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What Is Medicine?Western and Eastern Approaches to Healing$
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Paul Unschuld

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520257658

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520257658.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

The Hour of the Dissectors

The Hour of the Dissectors

Chapter:
31 The Hour of the Dissectors
Source:
What Is Medicine?
Author(s):

Paul U. Unschuld

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520257658.003.0031

The great empire of Alexander broke apart into four kingdoms after his death in 323 bc. This chapter examines only Alexandria, a center of Greek learning and knowledge. The change in the environment immediately made itself obvious such as there was a man named Herophilus of Chalcedon, to whom later ancient authors attributed a very active interest in anatomical studies. He came close to reality and forged further ahead than anyone before him. He conducted postmortem examinations, looking at the brain, eyes, digestive organs, and vessels. He observed the female and male sexual organs with interest. Another contemporary, Erasistratus of Julis on Chios, had a special interest in the nerves and vessels. He searched for the transport paths for pneuma throughout the organism. He compared living bodies and corpses that brought him quite close to reality. Alexandria rapidly became a true center of world trade, where much money, wealth, and power assembled.

Keywords:   Greek learning, anatomical studies, postmortem examinations, transport paths, living bodies, corpses

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