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Minds Behind the BrainA history of the pioneers and their discoveries$
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Stanley Finger

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195181821

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181821.001.0001

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Hippocrates: The Brain as the Organ of Mind

Hippocrates: The Brain as the Organ of Mind

(p.21) 3 Hippocrates: The Brain as the Organ of Mind
Minds Behind the Brain

Stanley Finger (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

In order to understand the Hippocratic revolution in medicine and how it led to the perception of the brain as the ruling member of the body, we must think of ancient Greece at three different but unequal points in time. These epochs can be designated Early Greece, the Golden Age of Greece, and the Hellenistic Era. Hippocrates lived from approximately 460 to 377 B.C., during the middle period or Golden Age of Greece. The three time periods are very different culturally. In each one, not only are there differences in government, religion, and the arts, but they also provide us with distinctly different views of the mind and the brain. This chapter also discusses the myths and legends surrounding the healing powers of Asklepios, son of Apollo and the nymph Coronis; medicine in Homer's epic poems Odyssey and Iliad; the Hippocratic Collection known as Corpus Hippocraticum, which had references to the brain and brain damage; and dissection, the nervous system, and the association between humor and disease.

Keywords:   Hippocrates, brain, ancient Greece, brain damage, dissection, nervous system, Corpus Hippocraticum, Asklepios, healing, humor

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