Start Date

28-4-2016 12:45 PM

End Date

28-4-2016 2:15 PM

Disciplines

Anatomy | Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity | History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Subjects

Human anatomy -- History, Medical sciences -- Egypt -- Alexandria -- History, Dissection -- History, Ancient medicine

Abstract

Classical and Hellenistic Greece were known to be a hub of scientific research. However, the potential for scientific discovery was limited by dominating religious beliefs. Advancements in the study of human anatomy were inhibited by religious taboos that prevented the practice of human dissection. These taboos took hold of Greek society, with a consequence of exile to anyone who violated them. The exception however, is in Hellenistic Alexandria under the rule of the Ptolemaic Kings, Soter and Philadelphus. This paper examines the factors under which the Greek scientist Herophilus was allowed to practice systematic human dissection, as well as the culture created by the Ptolemies that encouraged Herophilus’ scientific endeavors.

Rights

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Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/17146

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Apr 28th, 12:45 PM Apr 28th, 2:15 PM

The Rise and Fall of Human Dissection in Hellenistic Alexandria

Classical and Hellenistic Greece were known to be a hub of scientific research. However, the potential for scientific discovery was limited by dominating religious beliefs. Advancements in the study of human anatomy were inhibited by religious taboos that prevented the practice of human dissection. These taboos took hold of Greek society, with a consequence of exile to anyone who violated them. The exception however, is in Hellenistic Alexandria under the rule of the Ptolemaic Kings, Soter and Philadelphus. This paper examines the factors under which the Greek scientist Herophilus was allowed to practice systematic human dissection, as well as the culture created by the Ptolemies that encouraged Herophilus’ scientific endeavors.