Hippocrates of Kos – Father of medicine

Hippocrates of Kos was born on Kos island 460 BC in an aristocratic family famous for wisdom and for medical services rendered to the country. We do not have much information about his private life and even where he actually lived. He had a good education, especially in the medicine that was handed down directly from his father.

Hippocrates founded Kos School of Medicine, an art that before him was only handed down from father to son. The School of Medicine of Kos taught that the disease is not a divine intervention, as one might believe at that time, but a natural cause, an imbalance between the body’s physical and psychological parts. He give an explanation to the disease, cause, treatment and a possible cure behaving in the disappearance of very popular exorcists, magicians and charlatans.

Hippocrates, after the death of his parents, left Kos and start a long pilgrimage that took him first in Thessaly, the mythical land of the Asclepiads where increased its culture. His was called to heal from King Perdiccas and the philosopher Democritus  plagued by a perennial delirious laughter, so many other regions of the ancient world knew his name and his art.

Hippocrates work

In addition to the Hippocratic Oath, he wrote several other books on medicine known as Corpus Hippocraticum. Probably the texts was written by different authors, however, are attributed to the great Hippocrates. He died at Larissa in Thessaly, between 375 – 355 BC. He was between 85 and 105 years of age at the time when the average age did not reach 50. Legend says  that on his tomb there was always a swarm of bees whose honey had healing powers. After his death arose a cult of Hippocrates and his name was approached to Asclepius, the great healer.

In all the representations Hippocrates is always  with a stick on which is wound a snake. This stick is the symbol of Asclepius and the arts of medicine as unifies the virtues of the snake, whose skin change symbolizing rebirth and regeneration.

Today, a medical branch follows the line of Hippocrates uniting progress and the latest discoveries in the main code of medical ethics. Unfortunately, the Hippocratic Oath is often subjected to modern alternations to bring it up to today’s standards. Of course everyone is free to take the oath in the manner most convenient to them but at the same time the historical works must not be altered, but keept in their time dimension.