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Roman medicine was the same as Greek medicine; do you agree?

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´╗┐Sofia Chand Miss Smith and Miss Wheeler, History (RM31) Roman medicine was the same as Greek medicine; do you agree? Journeying from the Greek period of medicine to that of the Romans, how much changed and what stayed the same regarding medical practises, anatomical knowledge and accuracy of theories and ideas? Furthermore, which outweighs the other? Firstly, continuity between the two empires was that they both believed in the theory of the four humours. Originally, the Greeks established the theory, however, the Romans helped to develop this theory into something much more useful. Galen is the scientist who is most well-known at the time for working at the theory of the four humours. Like Hippocrates, he believed in the four humours but Galen thought that there was a more rational solution to balancing the humours. For instance, if the symptom was too much phlegm then the patient?s problem was caused by a cold and should therefore need to take something hot, such as pepper. Hippocrates laid the foundations for which the Romans then progressed, even though some of their theories were not entirely correct. ...read more.


Another key idea that both, Romans and Greeks, believed strongly in, was that gods and goddesses could cure and cause illnesses. This shows that religion played a really big part in their lives and outlines the theme of superstition in both empires. The Greeks had built Ascelepions as refuge to the sick; it was a peaceful temple where the ill could go in order to get cured. The Ascelepions were devoted to the Greek god Asclepius, the god of healing, and they firmly believed that at night, their god and his daughters would visit them and leave them cured. The Romans however appealed to their chiefly goddess of health, Salus. Gods were part of their everyday life and were expected to be powerful. When medical treatment was expensive, risky and painful, there was good reason to use every means available to help prevent illness. Asking for the help of gods would often be a first option instead of a last resort. A huge difference between Greek and Roman medicine was public health which means what the government or whoever was in power at that time did in order to prevent or cure epidemics. ...read more.


Overall, I would disagree that Greek and Roman medicine were the same and instead I would argue that in fact, they are very different. Greek medicine was very much based on loose theories and ideas as they did not have a plentiful amount of evidence to back them up, as well as this, the Greeks did not dissect or perform surgical operations that allowed them to explore the human body or animals that we?re similar too. This suggests that they weren?t as familiar with anatomy and disease like the Romans were. The Romans made sure they were educated in the human body and made some important links from dissecting animals that then formed stronger ideas that were quite credible in that day and age. The Romans were much more practical people and they also showed they had more ability than the Greeks. They were able to supply their empire with an extensive public health system that was very helpful and did actually prevent epidemics and look after their people well. Greek medicine was very different to Roman medicine. ...read more.

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