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Incredible Facts About Medicine Of The Ancient Romes

In the ancient world, the Greeks and Romans were brothers. There was the obvious close proximity of the two countries. However, their relationship was deeper than that. In fact, their cultures were so closely linked that the Greeks and Romans shared gods with different names, but similar backgrounds! However, both groups maintained a unique history and culture. For instances, here are some of the highlights about ancient Roman medicine:

1. Doctors were vital to the Roman Empire

The Roman’s Empire’s public health system was actually quite broad. While doctors in ancient Rome could receive formal training, here are some other interesting facts about them:

Anyone in ancient Rome could refer to himself or herself as a “doctor.”
Doctors would often serve as surgeons in the Roman Empire’s army.
Several female doctors existed.
Women typically served the healthcare needs of other women.
Doctors provided free healthcare services, to those living in impoverished towns.

2. Much of Roman medicine was Greek medicine

The Roman defeated the Greeks, in the former’s formation of the Roman Empire. Afterwards, Roman doctors then accepted many of the ideas that the Greeks had, concerning medicine. In fact, most of the doctors who were practicing in the Roman Empire–were Greek! Furthermore, the works of Hippocrates, the Greek “Father of Medicine,” served as the basis for numerous Roman doctors’ training.

3. The Romans focused on public health

Obviously, the Romans were unaware of bacteria, and the use of cheap urbane scrubs to reduce their transmission. However, the Romans placed an emphasis on public health. Improvement in personal hygiene would ultimately improve public health and reduce diseases’ occurrence.

4. Rome further developed the Greek’s theories about medicines

The Romans adhered to many of the beliefs of the Greeks, about maintaining the health of humans. For instance, they focused on the importance of cleanliness and exercise. This was due to the Romans’ borrowing theories from the Greek, Hippocrates. A second century AD Greek doctor, Galen, was instrumental in developing these theories. Galen further developed Hippocrates’ notion that human bodies contained four “humours.”

5. Galen influenced both Roman and European medicine

In addition to affecting Roman medicine, Galen also influenced European medicine for more than 15 centuries! His theories and practices focused on obtaining a balance of the four humours, which he believed were inside human bodies.

The Romans would obtain advice from their doctors, while also presenting offers to various Roman gods, such as the Roman goddess of safety–Salus. Interestingly, during the 3rd century BC, this god became linked to Hygieia–the Greek goddess related to healing. Furthermore, the Romans also used Temples of Asclepius, which had originated from the Greeks.

While the Romans were not as innovative as the Greeks were, in the study of medicine, the former certainly contributed to the development of Greek concepts related to medicine. Ultimately, the Romans improved humans’ overall understanding of hygiene and health, which is noteworthy. After conquering the Greeks, the Romans would contribute to humans’ epic war on bacteria!

Interesting Facts About Renaissance Doctors And Medicine

Do you usually link Renaissance to advances in medicine? Typically, when we talk about the Renaissance period, we talk about an explosion of learning and creativity. From paintings to music, this was a tremendous time for the arts in particular. However, the era of the Renaissance, which lasted from the middle 1400s until the 1700s, also featured major developments in European medicine. Here are some of the important facts surrounding the Renaissance period and medicine:

1. New knowledge and inventions improved medicine

A flurry of new knowledge and inventions helped to advance medicine quickly, during the Renaissance. There were no instruments yet to observe bacteria, and thus create a need for cheap urbane scrubs. However, diagrams of the human body and the printing press both had a huge influence on the world of medicine. Thus, doctors had a better comprehension of how the human body functioned, than during any previous era in Europe’s history.

2. Galen was no longer king

During the previous Middle Ages, the medical world considered Galen’s writings to be infallible. Galen was an ancient Greek living in Rome, who had developed the concepts of Hippocrates, “The Father of Medicine.”

However, during the Renaissance, doctors took a more practical and academic approach to training in their profession. Medical students studied from books with realistic diagrams of humans. In addition to better books, doctors-in-training also had access to more of them, thanks to the invention of the printing press. In fact, universities even permitted students to dissect humans, towards the end of the Renaissance. This practice had previously been limited to animals.

3. Science began to supersede spirituality

During the Renaissance, people still held to some spiritual reasoning regarding diseases. For instance, people were unaware that bacteria existed, and could spread from person-to-person. However, logic became king, due to a new wealth of knowledge available, and an efficient way to distribute it faster-the printing press. In addition, the training for surgical procedures greatly improved. Apprentices would learn surgical techniques, from an active surgeon. Interestingly, universities themselves failed to supply doctors-in-training with these skills. Nevertheless, the improvements in textbooks about human anatomy significantly boosted the complexity of the surgeries that doctors did.

4. Many did not embrace advances in medicine

While the Renaissance ushered in a new era of medical knowledge and skills, not everyone was impressed. During the Renaissance, home remedies remained a vital aspect of medical treatment, for many people. In fact, some people still sought treatments from local shaman who lacked formal training in the medical profession. Also, many “old-school” doctors and the Catholic Church still adhered to the teachings of Galen. However, within time, medical advances during the Renaissance would revolutionize the whole professional.

The Renaissance was clearly an era of enlightenment and developments. Besides the fantastic output in the arts, the medical profession flourished as well. While doctors were yet unaware of bacteria or the need to wear scrubs during surgeries, they were nonetheless learning. Essentially starting with the Renaissance, spiritual doctors were becoming scientific doctors!