Hippocrates


Hippocrates

biographical name

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Hippocrates, Roman bust copied from a Greek original, c. 3rd century BC; in the collection …—Courtesy of the Soprintendenza alle Antiquità di Ostia, Italy

(born c. 460 BC, island of Cos, Greece—died c. 375, Larissa, Thessaly) Greek physician regarded as the father of medicine. During his lifetime, he was admired as a physician and teacher. Plato and Aristotle mention him in several of their own works, and Aristotle's student Meno recounts his ideas about the causes of disease. The Hippocratic Collection (Corpus Hippocraticum) was assembled for the Library of Alexandria in Egypt. About 60 medical writings have survived that bear Hippocrates' name, most of which were not written by him. The collection deals with anatomy, clinical subjects, diseases of women and children, prognosis, treatment, surgery, and medical ethics. The Hippocratic Oath (suspected not to have been written by Hippocrates), also part of the Hippocratic Collection, dictates the obligations of the physician to students of medicine and the duties of pupil to teacher. In the oath, the physician pledges to prescribe only beneficial treatments, to refrain from causing harm or hurt, and to live an exemplary life.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on Hippocrates, visit Britannica.com.

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