Tag Archives: Plato

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 […]

A brief history of menstruation

Fangzhou Luo Portland, Oregon, United States   Philammon declaring his love for Hypatia. Wikimedia Commons. Public domain. After a few failed attempts to redirect a flirtatious student to “higher pleasures” like music, the Ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician Hypatia resorted to revealing where she was in her menstrual cycle to deter him. The philosopher who recorded […]

Book review of The Origins of Modern Science

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover: The Origins of Modern Science: From Antiquity to the Scientific Revolution. Science and medicine have long been intertwined: many advances in the field of medicine would not have been possible without prior knowledge of fundamental science. It is not surprising, therefore, that a medical historian would also […]

Gymnopédie

Mark Tan Northwest Deanery, UK   First phrase of Gymnopédie. Erik Satie, 1888. Gymnopédie No. 1. Public domain Oblique et coupant l’ombre un torrent éclatant Ruisselait en flots d’or sur la dalle polie Où les atomes d’ambre au feu se miroitant Mêlaient leur sarabande à la gymnopédie [English translation]: Slanting and shadow-cutting a bursting stream […]

A traditional practice in baby care: salting

Sinem Çaka Sakarya, Turkey Sümeyra Topal Kahramanamaras, Turkey Nursan Çınar Sakarya, Turkey   Lamp made from natural Cankiri rock salt used in bedrooms in Turkey In many societies, there are traditional practices performed to protect babies from magic, witchcraft, or the evil eye. At first, it may seem that these practices would have no particular […]

Where philosophy and medicine overlap

Mariami Shanshashvili Tbilisi, Georgia   Achilles bandaging Patroclus’s wounded arm. Ink drawing after an Attic cup by the potter Sosias, c.500 B.C. Achilles bandaging Patroclus’s wounded arm. Ink drawing after an Attic cup by the potter Sosias, c. 500 B.C. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY In Plato’s Charmides there is a remark by Socrates that is neither […]

Plato on free and slave doctors

Athenian: And have you further observed that there are slaves as well as free men among the patients in our communities. The slaves are generally treated by slave doctors, who pay them a hurried visit or wait for them in the dispensaries. A physician of this kind never speaks to his patient individually or lets […]

Doctor Rabelais Part IV: Rabelais on women and doctors

“When I speak of women,” said the doctor, “I speak of a sex so fragile, so variable, so changeable, so inconstant, and so imperfect . . . that Plato, you will recall, was at a loss where to class them. . . . For nature has placed in their bodies . . . certain humors, […]

In defense of good pimping: the Socratic method

Gregory M Marcus San Francisco, California, USA   Socrates was executed for berating ancient Athenians with questions in order to test their knowledge. I try to keep this in mind when badgering trainees for the same purpose. Of course, questioning to the point of what is maybe best described as “learner discomfort” is no longer […]

Leonardo’s anatomical studies: from ancient imaginations to meticulous observations

Julia King New York, United States   Views of a Skull. c. 1489. Figure 1. Leonardo da Vinci Royal Collection © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Source: http://www.drawingsofleonardo.org/ Leonardo da Vinci was a “Renaissance man” in the truest sense, contributing his inexhaustible talent to many fields, including anatomy. In a time when medicine was still […]