History of sickness and medical art 10: ancient Mesopotamia 2


 

5没薬

< myrrh: Painkiller, preservative of the mummy  >

 

We look at Mesopotamia from B.C. 3 millennium of the civilization birth to the middle of B.C. 1 millennium.

 

都市文明誕生の紀元前3千年紀から紀元前1千年紀中頃までのメソポタミアを見ます。

 

 Fertile Crescent    

< Fertile Crescent    >

 Great Ziggurat of Ur: a ruin of shrine at about the 21st century BC

< Great Ziggurat of Ur: a ruin of shrine at about the 21st century BC >

Healer

A nation managed the medical care, and the healer served the royal palace and the nation.

The classes of the healer were three grades, and their assigning tasks were fixed.

The top cleric diagnoses the patient, subsequently the exorcist drives off an evil spirit, and finally the doctor gives medicine.

The healer received education in a shrine and learned medicine from the clay tablet document.

 

 

医 師

国家が医療を管理し、治療者は王宮や国家に仕えていた。

治療者は三階級あり、分担が決まっていた。

最上位の聖職者が患者の診断を行い、次いで祈祷師が悪霊を追い払い、最後に医者が薬を与える。

治療者は神殿で教育を受け、粘土板文書から医学を学んだ。

 

a monster and a sun god of ancient Mesopotamia

< a monster and a sun god of ancient Mesopotamia >

The recognition of sickness

Although there was also the empiricism side, it was considered that most causes of sickness were the punishments of God or an evil spirit.

As for the medical treatment, incantations and prayers occupied important role.

People thought that there was a magical power to the medicine.

As for the important sickness, the plague or an epidemic was called by the name of each God.

The devil of epidemic had a form of a fly, because people recognized that the fly carry the sickness that roused violently in summer.

 

 

病気の認識

経験主義的な側面もあったが、病因のほとんどは神や悪魔の罰とみなされた。

治療は加持祈祷が重きをなし、薬にも魔力があると考えられていた。

重要な疾病、ペストは「ナムタルウ」、流行病は「ネルガル」などの神の名で呼ばれた。

悪魔ネルガルがハエの形をしていたのは、ハエが夏に猛威を奮う病気を媒介していると認識されていたからです。

 

 cure

< cure >

Cure

The healer used the longtime medicine manual for diagnosis of tuberculosis, jaundice, etc., and was able to do it exactly.

However, in many cases, the healer diagnosed it by internal organs divination of the animal rather than examining a sick person.

The fortune-teller judged the patient’s sickness from the appearance of the liver of the slaughtered sheep.

The liver model of this photo is a priest’s guidance document.

The liver was full of blood and was considered to be the center of a life or a soul.

A model of the liver divination of the sheep: in Babylonia, the 19th century BC, made of clay

< A model of the liver divination of the sheep: in Babylonia, the 19th century BC, made of clay >

 

治 療

結核や黄疸等の診断には、古くからの医学便覧を用い的確に出来た。

しかし多くは病人を診るより、動物の内臓占いで診断されていた。

占い師は、屠った羊の肝臓の状態から患者の病気を判断した。

写真の肝臓模型は神官の手引き書である。

肝臓は血液に溢れ、生命や魂の中心と考えられていた。

 

 

As general treatment, there were inunction, massage, tub bath, wet pack, enema, etc.

As for the surgical operation, they used it for an injury, a bone fracture, a cataract, a calculus, and an abscess.

Those days, for an operation, there were a scalpel of bronze, a saw, and a drill.

The dental treatment was prosperous; there were tooth extraction, anodyne for a toothache, and false tooth.

 

一般的な処置として香油塗擦、マッサージ、沐浴、湿布、浣腸などがあった。

外科治療は外傷、骨折、白内障、一部には結石と膿瘍手術も行われた。

当時、青銅のメスや手術用のノコギリ、穿孔ドリルもあった。

歯科治療は盛んで、抜歯や歯痛止めの薬、義歯も行われていた。

 

a dedication of sacrifice beast: in ruin of a shrine of Mali, about 2500 years BC 

< a dedication of sacrifice beast: in ruin of a shrine of Mali, about 2500 years BC >

 

Medicine

As for medicine, they used 250 kinds of medicinal herbs, such as a decoction, powdered medicine, a fumigant, an enema, and a purgative, and 120 kinds of mineral medicine, such as an alum, copper, clay, and magnetic iron.

In many cases, the medicine was given at each time when was determined by the race of stars.

The best-known drug is a laurel, aloe, cannabis, cinnamon, castor oil, myrrh, mustard, and an olive etc.

The doctor used sulfur for sterilization of a skin disease, and the hemp for depression or neuralgia.

 

薬 剤

薬は煎じ薬、粉薬、燻蒸剤、浣腸剤、下剤など250種類の薬草と、明礬、銅、粘土、磁鉄など120種の鉱物薬が利用された。

薬剤は多くの場合、星の運行によって決められた時刻に与えらえた。

最もよく知られた薬剤は、月桂樹、アロエ、大麻、シナモン、ヒマシ油、没薬、カラシ、オリーブなどである。

医者は皮膚病の殺菌に硫黄を使い、うつ病や神経痛には大麻を使った。

 

three wise man devoted myrrh, gold, and frankincense to Jesus.

< three wise man devoted myrrh, gold, and frankincense to Jesus.  >

 

 Summary

Although the medical art of ancient Mesopotamia still had the limitations of a prayer and magic, there is accumulation of huge knowledge and it had arrived at the practical use region.

It affected the medicine of Egypt and Israel, Greece, India.

However, it will be delayed with the collapse of Assyria and the Babylonia Empire at the 6th century BC.

When the medicine of this ground came under the spotlight again, it was the birth of Arabic medicine after 1,000 years of it.

 

 

まとめ

メソポタミアの医術はまだ祈祷・呪術による限界があったが、膨大な知識の蓄積と実用域に達していた。

エジプトやイスラエル、ギリシャ、インドの医術に影響を与えた。

しかし前6世紀のアッシリアとバビロニア帝国の崩壊と共に停滞することになる。

この地の医術が再び脚光を浴びるには1千年後のアラビア医学を待たなければならなかった。

 

 

 

 

Categories: history+evolution, <english language, <japanese language, science, Series: History of sickness and medical art | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “History of sickness and medical art 10: ancient Mesopotamia 2

  1. Thank you for this GREAT article full of information and so nicely illustrated.
    All the best from the sunny coast of Norfolk
    Klausbernd🙂

    • Thank you for commenting my article. Do you live in USA (the sunny coast of Norfolk)? I live in Awaji island, Japan.

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