This book is available as open access through the Knowledge Unlatched programme and is available on www.bloomsburycollections.com.
We need to talk about Hippocrates. Current scholarship attributes none of the works of the 'Hippocratic corpus' to him, and the ancient biographical traditions of his life are not only late, but also written for their own promotional purposes. Yet Hippocrates features powerfully in our assumptions about ancient medicine, and our beliefs about what medicine - and the physician himself - should be. In both orthodox and alternative medicine, he continues to be a model to be emulated.
This book will challenge widespread assumptions about Hippocrates (and, in the process, about the history of medicine in ancient Greece and beyond) and will also explore the creation of modern myths about the ancient world. Why do we continue to use Hippocrates, and how are new myths constructed around his name? How do news stories and the internet contribute to our picture of him? And what can this tell us about wider popular engagements with the classical world today, in memes, 'quotes' and online?
List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
Looking like Hippocrates
Hairs of Hippocrates
Chapter 1: What we know about Hippocrates
Chapter 2: What we thought we knew
Hippocrates as God and Galen as his prophet?
Finding a Hippocratic treatise
Making a Corpus
Authors and titles: what is a treatise?
Creating the myths: biographies and pseudepigrapha
Being 'nice': the personality of Hippocrates
Moving beyond the myths
Chapter 3: Sabotaging the story: what Hippocrates didn't write
Writing new stories
Wikipedia as a moving target
Being the daddy
Two decades in the slammer?
Spreading the myths
The Complicated Body
From coercion to freedom
Chapter 4: Needing a bit of information: Hippocrates in the news
Taking and breaking: the Hippocratic Oath
Imhotep and the power of Egyptian medicine
Poop proof: Hippocrates' parasites
Julius please her: Hippocratic hysteria
A long history? Meanwhile in Babylon
The Hippocrates detox diet
Chapter 5: Hippocrates in quotes
Flitting like a bee: becoming a quote
First do no harm
Walking is the best medicine
Chapter 6: Let food be thy medicine
Let food be thy medicine
Back to the source?
Which foods? Liver, garlic and watercress
Death begins in the gut: constipation and Hippocrates
Chapter 7: The holistic Hippocrates: 'Treating the patient, not just the disease'
The self-healing body
Hippocrates in contemporary holistic medicine
Invoking Hippocrates through history
Conclusion: Strange remedies?