previous next

Hippocrates' New Direction in Medicine

The emergence of new ideas in Greek medicine in this period is associated with the name of Hippocrates1 of Cos2, a younger contemporary of Herodotus. Details are sketchy about the life of this most famous of all Greek doctors, but he certainly made great strides in putting medical diagnosis and treatment on a scientific basis. Earlier medical practices had depended on magic and ritual. Hippocrates taught that physicians should base their knowledge on careful observation of patients and their response to remedies. Empirically grounded clinical experience, he insisted, was the best guide to treatments that would not do the sick more harm than good. His contribution to medicine is remembered today in the oath bearing his name that all doctors swear at the beginning of their professional careers.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: