The Ancient Civilisations

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GCSE History OCR Medicine Through Time

Resource summary

The Ancient Civilisations
1 Prehistoric
1.1 What did they believe caused disease?
1.1.1 Mostly supernatural Evil spirits
1.1.2 Natural causes for obvious things- e.g broken bones
1.2 Who treated the sick?
1.2.1 Medicine men
1.2.2 Families- especially mothers
1.2.3 Witch Doctors
1.3 What treatments were used?
1.3.1 Herbs and plants
1.3.2 Trephining- skull broken- piece of bones removed to relieve headaches
1.4 What did they know about the body?
1.4.1 There was only knowledge of external parts of the body
1.5 How healthy were people?
1.5.1 People were fairly healthy, however most people died before they reached 40
2 Ancient Egyptian
2.1 What did they believe caused disease?
2.1.1 Many supernatural causes (e.g angry Gods)
2.1.2 'Blocked channel' theory based on the irrigation ditches for watering crops
2.2 Who treated the sick?
2.2.1 Priests
2.2.2 Gods
2.2.3 Doctors
2.2.4 Families
2.3 What treatments were used?
2.3.1 Many people had supernatural 'lucky charms' or ammulets
2.3.2 Herbal remedies were commonly used
2.3.3 Purging to relieve 'blocked channels'
2.4 What did they know about the body?
2.4.1 Channels in the body
2.4.2 Very basic knowledge of bran, heart etc Through embalming of bodies
2.5 How healthy were people?
2.5.1 People were fairly healthy
2.5.2 There was no public health, but some priests recommending washing frequently for prayer
3 Greek
3.1 What did they believe caused disease?
3.1.1 An imbalance of the 4 humours
3.1.2 Some supernatural causes
3.2 Who treated the sick?
3.2.1 Hippocratic doctors used NATURAL TREATMENTS
3.2.2 ASCLEPIONS God of healing visited the sick
3.3 What treatments were used?
3.3.1 Herbal remedies were used to correct imbalances of the four humours
3.3.2 Prayers were made for healing to the God Asclepious
3.4 What did they know about the body?
3.4.1 Basic knowledge of the HEART, LUNGS AND BRAIN
3.4.2 The body had 'channels'
3.5 How healthy were people?
3.5.1 Majority were quite healthy
3.5.2 There were no public health systems in practice
4 Roman
4.1 How healthy were people?
4.1.1 Much healthier than ever before
4.1.2 Tax system meant there was public health services in every town
4.1.3 Public baths, Latrines, Fountains, Sewers, Aqueducts
4.2 What did they know about the body?
4.2.1 Fairly good knowledge of anatomy
4.3 Who treated the sick?
4.3.1 Families
4.3.2 Doctors
4.3.3 Priests
4.4 What treatments were used?
4.4.1 Theory of the opposites
4.4.2 Asclepions
4.4.3 Herbal remedies
4.5 What did they believe caused disease?
4.5.1 Imbalance of the four humours
4.5.2 Mainly natural causes
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