Egypt – Physicians Of Ancient Egypt
Beginning of medicine
Physicians of Ancient Egypt were in the environment of Egyptian paganism, based on the cult of animals (totems). Each Egyptian nome (city-state) had its sacred animal or bird: a rabbit, a lion, a bull, a RAM, a Falcon, an IBIS, etc.
The main gods of healing was considered the God of wisdom and The goddess of motherhood and fertility, ISIS.
The ancient Egyptians thought the afterlife a continuation of the earth, and that these views led to the desire to preserve the dead body from corruption to embalm him. Practice of embalming the Egyptians were apparently the first source of knowledge about the structure of the human body. Embalming required the use of various chemicals, which indirectly contributed to the formation of ideas about the nature of chemical reactions. Moreover, it is assumed that the name “chemistry” comes from the ancient name of Egypt is “Kemet”.
The Egyptians knew of major organs: heart, blood vessels, bones, intestines, muscles, etc. to Them belongs the first description of the brain. In E. Smith papyrus, the brain moves in the open wound of the skull is compared to “a boiling copper”. Egyptian doctors associated brain damage with impaired function of other body parts. They were aware of motor paralytically when wound to the head. Papyrus Ebers has important theoretical section, which analyzes the role of heart in human life: “the Beginning of the mysteries of medical knowledge of stroke of the heart, which vessels to all members, for every doctor, every priest of the goddess Sekhmet, every caster, touching the head, neck, arms, hands, legs, touches the heart – from him sent vessels to every organ”.
The ancient Egyptians along with a good knowledge of anatomy was known diagnosis of diseases by the pulse.
The healers of Egypt believed that the occurrence of disease is influenced by natural and supernatural factors. To the first they’ve had junk food, adverse climatic conditions and the presence of intestinal parasites. Herodotus writes that the Egyptians believed the cause of illness persistent weak food poisoning and therefore cleansed your stomach every month on three consecutive days, taking laxatives and taking advantage of the waves of elixirs. The Egyptians attributed a detailed description of slagging of the body and practical methods of purifying the body of toxins.
Supernatural causes of diseases, the Egyptians saw in the introduction into the body of the evil spirits of the dead. For their expulsion, were used as medicines, and various magic tricks. Believed that bad odors and bitter food scare away evil spirits. Therefore the composition mixtures in ritual magical procedures included such exotic products as part of the tails of mice, discharge from the ears of pigs, feces and urine of animals. During the expulsion of evil spirits sounded spells: “O, dead! Oh, a dead man hiding in my body go away!”.
Many healers of our time “remove the evil eye”, saying the lyrics close, in fact, to ancient Egypt, though in those days there were many techniques of healing, devoid of any mysticism.
The modern pharmaceutical industry of Egypt and its scientific base are state-owned. Considering that some of the Egyptian medicines have stood the test of time and is acceptable for use in modern civilization, Egyptian physicians and pharmacists are showing great interest in the development of unique drugs. Already put into practice some laxative, diuretic, anti-inflammatory and Antirheumatic drugs with the components of ancient Egyptian writings.
We, the contemporaries of the twenty-first century, managed to touch the mysteries of Egypt quite recently, only after the French scientist J. F. Champollion solved the mystery of ancient Egyptian writing. This was announced on September 27, 1822, before a gathering of scientists in France, since then this date is considered the birthday of the science of Egyptology. His discovery Champollion made through the study of the inscriptions on the Rosetta stone, found by an officer of Napoleon’s army in 1799 during the digging of trenches near the town of Rosetta in Egypt. Before this event the only source for the history of Ancient Egypt and medicine were the details of the Greek historian Herodotus, the Egyptian priest Manetho, described in ancient Greek and works of Greek writers Strabo, Plutarch, etc. for the First time about the existence of medical treatises in Ancient Egypt it is told in record on the wall of the tomb of Wash-Ptah – the chief architect of the dynasty Reference-RA (XV century BC).
Ancient Egyptian medical treatises were written on papyrus, which to our days has not survived and we know them only by the testimony of ancient historians. So, the priest Manetho reports that Attis (the second Tsar of the dynasty) was a medical papyrus of the structure of the human body. At present we know 10 of the main papyri, fully or partly dealing with the healing. All of them are the list of earlier treatises. The oldest surviving medical papyrus Dating from around 1800 BC, One section is devoted to the management of labor, other to the treatment of animals. Egyptologists believe that this papyrus was written by the legendary physician Imhotep in the beginning of the 3rd Millennium BC. Subsequently, Imhotep was deified.