Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Hippocrates

  • Did Scythian men feminize themselves by drinking mare’s urine?

    Andrew WilliamsLeicester, United Kingdom The Enarees were nomadic Scythian soothsayers who lived within the areas bounded by the rivers Danube, Bug, Don, and Dnieper, and who Herodotus in the 5th century AD asserted were effeminate.1,2 Unfortunately the Scythians did not leave any written records. Hippocrates’ Airs Water and Places XX11 using the term Anarieis related…

  • Book review: The Oxford Handbook of Science and Medicine in the Classical World

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, UK Classical antiquity has long been a subject of human fascination. The time period covered in this book ranges from around 1000 BCE to 650 CE. The editors have produced an encyclopedic volume of essays from scholars worldwide, resulting in a comprehensive source of information about the history of science and medicine…

  • Daumier’s doctors

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “Comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.”– Reinhold Niebuhr Honoré Daumier (1808–1879) was a “fundamentally discontented” French social critic, painter, sculptor, and printmaker. He produced over 100 sculptures, 500 paintings, 1000 drawings, 1000 engravings, and 4000 lithographs.1 Balzac said of his work, “There is something of Michelangelo in him.” Daumier hated anything…

  • Book review: Greco-Roman Medicine and What it Can Teach Us Today

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, United Kingdom The Republic of Rome was founded in the sixth century BC. In the third century BC, the western Roman Empire began to spread outside the borders of Italy. Roman rule came to Britain in AD 43 with the invasion by Claudius and ended in AD 476. The eastern Roman Empire,…

  • Book review: Medicine in the Middle Ages

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, United Kingdom In the history of Western Europe, the Middle Ages refers to the period between the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century through the beginning of the Renaissance in the 1500s. These thousand years were characterized by unstable nation-states led by kings and nobility. Tribalism was rife, and…

  • Psychiatric care at the historical Athens Mental Health Facility

    Cherron Payne Farmington, Connecticut, United States   Athens Asylum for the Insane, Athens State Hospital Administration Building, Circa late 19th Century to early 20th Century. Ohio University Archives. When I was an undergraduate student at Ohio University in Athens, my friends and I would often hike to an intriguing place called the Ridges, overlooking the picturesque…

  • Review: The History of the World in 100 Pandemics, Plagues and Epidemics

    Arpan Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover: The History of the World in 100 pandemics, plagues and epidemics. The publication of this book could not have been better timed. The book sets out to show how pandemics, epidemics, and infectious diseases have shaped human history over the last 5,000 years. Its contents help us place…

  • The discoverers of aspirin

    JMS PearceHull, England, United Kingdom In the short period between the years 1946-1950, three highly effective new drugs became available for clinical use in the newly established National Health Service. They were penicillin, streptomycin, and cortisone. Before this there were few potent drugs of proven benefit in the remedy of symptoms or disease. Since inflammation…

  • Atypical appendectomies

    Jayant Radhakrishnan Nathaniel Koo Chicago, Illinois, United States   The Silversides Appendectomy was photographed by XO Roy Davenport, at the patient’s head. Thomas Moore is the dark-haired bearded man in the T-shirt. From the USS Flier Project. Appendectomies are routine procedures—until they are not. Three cases of auto-surgery and three other semi-pro appendectomies are worth…

  • “Plague of the Sea, and the Spoyle of Mariners”—A brief history of fermented cabbage as antiscorbutic

    Richard de Grijs Sydney, Australia   Germans eating sauerkraut. Hand-colored etching by James Gillray (1756–1815), published 7 May 1803. (© National Portrait Gallery, London: NPG D12809; CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) “. . . those affected have skin as black as ink, ulcers, difficult respiration, rictus of the limbs, teeth falling out and, perhaps most revolting of…