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.
Division of Neurosurgery, Dipartimento di Scienze Chirurgiche Specialistiche, di Anestesiologia e dei Trapianti d’Organo, University of Genoa Medical School, Genoa, Italy
Reprint requests: Giuseppe Viale, M.D., Division of Neurosurgery, University of Genoa Medical School, Dipartimento di Scienze Chirurgiche Specialistiche, di Anestesiologia e dei Trapianti d’Organo, Largo R. Benzi, 8, 16132 Genova, Italy. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received, February 3, 2004.
Accepted, June 1, 2004.