Who was Hippocrates?
Hippocrates lived from the late fifth century to the mid-fourth century b.c.e.. His father is thought to have been a medical practitioner, and it is known that he received some training in his youth, including travelling throughout the Greek world to learn more about medicine. He served as physician to a number of different political leaders, including kings, and was a teacher of medicine. There are a great deal of writings (published later as the Corpus Hippocratum) on a variety of medical topics that are attributed to him, but scholars note that many of these date to more than a century after his death, and tend to think that they were written by followers of Hippocrates. In any case, these writings represent a turn from the more occult and spiritual approach to healing to one based on quasi-scientific techniques. The emphasis on balance in the Hippocratan writings would remain influential in medicine for over two millenia. His establishment of basic ethical principles that should govern medical practice, in addition, remain part of medicine today.