Friday, 15 January 2010

Calor, Dolor, Rubor, Tumor

These are the signs of acute inflammation as described by A C Celsus about 2000 years ago. He is best known for the medical work De Medicina. Some of the the titles for the different parts include history of medicine, general pathology (modern pathology textbooks are commonly slit into general and systematic pathology), parts of the body, pharmacology etc.

One thing that strikes me is the blurring between the amateur and the professional when it comes to practicing medicine. Celus is credited with being the father of pathology, but you can argue either way whether he was a "professional." You can argue he must be due to the amount of knowledge shown means he must be, but others argue bits are a little superficial. Also most household heads would know some medicine (it was easy to pick up the relevant knowledge being an educated lay person), as it would be useful when running a large family with copious amounts of slaves etc

Also thanks to celsus we use the term cancer today. He translated it from the greek carcionos. Both terms mean crab and apparently refer to the fact that dissected malignant tumours were perceived to have pincer like growths into other tissues.

No comments:

Post a Comment