• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Religion in the ancient world helped more than hindered it(TM) How far do you agree?

Extracts from this document...


'Religion in the ancient world helped more than hindered it' Do you agree? Religion did not help more than hindering medicine in ancient times. However, this is only true in some aspects, and not others. Overall, religion helped as much as it held back medicine in all periods of ancient times - the ancient Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans; as well some aspects. An example of when religion helped medicine is mummification, as Egyptians believed that bodies were needed in the after life, therefore learning basic anatomy. On the other hand, only one of the many examples of religion hindering medicine is when the Egyptians wore amulets, believing specific ones (like the god Bes, who was believed to bring good luck) could cure diseases or bring good fortunes. Religion played a huge role in treatment, because even though doctors were there to treat the illnesses, there was also a continuous belief in gods and supernatural treatments, such as Asclepius, the god, in the Greek and Roman eras. During the Egyptian period, people who treated the sick were called medicine men. ...read more.


In all three ages, herbs, among other things were used as medicine equally. In the aspect of treatment, religion helped a little more than it hindered medicine overall. Causes of disease varied a lot from Egyptian to Greek time periods, but the Romans pretty much agreed to the Greek ideas, but made a continuance of god related causes. The supernatural was blamed for most diseases by the Egyptians, even though they used herbal cures in conjunction with prayers. It was thought that evil spirits entered the body, and made the person ill. The religious view of evil spirits held up medicine, as it obstructed any further research into cause. This being said, the Egyptians still recognised physical injuries like broken bones or cuts. Amazingly, the Greeks developed a clashing theory of what causes for disease were. Hippocrates, the doctor, came up with the four humours. The idea was that the four humours that the body was made out of: blood, phlegm, black bile and yellow bile, should always stay in balance. Despite this being mainly inaccurate, it is an improvement from believing in supernatural causes. ...read more.


Key individuals are the utmost important factor which forced change in many traditional thoughts and theories. As noted before, Hippocrates gave a shocking theory of the four humours, and also introduced a process of treatment; diagnosis - prognosis - observation - treatment. He emphasised the importance of observation and recording your observations, to supervise other discoveries in medicine and treatment. Later, in the Roman era, Galen, the key individual of the time exaggerated Hippocrates ideas, including ones on public health. These include keeping clean, exercise and eating a 'healthy' diet. In spite of these ideas bringing a new lifestyle, religion had no influence on them whatsoever, which shows that religion was not the only factor that progressed medicine. Though not being the only factor, religion did help medicine advance more than hindering it. In some areas, it only hindered and held back progress, like causes for example; in others it did both, helping and hindering equally - anatomy. Yet, still in others, religion only helped and didn't hold back at all. Although this wasn't common, when religion did help, it was most needed. The main example is again anatomy, more precisely - mummification. Here it gave an all-needed boost of expertise, which led to advance in other areas like treatment. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE History Projects section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE History Projects essays

  1. What were the origins of Roman religion and how did it progress?

    Julius Caesar held this position at one time, which was very helpful to his political career. The Pontifex Maximus had power over the Vestal Virgins and the sixteen priests below them. The Vestal Virgins held a great deal of power within the religious structure, as their primary function was to keep alight the sacred flame in the Temple of Vesta.

  2. How far is it possible to say when Wollaton hall was built?

    He insisted upon expensive decorations and details. The costs were so great he even had to borrow money from his cousin Elizabeth Shrewsbury in order to finish the new hall and its grounds. During the same period as Wollaton hall's construction many other costly things happened.

  1. The egyptians

    6) The body is removed from the tank, cleaned again and then lotion is rubbed onto it. 7) A cotton gauze is wrapped around the body. 8) Liquefied plastic is painted onto the gauze to form a permanent seal to prevent the body from decaying.

  2. 4 Humours

    The prescription for a healthy life, (which was almost always given by a member of the Priestly Caste meant that an individual undertook the stringent and regular purification rituals (which included much bathing, and often times shaving one's head and body hair), and maintained their dietary restrictions against raw fish and other animals considered unclean to eat.

  1. How important was natural, rather than supernatural, medicine in the treatment of disease in ...

    The second applications of natural treatments were from the Ancient Egyptians, who started to train doctors and write down treatments and their knowledge so that future doctors and generations could learn from it. They also started to find out about the anatomy of the body, this helped them to find

  2. Cats in Ancient Egypt

    An excellently carved household cat appears on a block of limestone relief from the late 18th Dynasty tomb-chapel belonging to the treasury official Mermery. Women weren't the only cat lovers; men occasionally possessed pet cats as well. Tuthmosis loved his pet cat so much that he had a grand stone coffin built and decorated with religious texts and images.

  1. On balance the league of nations proved to be a failure in the 1920(TM)s. ...

    The League dealt very effectively with smaller nations, and showed this during the Greek and Bulgaria dispute. The border between Greece and Bulgaria had become source of tension over the years. After a series of violent incidents, Greeks invaded Bulgaria in October 1925.

  2. History of Medicine Revision Notes.

    He stated that blood goes to the heart via the veins and goes away from the heart via the arteries Reasons for his Breakthrough: 1. The work of others: 1. Studying under Fabricius 2. Learning from Padua 3. Vesalius? work 1.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work