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Who made the more important contribution to the development of medicine, the Greeks or the Romans?

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Introduction

Who made the more important contribution to the development of medicine, the Greeks or the Romans? Both the Greeks and the Romans made contributions to the development of medicine. An example of this is that the Greeks (Hippocrates) came up with the theory of the four humours whereas the Romans (Galen) developed further. Both Greeks and Romans were hygienic, the Greeks had Asclepius (temple) and the Romans had public baths, sewers etc. Firstly the most significant medical development that the Greeks contributed to was the logical theory known as the four humours and the importance of exercise. The Greeks believed that everything in the world came from four elements - Earth, Wind, Fire and water. These linked to the four seasons - summer, autumn, winter and spring. Elements and the seasons were related because for example summer was hot and dry as was fire. Greek doctors with cautious observation looked at the humours of the body. Phlegm, Blood, Black Bile and Yellow Bile related to the elements and seasons by seeing when they thought the humours were unbalanced, it was generally because either extreme or reduced levels. ...read more.

Middle

Good exercise was because there were stadiums where people went to run and there were gymnasiums which both showed good health and fitness. Praying was also a major part of Greeks daily lives. The Greeks had lots of temples e.g. temple of Artemis showing that the Greeks were religious and believed in God. All of Hippocrates ideas influenced the health of the Greeks because all these were needed for a Greek person to be fit and healthy and to prevent them from illnesses and diseases. This meant that the Greeks made an important contribution to the development of medicine because if it wasn't for Hippocrates to come up with the theory and to write it, Galen would not been of been able to extend it further. Secondly the most significant medical development that the Romans contributed to was that they developed the Greeks ideas of the four humours further. The importance of soldier and the army for the Romans was vast. The Roman army had hundreds and thousands of soldiers, permanently stationed all over the empire, who were repeatedly at war. ...read more.

Conclusion

Many baths had gymnasia and massage rooms attached. Aediles (government official's monitored cleanliness and behaviour). Clean water had a huge impact on the Romans. Polluted water caused diseases, and for good health the Romans believed it was important to have pure water. In Rome there were seven sewers. A force of 300 slaves cleaned the streets and latrines at night while people were asleep. I think that the Romans ideas on baths, aqueducts, water and sewers was very successful because they had good cleanliness to try to prevent illnesses from spreading from person to person. On the other hand there was Hippocrates ideas and exercise and rest which was good but not good enough as Galen using opposites to balance out the four humours. He told doctors to use past experiences to decide how to treat an illness. Overall in conclusion having looked at the Greeks and Romans contributions to the development of medicine I think that the Greeks made the most important contribution because if it wasn't for the Greeks to come up with the medical development theory of the four humours and the 'Programme for Health' then the Romans wouldn't have been able to improve and develop their theory further. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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