In Ancient Greece, medicine was an important part of life. The Greeks believed in the power of the human body to heal itself, but also recognized the benefits of medical treatment. While hospitals as we know them today did not exist in Ancient Greece, there were places where sick people could go to receive care.
The Healing Temples
One type of medical facility in Ancient Greece was the healing temple. These temples were often dedicated to a specific god or goddess who was thought to have healing powers. People would come from all over Greece to these temples seeking relief from various ailments.
One of the most famous healing temples in Ancient Greece was the Asclepieion at Epidaurus. This temple was dedicated to Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing. Patients would come to this temple seeking cures for their illnesses through a combination of prayer, sacrifices, and medical treatments.
Medical Treatments at Healing Temples
The medical treatments offered at healing temples varied depending on the ailment being treated. Some common treatments included:
- Herbal remedies: Many healing temples had gardens where herbs were grown for medicinal purposes.
- Massage: Massage was used to relieve muscle tension and promote relaxation.
- Dietary changes: Patients may have been instructed to change their diets in order to promote healing.
- Surgery: While surgery was not as advanced as it is today, some simple procedures were performed at healing temples.
Another type of medical professional in Ancient Greece was the iatros. These were traveling doctors who would visit patients in their homes or work as physicians for wealthy families. The iatros would perform medical treatments such as setting broken bones or prescribing herbal remedies.
While hospitals as we know them today did not exist in Ancient Greece, there were places where sick people could go to receive medical care. Healing temples and iatros provided medical treatment to those in need. These facilities played an important role in the development of medicine in Ancient Greece and helped pave the way for modern hospitals.