Hippocrates was an ancient Greek physician who was born around 460 BC on the Aegean Island of Kos. He is considered to be the “Father of Medicine”, basing treatment on the observation of clinical signs and rational conclusions.
Hippocrates focused on the philosophical idea that Nature was made of four elements, namely water, earth, wind and fire, according to the Pythagorean philosopher Empedocles. He believed that the body consisted of four fluids or ‘humors’ (black bile, yellow bile, phlegm and blood) and four elemental conditions (cold, hot, dry and moist). A physician had to return these humors to balance to reinstate health.
Hippocrates and his followers wrote a collection of texts regarding medical theory and practice. This is now commonly known as the the Hippocratic Corpus. The famous Hippocratic Oath is included within this work, but it was most likely written two hundred years after Hippocrates along with much of the Corpus.
Hippocrates lived a long life and was buried by his sons near Larissa, Thessaly. Hippocrates is still portrayed as the paragon of the ancient physician.
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