How Was Medicine Viewed in the Ancient Times?

In ancient times, medicine was viewed very differently than it is today. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all had their own unique perspectives on medicine and healing. Let’s take a closer look at how medicine was viewed in each of these civilizations.

Ancient Egyptian Medicine

The ancient Egyptians believed that their gods were responsible for all illnesses and diseases. They believed that illness was a punishment for wrongdoing or a result of evil spirits. Therefore, their approach to medicine was heavily rooted in religion and magic.

Egyptian doctors were called “priest physicians” and were usually trained in temples where they learned to use medicinal plants and herbs. They also performed surgeries such as brain surgery and amputations.

Ancient Greek Medicine

The ancient Greeks believed that illness was caused by an imbalance in the four humors: blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile. They believed that this imbalance could be corrected through diet, exercise, and herbal remedies.

Greek physicians such as Hippocrates emphasized the importance of observation in diagnosis. He also believed that the body had the ability to heal itself if given the right conditions.

Ancient Roman Medicine

The ancient Romans were heavily influenced by Greek medicine but also developed their own medical practices. Roman physicians focused on hygiene and cleanliness as a way to prevent disease.

They also developed surgical techniques such as suturing wounds and using anesthesia during surgeries. Additionally, they were known for using natural remedies such as honey for wound healing.


In conclusion, medicine in ancient times was heavily influenced by religion, philosophy, and natural remedies. While some of these practices may seem outdated today, they laid the foundation for modern medicine. Understanding how medicine was viewed in the past can help us appreciate the advancements we have made today.