses, the Romans are believed to have been the first to use it as a food.
Oregano (origanum vulgare) was a well known herb throughout the Roman world for its frangrance and antiseptic properties.
Kaneel (cinnamum zeylanicum) — a rare herb during Roman times it was highly prized, like pepper. It would be imported from India.Cinnamon is one of the oldest known spices, and in the Ancient World it was worth more than gold. Its medicinal properties are astounding. In Ancient Rome, cinnamon was useful in the treatment of inflammation, poisonous bites, and menstrual disorders. It was very helpful in treating the symptoms of the common cold or flu, as well as other respiratory infections. Cinnamon was also claimed to be an exceptional cough medicine. To fight infection, cinnamon was known for its antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-fungal properties, and was often applied externally to wounds, and troublesome skin conditions. Cinnamon was also used in embalming procedures. Body cavities were filled with sweet smelling spices. During childbirth, mothers were given cinnamon, as a sedative, to help with the pain and discomfort. It was commonly used for gastro-intestinal upsets, such as indigestion, nausea and diarrhea, and it was recognized as a good digestive aid. Many people today take cinnamon as a treatment for acid reflux. Cinnamon has stimulant properties, and was used to warm the body, and aid in circulation. It was applied as an astringent, and as a parasitic treatment. It was also used in food preservation.


Roosmaryn (ros marinus, meaning “sea dew”) — burnt for purification. In fact its antiseptic properties meant it would be used to preserve foods.

Usage of rosemary dates back to 500 b.c. when it was used as a culinary and medicinal herb by the ancient Greeks and Romans. It is still a popular medicinal herb today. Pedanius Dioscorides (ca. 40 to ca. 90) Greek physician, pharmacologist and botanist practiced in Rome during the time of Nero. His most famous writing,the five volume "De Materia Medica" is one of the most influential herbal books in history. Dioscorides recommended rosemary for its "warming faculty". In addition to its importance in the history of herbal science, the "Materia Medica" also enlightens us about the herbs and remedies employed by the Greeks, Romans and other cultures of antiquity.

When mixed with curdled milk, beer, and honey, rosemary was considered by the ancients to be good for heart trouble. Ancient Greek students ate rosemary to improve their memory students also wore rosemary garlands when studying for examinations.

Hellenistic and Roman gardens almost always contained rosemary bushes. Moreover, rosemary was believed to grow only in the gardens of the righteous and protected one from evil spirits. The Romans believed that the odor of rosemary preserved dead bodies, and the green color of the leaves symbolized eternity. Rosemary was placed in the hands of the dead.


Violets (viola odorata) — The Romans used violets for the eyes or as a cure for hangovers. Both the Greeks and the Romans used Violets for all sorts of other things such as herbal remedies, wine (Vinum Violatum), to sweeten food and for festivals. The Romans liked the Vinum Violatum so much they spent more time cultivating violets than olives, much to the irritation of Horace (65-8 BC.). Violets, associated with resurrection, were secretly planted on Nero’s grave.

The Greeks also used violets “to moderate anger, procure sleep and comfort and strengthen the heart.” Violet wine was a delicacy for ancient Romans.

Violet leaves and flowers contain beta-carotene, vitamin C, salicylates, the flavonoid rutin, mucilage, and the flowers contain essential oil. Violets are pungent, bitter, and sweet, cool and moist and correspond to Venus, and the element of water.


Poppy (Papaver Rhoeas) — it’s calming effects have been widely known in most if not all civilisations and cultures since primordial times.
Basil (ocimum basilicum) — was introduced into Europe by the Romans. Amongst the various stories it is said to have been found growing on the spot of Christ’s crucifixion by the Empress Elena (mother of Emperor Constantine) and from hence exported across the empire.
Chestnut (castanea sativa) — Pliny tells us it was eaten roasted/toasted by the priests of Cibele as they were forbidden from eating cereals. It is also mentioned by the poet Homer and by Galen, Martial and Virgil.
Artichoke (cynara scolymus) —Pliny gives one of the very first full descriptions of the artichoke as we know it. It had a variety of reputations, some of them negative for example dreaming of them was deemed to mean bad luck. It was a poor food with little nourishment and stood as a symbol of pain and bad luck. However, wehave also read of it being deemed to be an aphrodisiac.
Granaatjie (punica granatum) — Entered Roman life around the time of the Punic wars. It’s roots were cooked and used as a cure for worms. The skin was used for intestinal problems. It’s copious seeds made the fruit to be associated with Venus/Aphrodite and according to the Greeks it’s juice was meant to be the blood of Dionysus.
Cabbage (brassica oleracea) — Pliny goes as far as saying the Romans used cabbage as the only medicine for a number of centuries. Catullus defended it and its virtues in the senate against other foodstuffs and herbs being imported from the orient. The poor ate all parts of it whilst the rich had a preference for the young shoots only. Recent cancer research sugests that indeed it is an effective cancer defence and should be eaten twice a week if possible!
Fennel (foeniculum vulgare) — Pliny advocates it for problems with the eyes and sight. Something weird about noticing how moulting snakes would rub their eyes against it.
Lettuce (lactuca scariola) has been known to be rich in sap — hence the name lactuca which means “rich in milk". It was used against rheumatisms and colds. It was very appreciated during meals and in the republican period was often eaten at the end of the meal. In later times it made its way to the beginning of the meal as an appetizer. The sap would be collected and dried for use.
Kersie (prunus avium) — Galen advocated its use for the intestine and against gall stones. The kernel was found useful for arthritic pain, acne and verucas. The resin/gum, collected in summer, would be mixed with wine against cough and to aid appetite.
Gars (hordeum vulgare) — was very common but eventually overtaken by wheat as the most common cereal in ancient Rome. The Romans took barley with them across Europe and the Middle East, establishing it everywhere they went as a staple food, an ingredient for brewing beer and a medicine. One of its most popular medicinal uses was as an anti-inflammatory, a property for which barley still has a sound reputation today, being widely recommended as a treatment for osteoarthritis, gastric ulcers and other inflammatory diseases. Barley is also known as an emollient used in cases of pancreas and biliar ailments and other digestive problems and in infections of the intestinal mucous membrane and urinary tract, and as a febrifugal used especially for fevers in children, who are also given it for minor infections, diarrhea and dry coughs. It is also traditionally renowned as a galactogogue and a promoter of hormonal balance in women, and its benefits to the hormonal system have been reinforced in modern times by research suggesting that it stimulates the release of prolactin and human growth hormone. Barley's reputation as a woman's herb has grown even further in recent years, since it has become increasingly used as an ingredient in breast enhancement formulations. Another therapeutic use of barley is to lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels and to regulate blood sugar levels. Studies suggest that these effects are caused by beta glucan, a type of fibre which barley contains, which is also claimed to be protective against the risk of bowel cancer. Barley also contains astounding amounts of proteins, vitamins and minerals, incuding potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, beta carotene, B1, B2, B6, C, folic acid, and pantothenic acid, making it one of the most nourishing foodstuffs known to man. It also contains high levels of chlorophyll, a substance said to inhibit cancer, and several antioxidants, thought to help prevent many degenerative diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, stroke and premature ageing. Made into a poultice and applied externally, barley has demulcent properties which make it helpful in soothing and reducing inflammation in sores and swellings. A hot poultice eases stiff and painful joints and draws the poison from boils, abscesses, stings, bites and infected cuts. A cold poultice relieves swellings and helps with weeping eczema and other itchy skin conditions.

2. Medicine requires trust

While using ancient Greek medicine as a source of remedies is problematic, drawing on it to understand the doctor/patient relationship is more straightforward. We still say, “Trust me, I’m a doctor”. But there was clearly a lot of unease about doctors in the ancient world. They weren’t family members so it felt risky to let them near your body, especially when you weren’t feeling very strong. Being ill was seen as a loss of self-control and therefore damaging to a man’s masculinity.

To gain a patient’s trust, a doctor had to make sure his image was right. Today it’s the white coat. In ancient Greece it was all about wearing plain, simple clothing, avoiding strong perfumes and never quoting the poets at the patient’s bedside. If you’ve read any Greek tragedy, you’ll see why not. When you are feeling ill, it isn’t cheering to hear “Death is the only water to wash away this dirt” or “alone in my misery I would crawl, dragging my wretched foot”. As a doctor, you needed to understand what your patients were thinking, and help them to trust you. And if they trusted you, then they’d take the remedies.


6 Bizarre Childbirth Myths From Ancient History

For most of human history, childbirth was one of the most dangerous things that a woman could do indeed, it still is for many women. So, understandably, a lot of ancient civilizations had rituals, spells and ceremonies to try and make every aspect of childbearing go smoothly, from assuring the fertility of a woman to easing the delivery of a baby — and many ancient cultures had detailed birth manuals, because getting the rituals right could get seriously ingewikkeld.

We still have many beliefs about birth and the "right" way to do things: witness the many online arguments about the various virtues of hospital birth versus home birth, giving birth naturally versus using painkilling medications, working with a doulas versus only seeing doctors, and basically any other choice involved in the birthing process. So you can imagine how intense the conversations probably got, back in the ancient world, when expectant mothers were choosing between drinking goose semen or sitting on a dog's placenta, or wondering whether you truly needed four strong women to shake you intensely in order to get some contractions going. We're lucky no one had invented parenting message boards yet.

Here are six ancient beliefs about childbirth that will either make you want to cross your legs, or feel pangs of serious sympathy for the women who had to go through this thousands of years ago. Modern gynecology looks like magic in comparison.

1. Determine Your Fertility By Sitting On Dirt And Beer

If we believe a gynecological document called the Kahun Medical Papyrus that is currently archived at the University College in London, the ancient Egyptians were very invested in the idea of childbearing capability itself. Before you even got into the whole "birthing" problem, you had to figure out whether you or your chosen lady could get knocked up. The Kahun Papyrus — which, incidentally, is the oldest medical text in history — details some pretty interesting tests to determine fertility. Spoiler: they're not exactly dignified.

One particularly brutal method was to hit the woman on a particular part of her lip if it didn't hurt, she was thought to be infertile forever. (Ouch.) But the worse one, in my opinion, was the test involving a heap of dirt. How's this for fertility testing: a woman sits on a mound of dirt that's been soaked in old beer, and possibly mixed with fruit and dates. For every time she throws up while sitting there, that's one child she'll have in the future. If she's got a strong stomach, though, no kids for her (which seems to fly in the face of everything we know about motherhood now, i.e. that having a strong stomach is a pretty great asset).

2. Put Hemp & Corn In Your Vagina To Induce Labor

The ancient Egyptians also had some interesting rituals when it came to actually getting birth itself started. One was to cast spells on an amulet placed on the forehead of the pregnant woman, which doesn't sound particularly bad — but there were a number of more invasive options. Another medical text, the Ebers Papyrus, suggests putting a few concoctions — including honey soaked with hemp, or a handful of ground corn — up the vagina itself to make labor begin. No word on how the babies born via this method felt about coming into this world basically breaded like a cutlet.

3. Keep All Knots Out Of The Delivery Room

Ancient Greek mothers-to-be were subject to a number of superstitions about the whole birthing process and what could be done to make it go more smoothly. One notable belief was that a poultice tied to the thigh could ease the difficulty of labor (which, you've got to admit, sounds better than the above-mentioned corn tampon).

Another more abstract superstition was the idea that having any knots in the delivery room would serve as a magical "obstacle" to the baby's birth, so they all had to be undone. From the mother's belt to wreaths on the walls, everything in the vicinity had to be rapidly unknotted. Knots were regarded as nasty symbols of general evildoing, so woe betide you if you happened to attend an ancient Greek birth with a fancy plait in your hair.

4. Let Four Women Shake You Until You Have Contractions

Ancient Greek beliefs about the medical treatment of various problems during childbirth were preserved well into the Middle Ages — meaning that the treatments recommended by people like Hippocrates and Galen would have been pretty familiar to medieval ladies. (Poor them.) So when medical texts from ancient Greece recommend, say, being shaken violently by four women to induce labor, you know it happened for at least a thousand years.

Ja, u lees dit reg. One remedy for starting contractions involved getting four women (one for each limb on the pregnant woman), and demanding that they shake her extremely hard at least ten times — plus a few more after she'd lain down. The idea, presumably, was to "shake" the baby loose, though it can't have been much fun for the mom.

5. Step Over One Dead Man And One Living Man To Ensure Easy Delivery

According to Delores LaPratt, a researcher at McGill University, ancient Anglo-Saxon women had their own peculiar way of guaranteeing that their pregnancies would be easy and their births without complications: perform a ritual dance involving one dead man and one live one.

The woman in question would first step over the grave of a dead man, reciting a charm in Anglo-Saxon: "This is my remedy for hateful slow birth, this is my remedy for heavy difficult birth, this is my remedy for hateful imperfect birth." She'd then get her husband to lie down on the ground and step over him, reciting, "Up I go, step over you with a living child, not a dead one, with a full-born one, not a doomed one." It's not clear whether the two elements of this ritual could be performed on separate occasions, or if Anglo-Saxon cemeteries were filled with pregnant women stepping over their husbands.

6. Drink Goose Semen To Cope With A Difficult Delivery

When it comes to seriously disgusting medical remedies and beliefs, the ancient Greeks — and Pliny The Elder in particular — are kind of inspiring. There's not a single substance in nature that they didn't contemplate using for some medical purpose or other. Getting yourself well in ancient Greece required a total lack of squeamishness, and that included childbirth.

Pliny did, at least, give lots of options. If you were having a difficult delivery, and you (for some inexplicable reason) didn't want to drink goose semen mixed with water, you could also drink the liquid from the uterus of a weasel, or a concoction of powdered sow's dung. Not thirsty? Then the fat of a hyena could be burned underneath you if you like, or perhaps you'd prefer having the placenta of a dog placed on your thighs? The menu was endless. To be honest, that may have been the point: make the remedies so disgusting that birth, itself, looks like an easy job.


Historical perspective on the use of garlic

The objective of this review is to examine briefly the medical uses of garlic throughout the ages and the role that it was considered to play in prevention and treatment of disease. Interest in the potential benefits of garlic has origins in antiquity and is one of the earliest documented examples of plants employed for treatment of disease and maintenance of health. Garlic was in use at the beginning of recorded history and was found in Egyptian pyramids and ancient Greek temples. There are Biblical references to garlic. Ancient medical texts from Egypt, Greece, Rome, China and India each prescribed medical applications for garlic. In many cultures, garlic was administered to provide strength and increase work capacity for laborers. Hippocrates, the revered physician, prescribed garlic for a variety of conditions. Garlic was given to the original Olympic athletes in Greece, as perhaps one of the earliest "performance enhancing" agents. It is of interest that cultures that developed without contact with one another came to similar conclusions about the efficacy of garlic. Modern science is tending to confirm many of the beliefs of ancient cultures regarding garlic, defining mechanisms of action and exploring garlic's potential for disease prevention and treatment.

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