3000 BCE – 600 BCE: Early Medicine and the Hippocratic Oath

The earliest forms of prehistoric medicines (before the written word) were probably various herbs used by shamans or medicine men to heal the diseased person.  Fire was also likely used for sterilizing and closing wounds.

The earliest known medical texts date from China and Egypt from around 2000 BCE, focusing on techniques such as meditation and acupuncture. Babylonian texts suggest of a person who practiced surgery as far back as 4000 BCE.

In the 8th century BCE the first Greek medical school opened at Cnidus.  The Greeks placed a strong emphasis on diet, lifestyle, and hygiene, continuing the tradition of the Egyptians and Indians.  It was about 300 years later that Hippocrates of Kos was born.  Hippocrates founded the famous Hippocratic School of Medicine and is largely referred to as the Father of Medicine and is credited with forming the Hippocratic Oath – a guiding set of duties that is widely taken by physicians to this day.

This entry was posted in History of Science and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *