Flashcards in Egyptian medicine pt.2 Deck (13)
What were physician called in egypt and what did they do?
- Specialization was starting to be seen as said by Herodotus
- There was also a hierarchy like the one we see today with some treating only those in the royal palace, other ordinary people, there was the supervisor, chief doctor, etc.
How did egyptians operate medicine?
They were first to use has been the first evidence based medicine (EBM) but because they're knowledge was very limited at the time, the they considered a disease as an “accident”. By using this word, they meant that it was something that was happening without any known cause.
It could be either casual, like wounds, or due to evil spirits. Therefore, it could be
cured either by physical therapies or by spells, chanting, or by anything that had something
magical in it, since they did not know all the causes (supernatural like infection, no microbiology at the time)
Where did the egyptian medical doctors get their knowledge?
All the knowledge that was available at that time came from the books of spirits. These are medical books donated to men by Thoth.
- They were located in temples, that were both sacred places and universities.
- Only Sunnus are free to read it and must strictly follow them
How many books of spirits are there?
There are seven that are available at this time with most important ones being:
- Ebers papyrus
- Edwin Smith papyrus
What was Ebers papyrus about?
It was a collection of texts dealing with internal medicine, gynaecology, hygiene, dermatology, oculistics and both diagnosis and therapy, which means prescriptions
What was Edwin Smith papyrus about?
- A surgical text.
- It is a collection of 48 typical cases to be learnt.
- In this case we have no mention of gods or magic.
- In these papiri, the prognosis is not just “you will survive” or “you will die”, as it was in
mesopotamian medicine, but there are 3 degrees: “we can cure your disease”, “maybe i will
be able to cure”, or “it is something not treatable”.
What do we know about subjects that egyptian doctors had good knowledge at?
- They had a good knowledge of anatomy and physiology.
- Their knowledge of anatomy comes from mummification, since in order to mummify bodies they opened and took out all the internal organs.
- According to their anatomy, a metu is anything rounded
and long, thus vessels, tendons, nerves, but mainly vessels
What was the most feared substance in egyptian medicine?
- Meant decay, and decay meant death, that comes from diseases and wounds
- Anything that can cause a disease.
- The most noticeable place of production of this substance was the anus and thus used techniques to clean the gastrointestinal tract
How were ancient egyptians with prescription?
A major advance was in the field of prescription:
- The name of the drugs,
-The amount of the ingredients with precise quantities and instructions,
- The directions for preparation and administration of the drugs.
What were egyptians first to do in terms of surgery?
- They were first to introduce sutures
- First to perform circumcision which the Jews actually learnt from them at the time
- (maybe first idk) They used to use mould coming from bread to cure wounds as it would produce penicilin
Which field were egyptians particularly good at?
- They were very good in dentistry
- In Ebers’ papyrus, 11 methods of dental treatment have been described.
- Teeth wired together and creation artificial prosthesis
- They knew that gold was the best metal to use in medical field, because it has no decay and it is easy to work with, since it is malleable
How was medicine in the jewish culture?
- Was not well developed
- In moses law there are no remedies or cures for diseases
- Thus there were no physicians and medicine was administered only by priests
- Another book called Talmud (rules and regulations to be followed in case of diseases)
It includes Blood-letting, cupping and the use of bandages.
- Circumcision was the only surgical operation that they performed and was also done by priests