Did Ancient Greece Create Medicine?

Medicine has been an essential aspect of human life for centuries. From ancient times to the modern era, the practice of medicine has evolved significantly.

In the world of medicine, Greece is a name that resonates with excellence and innovation. But did ancient Greece create medicine In this article, we will explore the role of ancient Greece in shaping modern medicine.

Origins of Ancient Greek Medicine

Ancient Greek medicine dates back to 800 BCE when Homer wrote about wounds and diseases in his epic poems. At that time, healing practices were not systematic or organized. However, by 500 BCE, Greek physicians began to study and document their medical practices.

The father of Western Medicine, Hippocrates (460 BCE – 370 BCE), was a Greek physician who is credited with establishing the Hippocratic School of Medicine. He believed that diseases had natural causes and should be treated by natural means rather than supernatural methods.

Ancient Greek Medical Practices

Ancient Greeks believed that good health was a result of a balance between the four humors (blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile) in the body. They used diagnostic techniques like observation, palpitation, and auscultation to identify illnesses.

Greek physicians also used various herbal remedies like aloe vera, thyme, basil, and lavender for treating ailments. They also used other substances such as honey for wound healing and garlic for digestive disorders.

The Legacy of Ancient Greek Medicine

The contributions made by ancient Greeks to medicine are numerous and far-reaching. The Hippocratic Oath is still taken by medical practitioners today as an oath promising ethical behavior in their profession.

Additionally, ancient Greeks documented their medical practices in books such as the “Corpus Hippocraticum,” which contains over 60 medical texts. These books served as a foundation for modern medicine.

The ancient Greeks also made remarkable advances in surgery. The physician Herophilus (335 BCE – 280 BCE) is credited with pioneering anatomy and dissecting human cadavers for research purposes.


Ancient Greece may not have created medicine, but it undoubtedly played a pivotal role in shaping modern medicine. The Greeks’ emphasis on natural remedies, ethical behavior, and documentation has influenced medical practices worldwide.

Today, medicine has come a long way from ancient Greek medical practices. Still, the legacy of ancient Greece continues to inspire practitioners to strive for excellence and ethical behavior in their profession.