HIPPOCRATES (460 B.C. - 370 B.C.)

        Disease was an enormous problem in the ancient world.  Half of all children died before they were the age of ten.  (Perhaps this is why ancient cultures were so unsentimental toward children.)  Hippocrates (called the "Father of Medicine") was the first to apply the Greek systematic approach to the body.  He rejected the common idea that a sickness was caused by supernatural forces.  Instead he relied on observation and experimentation to understand exactly how the human body worked.  He founded a hospital dedicated to this type of study on the Greek island of Cos.  Although his ideas were primitive (bloodletting and leeching being two of them), his Hippocratic Oath has become the creed of modern physicians everywhere.


Bust of Hippocrates