What is known about the work of Hippocrates in medicine?
Hippocrates who lived from about 480 B.C. to 360 B.C. who lived on the Greek Island of Cos, is widely recognized as father of Medicine in the Western World. He is believed to be author of about 80 medical works that became part of Library at Alexandria after 200 B.C. These works are known as Hippocratic corpus.
Yet little is known about life of Hippocrates for certain. Whatever is known about Hippocrates including his life, medical practice and death. is attributable more to myths and legends rather than clear evidence. Earliest known biography of Hippocrates called Life of Hippocrates was written by a Roman Physician called Soranus around 100 A.D.
Reputation of Hippocrates as a great physicians may be attributed more to the writings of Galen, another great physician who lived during A.D. 100's and 200's. Galen believed that life and methods developed by Hippocrates represented all that was good in medicine.
Hippocrates has contributed - within the limits of his time – to the releasing of medicine by superstitions and mysticism.By the observations about diseases manifestations and their detailed description as well as his attempts to explain the pathological processes in natural and rational basis.
Of the more than 70 works assigned to him - contained in Corpus Hippocraticum from the library of the famous medical school of Cos - probably only six of them are his.
In the chapter "Air, Water and Places" he is no longer discuss the role of gods in the occurrence of diseases, but causes are scientifically described, in the "prognostic forecasting and aphorisms"he exposes his revolutionary view at that time, which claims that a doctor, by observing a great number of cases, may foretell the further development of disease.
The idea of preventive medicine first appears in "Treatments" and "Treatment of acute illness", where he was discussing the influence of such factors as age, diet, lifestyle and climate on health. The work on epilepsy, called "sacred disease" (Latin Morbus sacer) it was met the information on the anatomy of the human body and it was believed that epilepsy could be due to a lack of air following a failure of the veins to carry the air to the brain. Despite the naive argument is important that Hippocrates has seen this disease as a disorder of brain function.
Hippocrates, recognized also as a good practitioner, made a number of medical innovations. He has built, in orthopedics, a special chair ,to reduce sprains and fractures.