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Great Greek men such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle were people who laid the foundation for modern Philosophy. These three men are always mentioned when the subject of who are the Great Greek men of the past who made a significant impact on the world. Hippocrates is another great Greek genius who made a significant impact not on Philosophy but on the field of Medicine. He is considered one of the most influential figures in the History of Medicine. He is referred to as the “Father of Medicine” because of his endless contributions to the medical field as the founder of the Hippocratic School of Medicine. He created a school which revolutionized medicine in Greece because this school would eventually establish medicine as a separate profession. He changed the perception of Greek medicine with his revolutionary vision that disease was not caused by gods or spirits but was the result of natural action. The life of Hippocrates will be discussed in further detail such as his early childhood & life, his work, and his contributions/accomplishments to the World until his death. Hippocrates was an ancient Greek physician, who is also called the "Father of Medicine". He was born on the Aegean island of Cos which is near the island of Greece called Halicarnassus during the Classical Greece era towards the end of the fifth century B.C.E, around 460 BC. Ancient Greek history also believed that he was related to Hercules through his mother, Phaenarete. He is also referred to as Hippocrates Asclepiades, "descendant of (the doctor-god) Asclepios,". He was educated in medicine by his father Heraclides and Herodicus of Selymbria. He was also educated in philosophy by Gorgias of Leontini and Democritus of Abdera. Hippocrates came from a wealthy family which allowed Hippocrates to get educated at the most prestigious schools during his early school years as a child. He was trained in physical education,

reading, writing, spelling, music, singing, and poetry for nine years before attending a secondary school for two years. Ancient Greek History states that his training included traveling to the Greek mainland, Egypt, and Libya to further his medical training. (Cantor, 2002) Hippocrates radically changed the perception of Greek medicine with his revolutionary claim that disease was not caused by gods or spirits but was the result of natural action. Historians believe that he was the first physician to look at disease from another point of view which is that disease is a common natural occurrence in humans and is not a result of the wrath of the gods or some mystical phenomenon. He believed that disease was generated by multiple factors such as diet and daily living habits. Hippocrates faced great opposition by other physicians to his personal theories on medicine and was imprisoned for two years. While in prison, Hippocrates was very productive and used his prison time to his advantage because he was able to write his famous book of medicine entitled “The Complicated Body” which would later become the foundation of modern medicine. (Stevens, 2001) Hippocrates unique approach to medicine was themed on the word ‘crisis’. According to historians, the term ‘crisis’ was referenced as a progression point of a disease which either had the potential to kill a human or a patient could recover from the disease by naturally letting the body heal itself. Hippocrates believed that in the inherent healing power of nature. Hippocrates approach was based on the simple therapeutic process which is gentle, kind, and non-invasive. He never administered drugs to his patients because his approach is against any invasive or unnatural method for medical recovery. Hippocrates was revered for being the first individual to have mixed philosophy with medicine. The gentle, meditative, and prognosis ways of medicinal treatments were found by Hippocrates. (Cantor, 2002)

Hippocrates made many contributions to the world of medicine. One of the revolutionary contributions he made to the world of medicine is him using human anatomy and physiology when understanding the human body and disease treatment. During Hippocrates era, human anatomy and physiology wasn’t applied to the medical field which was due to the Greek taboo belief which forbids the dissection of the human body. Hippocrates theory of medicine were the building blocks for modern medicine because this allowed physicians to find the initial stages of a general diagnosis and allowed them to find many passive forms of treatment. He was famous for exposing the use of clinical practices. The most significant contribution Hippocrates had was his creation of his famous works called the Hippocratic Corpus, which is a collection of seventy medical books. The Hippocratic Corpus is a collection of ancient Greek medical works, written by Hippocrates himself and his followers, which contain Hippocrates medical teachings and written arguments called treatises which discussed medical problems of many patients (Chadwick, 2012). Hippocrates most important contribution to the world was his creation of the Hippocratic School of medicine. This school revolutionized medicine in Greece because this school would eventually establish medicine as a separate profession. By far, the contributions and accomplishments of Hippocrates made a significant impact on modern medicine. Historians believe that Hippocrates died in Larissa, Greece around 370 BC at the age of 83. (Jouanna, 1999)

Hippocrates early childhood years were lived in comfort and in endless resources which nurtured the genius in Hippocrates. He came from a wealthy family which allowed Hippocrates to get educated at the most prestigious schools during his early school years as a child. During his Adult years, Hippocrates faced great opposition by other physicians to his personal theories on medicine and was imprisoned for two years. Even though Hippocrates remained trapped in his prison cell, he was very productive he was able to write his famous book of medicine entitled “The Complicated Body” which would later become the foundation of modern medicine. The Hippocrates approach was based on the simple therapeutic process which is gentle, kind, and non-invasive. One of the major contributions Hippocrates made to the medical world was his creation of the Hippocratic School of medicine. This school revolutionized medicine in Greece because this school would eventually establish medicine as a separate profession. The most significant contribution Hippocrates had was his creation of his famous works called the Hippocratic Corpus, which is a collection of seventy medical books which contains detailed information of medical problems of patients and treatment plans which would lay the groundwork for modern medicine. Although Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle is considered to be the Great Greek Geniuses of Greek History, but we must not forget the person named Hippocrates who is without a doubt a revolutionary historical figure who is and will always be the ‘Father of Medicine’.


Boylan, M. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2002) Hippocrates c.450-c.380 BCE. Retrieved from:

Cantor, David, ed. Reinventing Hippocrates. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2002.

Chadwick, John Hipprocratic Corpus(2012) Philosophy and Medicine in Ancient Greece, by William Henry Samuel Jones, Hippocrates. Retrieved from:

Claude, Moore Health Sciences Library (2012) University of Virginia Health System—Hippocrates. Retrieved from:

Jouanna, Jacques. Hippocrates. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.

Stevens, P. Word Central's Student Dictionary (2001) Garden of Praise – Hippocrates. Retrieved on

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