Antiquity | Hektoen International

An ancient oath with modern significance

 Emmanuel Ugokwe SIA Africa and Society for Young Writers, Nigeria Southeast and SouthSouth Hippocrates of Kos Engraving by Peter Paul Rubens, 1638 About 400 BCE Hippocrates, commonly known as the father of medicine, wrote the Hippocratic oath. That noble, ethical creed still guides the medical profession. Is that what you have been taught? If so, you are […]

Anastasius the “odd-eyes”

Zeynel Karcioglu (Spring 2015)   Figure 1: Coins of Anastasius I. An information booklet prepared by the Istanbul Archeological Museum (above); the detail of Anastasius I coins (below).(Summer 2015) Although Anastasius I was one of the most capable Byzantine emperors, he and his reign are little known or discussed in modernity (Figure 1). This may […]

Alcmaeon of Croton, philosopher physician

Steph Magowan Royal Holloway, University of London (Spring 2015)   Alcmaeon of Croton remains one of the lesser known Presocratic writers, not only because of the sparse nature of his extant work but also because of his fragmentary treatment in modern scholarship. He is mentioned in passing but rarely fully examined, often even excluded entirely […]

Virgil and the Aeneid

Patrick Guinan University of Illinois, Chicago, United States (Winter 2013)   “Arma virumque canto. — I sing of arms and of a man” Virgil reading the Aeneid to Augustus and his sister Octavia, Jean Baptiste Wicar, c.1790,  Art Institute of Chicago, In the painting Octavia has fainted on hearing the name of her dead son, who […]

Medicine in ancient Nineveh

Hussain A. AL-SARDAR Essex, United Kingdom (Spring 2015)     A view of ancient Nineveh Introduction Mesopotamia is the land between the Tigris and Euphrates, currently in the southern part of Iraq. Many civilizations developed and vanished in this very fertile part of the world. The first civilization was that of the Sumerians, who invented […]

Death in ancient times

George Dunea British Medical Journal, Volume 294, 18 April 1987   “Many a physician has slain a king!” the emperor Hadrian shouted aloud as he lay on his deathbed. But Augustus when he was near death gathered his friends to ask if, in the manner of actors, he deserved applause for having played well his […]

The death of Alexander the Great

Detail of the Alexander Mosaic, ca. 100 BCE Mosaic 5.82 x 3.13 m Naples National Archaeological Museum George Dunea Editor-in-Chief (Spring 2012)   Possibly the greatest warrior of all times, Alexander of Macedon died aged 32 at Babylon. Within 12 years he had overthrown an empire that had lasted two centuries, conquered the greater part […]

Eumenes: even horses need to take regular exercise

Photography by Hector Guerra George Dunea  Editor-in-Chief (Spring 2012)   “During this siege, as he [Eumenes] perceived that the men, cooped up in such narrow limits and eating their food without exercise, would lose health, and also that the horses would lose condition if they never used their limbs. . . . He arranged the […]

Many physicians have slain a king

George Dunea BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL – VOLUME 308  (January 29, 1994) Modern tourists know Hadrian mainly for his mausoleum in Rome or for the wall that he built in the north of England to keep out the barbarians. Historians think of him as an effective emperor and a capable administrator. But he was also a […]

Comparison of ancient Mesopotamian and Hippocratic medicine

 Burton R. Andersen University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, United States (Winter 2010) The accomplishments of the ancient Greeks in literature, science, and government have been widely recognized and admired. Ancient Greek medicine has also been held in high esteem; however, their practice of medicine merits careful examination and comparison with other ancient medical cultures. Different […]