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date: 27 November 2022

surgerylocked

surgerylocked

  • Charles Joseph Singer
  •  and V. Nutton

Extract

bc In the Homeric poems (see homer) references to surgery are found mainly in the Iliad and concerned with the treatment of wounds. The wound is cleaned; blood squeezed or sucked out; edges united by bandaging; and an analgesic of dried herbs rubbed in and applied as an air-tight pad. Treatments resemble those recorded in early Egyptian medicine, although it is disputed whether this indicates a direct borrowing from Egyptian healers, whose reputation for surgery certainly had reached Asia Minor by 1000 bce. They were also known at the Persian court, where a Greek physician and surgeon, *Democedes of Croton, made a spectacular cure of King *Darius I.Surgery occupies an ambiguous place in the Hippocratic Corpus (see hippocrates(2); medicine, § 4 (c)). Not every medical practitioner wished to perform surgery, and some expressly left it to experts in military medicine, bone-setting, or cutting for the stone. Yet few ancient cities were large enough for such specializations to flourish, and most healers will have had of necessity to practise at least basic surgery. *Galen expected his average practitioner to be able to carry out at least some basic operations, and to know how to reduce the pain and post-operative complications of surgery.

Subjects

  • Science, Technology, and Medicine

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