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Galen or Hippocraties

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  • Pages: 7
  • Word count: 1530
  • Category: Medicine

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I believe hypocrites was one of the most important men in medical history, this is so because he made so many developments in medical science that people were using his studies for centuries past his time. Hypocrites is known as a brilliant man because he made helping people his life, through no wanted merit for his work. He was so important because he was the first man to challenge the theory of the gods and not totally rely on the gods for treatment as they did in those Greek times, they believed that the god’s controlled everyone’s health and well being, but hypocrites didn’t which lead to him truly beginning to discover and research into the real reasons of diseases and illness.

He did this by carefully examining each patient and recording exact symptoms, no one before him had truly recorded their work, but Hypocrites rightly saw fit to record them and realised the importance so he could look back on his finding’s and treatments for future reference on patients with the same illnesses, which lead to him curing them effectively.

This way of recording was truly brilliant, because from one of his first patients he discovered illnesses such as epilepsy. This recording his findings in books method was the birth of his major theory, which would make him famous still today. This theory was called the four humours; he believed that out body was predominantly balanced with four major parts. These were blood, phlegm, black bile and yellow bile. He believed that these four humours were the main structures of our health, and when one became unbalanced by having too much blood for example, that is what would make us ill, and to cure you have to simply take away some blood so they are balanced again. Of course this theory was not necessarily true, but it was the most developed and close theory in that time to what we know today.

The Greeks were among the best philosophers and thinkers on the planet at that time, they had already come to a theory of the four elements (fire, water, air and earth) and the four seasons, that we still use today, so this theory of Hypocrites was just a natural extension of the things that they believed governed their lives already. This theory became well known and the books that hypocrites wrote became very well sought after, simply because it was the most effective theory of health for thousands of years. This theory resulted in all the Greek empire’s knowledge in medical science, to simply be overtaken.

This theory of the four humours corresponded directly with the elements and seasons. So if one of these was out of balance, for example in you had to much phlegm, meant you were out of balance and would have to stay warm and drink less because it corresponded with cold winter and water.

So by carefully recording and diagnosing each patient, he could analyse different treatments and symptoms, resulting in the treatment many illnesses and diseases. Sometimes his theory did not work, which meant he would make further research into the illness and come to a treatment that was the beauty of his recordings. The collection of his books would be vital to medical illnesses for years to come. The theory of Hypocrites was the building blocks of medical science, and his theory would not be challenged for hundreds of years, he saved thousands of lives with his theory, and maybe still saves lives today, without him we may not even have the knowledge of health and the human body, that we have today.


Galen was another very important man to medical illnesses in history, because like hypocrites he devoted his life to medical science, he may have been slightly big-headed, but what he discovered was brilliant, and had been the first break-though since hypocrites. In fact he was the first man to successfully challenge hypocrites work, and completely change medical science again with another yet another theory.

Galen started his study in medicine at the age of 16. He spent a large part of his life at gladiator school, and due to the broken bones and stab wounds he encountered in patients, he learned a lot about treatments and anatomy. When Galen was 33 he travelled to Rome and quickly rose up in the medical profession too became the emperor’s doctor.

He followed the main ideas of hypocrites, and realised the importance of recording his work like hypocrites had, and used the balanced four humours theory of hypocrites, but also began to develop some ideas of his own.

These ideas were theories Such as the treatment of opposites; he believed that instead of treating a humour being out of balance by taking it away, he instead believed that you could counter it with the opposite. For example, instead of using the theory (If you have a nose bleed, then bleed the person with leeches) he instead would counter it, an example would be if you had to much phlegm (sneezing etc) then instead of drinking less water, he would counter it by warmth and fiery peppers. This theory was very good because that is what we would do today if we have a cold, keep warm and maybe have a drop of something fiery or warm like or honey and lemon, even whisky.

Another very important and amazing theory of his that baffled people all over the planet, leading in him making a massive break though in medical science. This was his idea that the brain controlled the body, not the heart, which was previously believed, he proved this simply by cutting a pig, the pig would respond by squealing madly, but then he would stop the squealing by Galen cutting the pigs nerve, not killing it, just cutting its nerve in the neck which lead to the brain. This is maybe the most important discovery in medical science to date, it was unchallenged, and changed all medical theories in the world.

Yet another very important theory of Galen’s was, that all of our organs were perfectly fitted and suited for particular jobs. Which was also very important. His only mistake was he thought we were the same as animals, because he could not dissect a human body, he was only permitted to operate on animals, because it was against religion and rights at that time to do such a thing. And of course all of our organs were not exactly the same as that of an animal, things such as the left kidney being slightly higher than the right on an animal he thought that would be the same in a human. But this was still a very important breakthrough that leads too much further development in medical treatment of illnesses.

Galen was another very important man in the history of medicine because he made very important breakthroughs and was the only man to challenge hypocrites theory in hundreds of years, he made many discoveries and all was recorded in the book of Galen, so saving hundreds of lives by people mimicking his work all over the world, recording all medical science as hypocrites had, and becoming just as famous.

Hypocrites or Galen

I have come to the conclusion, that both Galen and Hypocrites were very important to medical science, both saving thousands of lives, both were brilliant men, each making amazing discoveries that had baffled and amazed people all over the world, defying the laws of medical science at the time. I believe each man deserve equal merit and appreciation for their brilliant work. Who knows they could have been the most important people on the planet, because without them we may of all died of some new illness or disease.

Of course it was Hypocrites that began in the findings and first made the massive breakthrough, and Hypocrites was the soul basis of Galen’s work, Hypocrites was the first major building block in medical science, so maybe he was more important in that respect, but Galen still made three massive discoveries, where no-one else could, and Galen’s theories are the closest that we live by today. Of course Galen had a lot more equipment and a lot better tools, hypocrites had to improvise with the very poor conditions that he had. Although Galen had worked for his position and was no lay about, living of another mans hard work, by no means.

So this is why I think both men should deserve to be equally important, Hypocrites went against everybody’s beliefs and was the soul building blocks for medical science coming up with an amazing theory, that amazed people all over, maybe if Galen was in that time that he could have done the same? But Galen also made amazing discoveries, and also was the first to challenge hypocrites’ theories for hundreds of years. Both were truly brilliant men, and I think it will be never be known who is more important, because I believe both were equally important to the development into medical science.

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