Socrates, also known as the “Second Socrates,” was a Greek physician in the classical period and is considered one of the most prominent figures in the history of medicine. He is also known as the “Father of Medical Science” because of his significant role in advancing various medical subjects such as the use of prognosis, clinical examination, systematic classification of diseases, and temperament theory. The School of Hippocratic, founded by Socrates, revolutionized ancient Greek medicine and introduced it as a distinct and professional discipline separate from other fields that were previously associated with it, such as miracles and philosophy. Biographers agree that Socrates was born in around 460 BC on the island of Kos, and other dates are less accepted. Soranus, a second-century Greek physician, was the first biographer of Socrates and is the primary source of personal information about him. Later biographies, such as “Suda” and “Life of Titus,” were written in the 10th and 12th centuries AD, respectively. Socrates is also mentioned in the writings of two of his contemporaries, Plato in “Protagoras and Phaedrus,” and Aristotle in his book “Politics,” which dates back to the fourth century BC.
Soranus wrote that Socrates’ father was Heracleides, his mother was Phaenarete, and he had two sons, Thessalus and Draco, and his son-in-law, Polybus, were his students.
According to Galen, while Thessalus and Draco each had a son named Socrates (Socrates III and IV), Polybus was the true successor of Socrates. After learning sciences in his father’s school, Socrates studied with the great philosopher Democritus and worked as a traveling physician in Greece and Asia Minor for a while. He was a student of the second Sesclepius and contemporary of Plato. Socrates’ appearance was in 96 BC, which corresponds to the fourteenth year of the reign of Bahram in the hands of the Iranian king. His sons, named Draco and Thessalus, and his son-in-law Polybus continued the family tradition. Socrates passed away in the city of Larissa in 375 BC. Yahya Nahvi says, “Socrates was one of the seven physicians who succeeded Sesclepius and the inventor of medicine, and Galen was the eighth of them. Galen did not have the opportunity to serve under Socrates, and there were 665 years between them. Socrates lived for 95 years.
He studied until the age of sixteen and then spent 76 years as a scholar and teacher. His legitimate offspring were three: Thessalus, Drakon, and a daughter named Mayaarsia, who was the most knowledgeable of his two brothers. Socrates’ descendants include Socrates son of Thessalus and Socrates son of Draco. According to Isaac’s handwriting, Socrates lived to be ninety years old. According to Galen, while Thessalus and Draco each had a son named Socrates (Socrates III and IV), Polybus was the true successor of Socrates. After learning sciences in his father’s school, Socrates studied with the great philosopher Democritus and worked as a traveling physician in Greece and Asia Minor for a while. He was a student of the second Sesclepius and contemporary of Plato.
Socrates’ appearance was in 96 BC, which corresponds to the fourteenth year of the reign of Bahram in the hands of the Iranian king. His sons, named Draco and Thessalus, and his son-in-law Polybus continued the family tradition. Socrates passed away in the city of Larissa in 375 BC. Yahya Nahvi says, “Socrates was one of the seven physicians who succeeded Sesclepius and the inventor of medicine, and Galen was the eighth of them. Galen did not have the opportunity to serve under Socrates, and there were 665 years between them. Socrates lived for 95 years. He studied until the age of sixteen and then spent 76 years as a scholar and teacher. His legitimate offspring were three: Thessalus, Drakon, and a daughter named Mayaarsia, who was the most knowledgeable of his two brothers. Socrates’ descendants include Socrates son of Thessalus and Socrates son of Draco. According to Isaac’s handwriting, Socrates lived to be ninety years old.
Some of Socrates’ students were Lazen, Marjas, Sauri, Maxanus, Manison, Istata, Gors, Sambelqius, Thessalus, and Pholus. His interpreters include Sambelqius, Sintalus, Discorides I, Timaeus of Palestine, Mantias, Aristotle II, Qiyasi, and Bladius, who interpreted Socrates’ works, and Galen.
Today, he is mostly known as the “father of modern medicine” and was fully acquainted with scientific and empirical medical knowledge during his time. He was a pioneer in the scientific explanation and critique of diseases. Socrates wrote many books, some of which have been translated into other languages. Socrates’ oath is still highly regarded in the world of knowledge. Socrates was a unique, complete, virtuous, insightful, and teacher of all things in his era. He was a physician and a philosopher, and his work was so remarkable that people worshiped him like a god. His story is long and in the field of analogy and experience, he was an extraordinary force that no critic could challenge. He was the first to teach medicine to foreigners, as he told foreign physicians in his own testament so that medical knowledge would not be lost and they would pass it on to their own children. Socrates was one of the Greek philosophers who lived in the fifth century BC. He was one of the greatest figures in ancient Greek philosophy and is known as one of the three founding fathers of Western philosophy: (Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle). Originally a teacher, Socrates encouraged his students to think and reflect on topics such as justice, courage, love, and the purpose of life by presenting them with questionnaires. He sought the truth and believed that scientists should pursue knowledge and truth, not money or wealth.
Most of Socrates’ ideas have come down to us through the writings of his student Plato. Socrates is known as one of the most prominent philosophers in history because of his emphasis on the importance of thinking and reflecting on ethical and philosophical issues. He is also known as one of the greatest philosophers and one of the first humanists for his belief in the common core of humanity. He is referred to as the father of modern medicine because of his efforts and contributions to the field of medicine, which led to the establishment of the first medical school, the Hippocratic School of Medicine. Socrates is the founder of rational medicine, which was able to free it from metaphysical elements, prejudices, demonology, and superstitions of the time. He achieved harmony between human-centered science, medical art, and philosophical contemplation, and identified his professional performance with ethical principles and human values. The pioneering and largely predictive work of Hippocrates has had a profound impact on most modern medical and biological specialties in the Western world, earning him the title of founder and pillar of medical sciences. In particular, he has gained significant credibility for promoting systematic and clinical medicine, summarizing medical knowledge, and prescribing practical recommendations for physicians.
Biography: Although there is a lot of biographical information about Hippocrates, most of it is inaccurate. Soranus of Ephesus, a Greek gynecologist of the second century AD, was the first biographer of Hippocrates and the primary source of information about him. It is said that the biography he wrote, titled “The Life and Times of Hippocrates,” is the most reliable. Information about Hippocrates can also be found in the writings of Aristotle, from the fourth century BC, the Suda lexicon from the tenth century AD, and the works of John Jetzis, from the twelfth century AD. Hippocrates, originally from the Dorian region, was born in Kos in 460 BC and belonged to the most magnificent branch of Asclepiads. According to tradition, he was named after the god of medicine Asclepius from his father (physician Heracleides) and the Greek mythological hero Hercules from his mother (Phenaretis). With great effort and enthusiasm, he studied and learned medicine in Kos, first as a student of his father, Herodicus, and later of Gorgias, the rhetorician Leontinus, and Democritus of Abdera. Although several researchers claim that his relationship with Gorgias and Democritus was more spiritual and less a student-teacher relationship. “After completing his medical education, Hippocrates began practicing medicine in Kos. However, knowing how ignorant and preventive other physicians of his time were, he considered it his duty to travel to other places to complete his education and spread his belief in clean air, water, and sunlight. As a result, he went on many scientific expeditions to places such as Delos, Thasos, Skiatos, Turkey, and Smyrna.
His fame quickly spread throughout Greece and beyond its borders, reaching the powerful Persian Empire. It is said that Ardeshir II invited him to his court with valuable gifts, but he declined to leave his homeland. Although ancient sources consider this fact to be true, some modern researchers dispute it. It is also said that he cured King Perdiccas of Macedonia and saved Abdera from the plague. Some claim that he examined Democritus there, whom some considered to be insane because he laughed at everything. Hippocrates diagnosed him as simply being happy, and since then, Democritus has been called the “laughing philosopher. In addition, it is said that Hippocrates helped the Argives and Athenians by taking preventive measures against the spread of infectious diseases. As a token of appreciation for his help during the deadly plague in Athens, the Athenians admitted him to the Eleusinian Mysteries and declared him a citizen of Athens. He was also given free access to the “Rector” for himself and his children, although modern researchers dispute his involvement in Athenian affairs. Hippocrates’ last stop was his ancestral land of Thessaly, where he stayed for the rest of his life. He died at the age of 83 in Larissa in 377 BC and was buried somewhere between Gyrtonos, Ternavos, and Larissa. According to Antimus Gazis, his tomb was preserved until the second century AD. Soranus of Ephesus, in his work “Vita Hippocratis,” describes Hippocrates’ tomb: “It is located between Gyrtonos and Larissa and the tomb is marked without tears.” He also mentions that for years, there was a swarm of bees in Hippocrates’ tomb whose honey had the ability to cure children’s ailments. In Larissa, in an area of the same name, there is a “Synotaf” and its marble statue made by the sculptor “Georgios Kalakalas.” The construction of this historical monument was inspired by “Dr. Dimitrios Paliouras.” The construction of the historical monument began in 1966, and it was inaugurated in 1978. In the Synotaf area, a medical museum was founded by Dimitrios Paliouras in 1986. Bronze statues of Hygeia, Asclepius, Apollo, Fleming, G. Papanikolaou, and the founder are displayed in this museum. There is also a file with documents that refers to Dimitrios Paliouras’ efforts to honor Hippocrates by graduates of Greek medical schools. Hippocrates’ works: During his travels, Hippocrates devoted himself to healing and teaching, recording his observations, theories, discoveries, and ideals. After his death, his works were collected and formed the “Hippocratic Corpus”. The Hippocratic Corpus consists of 59 works written in the Ionian dialect. It includes guidebooks, speeches, research, notes, and philosophical articles on various medical topics without any specific order. These works were written for different audiences, both specialists and non-specialists, and sometimes significant contradictions can be seen between them. Some of the articles were written by other physicians who knew that anything with Hippocrates’ signature would be widely accepted.
Some of the important books in the Hippocratic Corpus written in Greek include:
1. “Nasir” (Oath): In this book, Hippocrates discusses issues such as ethics, behavior, science, and social relationships.
2. “Law”: In this book, the laws and regulations that must be followed to maintain social order and discipline are examined.
3. “On Ancient Medicine”: In this book, Hippocrates examines the history of medicine and ancient treatment methods.
4. “On the Physician”: In this book, Hippocrates discusses the skills necessary to become a professional physician.
5. “On Happiness”: In this book, Hippocrates examines the factors that lead to happiness and satisfaction.
6. “Aphorisms”: In this book, Hippocrates provides general principles and rules of medicine.
7. “On Anatomy”: In this book, Hippocrates examines the structure and function of the body’s organs.
8. “On the Heart”: In this book, Hippocrates discusses the function and importance of the heart in maintaining good health.
9. “On Flesh”: In this book, Hippocrates examines the composition and function of muscle tissue.
10. “On Joints”: In this book, Hippocrates examines the structure and function of joints.
11. “On the Nature of Bones”: In this book, Hippocrates examines the structure and function of bones.
12. “On Parenthood”: In this book, Hippocrates discusses the role and responsibilities of parents in raising children.
In addition to his works, the collection includes 24 letters and speeches in which he describes the invitation of the “Abedritus” for the hypothetical treatment of Democritus. However, the abundant adaptations of his works and the addition of pseudo-inscriptions from ancient times led later researchers to the impossibility of distinguishing between fake and authentic works. Beyond that, this collection was created in its current form during the time of Alexandria when Ptolemy ordered the collection of the writings of Plato. Therefore, it was necessary to include all the writings that bear his name, even if there is a logical suspicion of their falsity, as long as they belong to the pre-Aristotelian era. Of course, the issue of authenticity has kept researchers busy for a long time, resulting in many conflicting opinions. For example, Eudoxus only accepts 31 writings, while Galen reduces their number to about 13. Among young French medical historians, Emile Littré, relying on Ionian dialect full of “gifts” from Plato, admits his distant origin.
As authentic, in addition to the oath and the law, there are eleven other works. Dilts only accepts three cases, etc. More important than his works, the ten-volume edition of Emile Littré (1829-1861) in Paris, with Greek text and French translation, remains.
The last edition of the works belonged to Leipzig in 1894 and 1902 but remained incomplete.
This text also appears to be in Persian. Here’s a translation to English:
Among the Greeks, Adamantius of Corycus criticized his works well in his books “On Waters and Gaseous Earths,” “On Acidic Regime,” and “Ancient Medicine.”
The theory of Plato: The style and value of Plato’s works are different from one work to another, and their content mostly reflects the interpretations of the teachers and students of the school of “Knidos and Kos.” Generally, Plato believes that everything arises from four elements, each of which is related to the properties of cold, dry, warm, and liquid. In the solid parts of the body, the earthy element is dominant, and in liquids, the watery element is dominant. The cohesive substance of anything is the soul, which is natural and warm in humans and resides in the heart. The Platonic method has three basic principles: clinical observation, experience, and rationality. And based on the threefold principle of Nostalgia: patient, illness, and physician. The body has a particular animal force, nature. The preservation, development, and even improvement of the body and its restoration from a pathological state to a normal state depend on this power. For this purpose, Plato believed that rest is of great importance. According to this doctrine, the body has four humors: blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile. The correct ratio of fruit water maintains health (“Okhrasia”), while a disturbance in it (“Diskrasia”) causes illness. The correct ratio of fruit water is determined by the term “Krasys. Pathology: Plato’s texts refer extensively to clinical signification, diagnosis, prevention, and premonition. Clinical signs, symptoms, and some of the described syndromes form the basis of clinical examination of patients. A crucial concept in the field of Platonic medicine is “crisis,” which refers to a moment in the course of a disease when either the disease becomes dominant and the patient surrenders, or the opposite happens, and the patient recovers. After a crisis, a relapse, and then another determining crisis may occur.
According to this doctrine, seizures usually occur on “critical days,” which are supposed to be a specific time after the start of treatment. If a crisis occurs beyond critical days, a relapse is expected.
Galen believed that this idea originated from Plato, although it may be earlier.
The patient suffering from cubital tunnel syndrome was first described by Plato.
Platonic physicians believe that clinical examination should be complete and often repeated because diseases are not static but evolve through stages that also determine their outcome (“Lysis” or “Crisis” of the disease).
After a comprehensive clinical examination of the patient, the diagnosis was made based on criteria that remind us of modern clinical examinations. Some of Plato’s clinical signs, such as “Plato’s face” (the face of a dying person), “Plato’s fingers” (often found in cardiopulmonary syndromes and congenital heart diseases), and “Plato’s wheezing” (usually accompanied by chest tightness), are even present in classical modern medical literature. However, since clinical diagnostic facilities were limited at that time, Plato’s medical interest was mainly focused on prevention and premonition based on various clinical signs, such as anisocoria, cold sweat, and localized edema. During Plato’s time, drug therapy was not well developed, and often the best thing physicians could do was to evaluate a disease and predict its probable course based on recorded evidence from the past. That is why Platonic medicine does not classify diseases systematically because it paid more attention to the patient than the disease and classified them based on symptoms. Therefore, Plato diagnosed diseases as acute and chronic (depending on the clinical course) and epidemic, endemic, and sporadic (depending on the distribution). He also used phrases such as exacerbation, relapse, resolution, crisis, exacerbation, climax, and improvement. Among notable clinical descriptions, those referring to epilepsy, tetanus, and some respiratory diseases stand out.
The goal of treatment, according to Platonic concepts, is to strengthen the healing power of nature. In particular, the concept of medication is summarized in the implicit phrase “Use two drugs, whether they are beneficial or not.” Plato argued that drugs should be useful or at least not harmful. Moreover, he had no inclination to prescribe drugs and participate in specialized treatments that might be incorrect. Instead, he preferred a general treatment. His opposition to polypharmacy is shown in the phrase “often the best medicine is no medicine at all.” However, he did use strong drugs in some cases. Despite limited anatomical knowledge, Platonic surgery did not lag behind clinical knowledge. The phrase “no drugs, no iron, no stone” is still a proof for today’s age. Among surgical specialties, orthopedics was the most developed. Platonic surgeons could rearrange dislocations and fractures, drain edemas, perform trepanation, thoracotomy, and abdominal perforation, nephrotomy in kidney stones, and amputation in cases of gangrene of the limbs. Removing bladder stones was prohibited for surgeons, and they used disinfectants and hemostatics during surgery. The teachings of Plato are the subject of current studies in pulmonary medicine and surgery.
Platonic medicine was prominent due to its professionalism, precise discipline, and accurate practice. In one of his works, Plato describes a surgical procedure in which a part of the skull bone is removed to treat a head wound. Another of his works, “Cataleptics,” can be seen as a description of modern and well-lit operating rooms. Plato explains how natural and artificial light should be used, how the patient should be prepared, and how surgical instruments and other objects should be sterilized. As a result, a Platonic physician paid special attention to all aspects of their work: they followed precise specifications for lighting, staff, instruments, the patient’s body position, and techniques to be followed in the operating room. He even kept his nails tidy and trimmed. Dentistry: The beginning of the Western dental tradition can be found in the Platonic texts, especially in his works on dentistry and meat-eating.
Naming teeth: “Lam” is the standard word commonly used in Platonic texts to describe teeth, although there are attempts to name each tooth separately from the others so that it can be identified on its own against the other teeth. For example, references such as “the fifth tooth” start counting from the front teeth.
The nature of teeth: One of the central issues that occupied Platonic writers was the nature of teeth that were embedded in bones. This concept is prevalent in both Aristotle and Galen’s works. Tooth growth: Tooth growth is one of the most fascinating chapters of ancient Greek dentistry because it has a direct relationship with the stages of a person’s growth and marks the transition from one age group to the next. Teeth are formed in the fetus after bones and nails in the seventh month of pregnancy, milk teeth are replaced at the seventh year of age, and so on. Pathology and obstruction of teeth: Diseases that appear in the mouth and especially those related to teeth are common in a wide range of Platonic medical pathology texts. In most cases, these are additional evidence of a pathological condition and include:
– Tooth decay
– Drying of teeth
– Tooth cupping
– Congenital dental abnormalities
– Gum diseases: In addition to dental diseases, Platonic texts also describe a number of diseases related to gums, such as abscesses, inflammation of the gums, hyperkeratosis, and apolides. Oral and maxillofacial surgery: If there is an area of dentistry that has benefited the most from Plato’s teachings, it is undoubtedly oral and maxillofacial surgery. With Plato’s treatise “Peri Arthron,” oral and maxillofacial surgery has indisputably been recognized as a specialized field for the treatment of surgical deformities and fractures.
Orthodontics: The first reference to the support and immobilization of lost teeth is found in Plato’s work on joints with “Ligature.” Some cases of mandibular fractures aim to close teeth to restore the deviation and movement of teeth to their natural position.
Therefore, “Andral” correctly saw in the Hippocrates men who were deprived of modern technology, acting only with their intellectual power and driven by the same facts or ideas that scientists today laboriously analyze and observe. Observation was for Galen, the “uncle” of Hippocrates, the greatest physician and first philosopher. He did not simply content himself with empiricism, but united it with reason to understand nature.
Galen describes Hippocrates as he prefers to describe himself, so he only emphasizes the texts that excite him. Nevertheless, at the same time, the link to disseminating Hippocrates teachings remained, as he passed on his interest to future physicians. Therefore, by copying his texts, Hippocrates ideas remained during the Byzantine Empire and were inherited by Renaissance physicians, while in the Middle Ages, Hippocrates methods were also accepted by Arabs. The collection of Hippocrates became a foundation on which medical experience was recorded to build modern medicine.
Hippocrates pioneering work had a positive impact not only on general medicine but also on all pathological and surgical specialties. In addition, his ability to predict is noteworthy. Hippocrates extended clinical observations to family history and environment. This fact is reflected in specific examples in two of his treatises. One is that environmental concepts of “air, water, place” and the inheritance of “sacred disease” are almost equivalent in Hippocrates texts, a fact that modern biological medical research confirms. Another point is that unsanitary living conditions, improper diet, nutritional imbalances, and environmental destruction, which were often first mentioned by Hippocrates as “nature’s response is excellent”, are some of the most threatening health problems of our time. Hippocrates medical recommendation: Hippocrates contribution to global medicine is very valuable. Its content is both historical and philosophical, humanistic and cognitive. The Hippocrates method abandoned medical concepts of magic and religion, and rejected the belief that the source of diseases is divine. In his time, people believed that epidemics occurred because the gods wanted them to. Plato told them that these wounds were caused by contaminated water, impurities, contact with mice, and patients with other people in the community.
Although Hippocrates separated medicine from philosophy, he did not overlook the importance of ethical values and philosophical reflections on being a physician and a philosopher. He did not underestimate the significance of human-centeredness in medicine, the fluidity of knowledge, the relativity of diagnoses, and the limited capabilities of medicine, and reminded us that “life is short, art is long, opportunity is fleeting, experience is treacherous, and judgment is difficult” (human life is short, knowledge is infinite, time is short, experience is prone to error, and decision-making is highly responsible). This summarizes the philosophy of Hippocrates, who tried to make human existence more tolerable. He tried to relieve humans of pain, disease, and fear. The recognition of “Kos Sofos” as the “Father of Rational Medicine” is an invaluable justification for the valuable pioneering work that deeply influenced the long-term development of scientific thinking in medicine from then until today.