Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/old-athens-physicians.asp?pg=7

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature
 

William Davis, A Day in Old Athens

 

Plato Home Page

The Physicians of Athens

ELPENOR EDITIONS IN PRINT

HOMER

PLATO

ARISTOTLE

THE GREEK OLD TESTAMENT (SEPTUAGINT)

THE NEW TESTAMENT

PLOTINUS

DIONYSIUS THE AREOPAGITE

MAXIMUS CONFESSOR

SYMEON THE NEW THEOLOGIAN

CAVAFY

More...


Page 7

Quacks and Charlatans

 

    Unluckily not everybody is wise enough to put up with the presumably honest efforts of Menon's underlings. There appears to be no law against anybody who wishes to pose as a physician, and to sell his inexperience and his quack nostrums. Vendors of every sort of cure-all abound, as well as creatures who work on the superstitions and pretend to cure by charms and hocus-pocus. In the market there is such a swarm of these charlatans of healing that they bring the whole medical profession into contempt. Certain people go so far as to distrust the efficacy of any part of the lore of Asclepius. Says one poet tartly:

"The surgeon Menedemos, as men say,
Touched as he passed a Zeus of marble white;
Neither the marble nor his Zeus-ship might
Avail the god—they buried him to-day."

    And again even to dream of the quacks is dangerous:

"Diophantes, sleeping, saw
Hermas the physician: Diophantes never woke
From that fatal vision".[10]

    All in all, despite Menon's good intentions and not despicable skill, it is fortunate the gods have made "Good Health" one of their commonest gifts to the Athenians. Constant exercise in the gymnasia, occasional service in the army, the absence of cramping and unhealthful office work, and a climate which puts out-of-door existence at a premium, secure for them a general good health that compensates for most of the lack of a scientific medicine.

 

Previous / First / Next Page of this chapter

Next Chapter : The Funerals

Back to A Day in Old Athens Contents

The Greek Word Library

 

Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Greek Literature - Ancient, Medieval, Modern

Learned Freeware

 

Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/old-athens-physicians.asp?pg=7