Archeologically…• Along the banks of river Nile, which was somewhere in the midst of Africa, settled the Neolithic man around 10,000 years ago.• About 6,000 yrs later i.e. around 4,000 BC there developed the Egyptian civilization which lasted for 27 centuries!
But…• What civilized this civilization ? ?• How civilized was it??
Political system• KING, called Pharaoh, the son of sun- god, Re.• VIZIER, as prime minister, treasurer, chief justice.• BUREAUCRATS.
Social system• People were slender, but robust, dark haired and attractive.• Five classes:1. The royal family2. The priests3. The nobels4. A middle class; artisans, merchants5. The farmers6. Added class was of professional soldiers and slaves
Religion• Multitude of gods and goddesses• The sun-god Re, personified the beneficial deities, life. The official religion of pharaoh and priest was the worship of Re.• God osiris, god of Nile, the gods of nature and vegetation were fused in it, personified death. The cult grew among common people.
• Thoth ,the god of wisdom • Horus ,the god of health•Amenhotep IV ( 1375 BC ) attempted to change theancient religion & proclaimed only one true God, Aten.
•They firmlybelieved about theconcept of life afterdeath. This conceptinitiate the excellentart of preservation.The secret of whichtill undiscovered.
Medical practice• Initially…..,• In early centuries, medicine was a blend of magic and religion.• Disease, believed to be caused by an evil spirit. So, the purpose of the medicine was to rid the body of this demons.• Treatment, to approach the god, through supplication, incantation, spells and rituals.
• Over many centuries, with the passage of time, empiric medicine came into being.• There were three types of medical persons then:1. Physicians, (swnu), dealing with empiric medicine.2. The priest (sekhmet), surgeon and specialist.3. The exorcist.
PhysicianThere was a hierarchy followed i.e. –• Greatest physician of the lower and upper Egypt• Superintendent• Inspector• Chief of physician• General practitioner
p state Burial grounds h y s i army Pharaohs palaces c i Public works a nIn war time and on journeys anywherewithin the Egypt, the sick are all treatedfree of charges, because doctors werepaid for that. (Diodorus, the Greekhistorian) National health scheme
Specialization• God governs different organs.• Physician specialized in special body part and their diseases.• Royal physician – specialist• e.g. eyes, teeth, nose, belly, „shepherd of the anus‟ etc.• Herodotus described about this in his history.
Informationhieroglyphics Medical papyri • Edwin Smith It is papyrus specialized pictorial • George Ebers representati papyrus ons in Egyptian writings Greek and roman manuscripts
EDWIN SMITH GEORGE EBERS PAPYRUS PAPYRUS• 1600 BC • 1550 BC• 47 Cases • Oldest surviving• Rx of treatise on medicine wound, #, dislocati • Over 20 meters long ons • 700 drugs• Rt head injure • Various formulae of paralysis of herbs, animal & opposite side mineral remedies• On gynecology, pregn ancy & contraception
Imhotep•2700 BC, emerged a vivid personality of greatphysician,….Imhotep•Grand vizier of the pharaoh Zoser•Sage, astronomer, wise, kind, learned, great physician.•Built the first step pyramid at Sakkara, the oldest extant stonestructure in the world.•Glorified,…and in 6th century BC, displaced Thoth, as god ofhealing.•Greeks –Aesclapius.•
Doctrine of analogy• Nile – blood• Branches – channels• Obstruction or flood – diseases• Abstraction – the concept of analogy travel form simple form and appearance to complex similarity at various deeper level.• Prehistoric Egyptian modern eg MM
• Another belief, each organ has its own separate God specialization• fascination for enemas and purgatives… Gifted n invented by God - Thoth The role of parasites in Its guards again putrefaction causing disease was first Close relationship between heart and anal region stressed Practice based on the concepts prevailing in that era…
• Frequent baths• Cleanliness of attire• Bathing twice & Washed before meals• Fear of putrefaction greatly fond of purges and enemas •Abundant water supply “Healthiest •Canals, dams, reservoirs Of Man” •sluice channels By Herodotus •Great reverence for Nile
But in Contrast, Pliny mentioned “Egypt was the motherland of disease”• Plenty of disease… – Infections • Acute intestinal infections • Worm infections … Schistosomiasis – Eye disorders • Trachoma – dry dessert air & sand – Epidemic disease like, Small pox & Plague – Gonorrhoea, leprosy, Poliomyelitis… – Modern scholars also identified… arthritis, gout, ovarian, bladder & kidney disease
Medicine– Vast pharmacopeias, same 3 kingdoms– Source for Greek, Roman, Galen…– forms – pills, drops, ointments, suppositories, fumigations and baths. Most popular was ENEMA – Rotten bread for wounds penicillin – Copper, antimony….cosmetic use……antiseptic action…..preventing eye infection. – Copper preparation.. used in Rx of trachoma….frequent cause of blindness in ancientSurgery Egypt.• Circumcision and cauterization for removal of cyst andtumors.• Trepanation was not common. (concept of diseases)Overall contribution was poor.
EGYPT shown…2700 yrs of unbroken splendor e Blessed with peace and plenty Came under… domination of Libya, Ethiopia, Assyria & finally Persia In 332 BC, Alexander defeated Darius of Persia Cleopatra Chosen death Alexandria Centre of medicine Ultimately, dominated by Rome
• Hierarchies at all level…• Work distribution…• Evolved science for preservation of dead!!!• Administrative national health scheme• Effective recording as papyri…• Highly organized water supply & drainage…• Specialization in medicine…