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Neurosurgery:
doi: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000139491.22978.96
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An Intriguing Fragment of Pre-Hippocratic Medicine in Aeschylus

Viale, Giuseppe M.D.

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Abstract

INFORMATION SCATTERED IN several passages of Greek tragedies of the 5th century BC contributes to our knowledge of pre-Hippocratic medicine and throws light on the cultural background of the Hippocratic writers. In this regard, the work of Aeschylus is noteworthy, because it contains fragments of an ideal–conjectural conception preceding the empirical approach based on observation and experience. The idealized meaning attributed to the term μυελ`οç (marrow), compared with both Homeric epics and Hippocratic writings, represents a reliable index of the evolution of the ancient medical thought.

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