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Hippocrates & Medicine​

​​Hippocrates the father of modern medicine, has forever been a critical bragging point to the islanders, Kos is justifiably characterized as the island of Hippocrates. The son of Heracleidis and Fanaireti, the heir to a family of priests and priestesses to Asclepius of the temple dedicated to him in Kos, Hippocrates born in Kos, in 460 B.C (according to tradition in the old capital of Astipalaia) founded and laid the groundwork for the medical science .He himself bore two sons Thessalos and Drakontas both excellent doctors.

Having received excellent education from his father and grandfather, he went on to study under the dietitian Herodicus Silymvrianous ,the sophist Gorgias Leontinos and the philosopher Democritus Abderitis .Practicing medicine in the schools of Kos and Kindos, he was not enthralled by the mysticism of the sacramental medicine of the priests of his time. Touring through many lands, Thrace, Thasos and Egypt, his studies were not limited to nature and the climate but extended to include peoples and traditions.

On his return, to Kos he begun the process of analyzing all the knowledge he obtained through his tours. Taking upon himself to direct the medical school of Kos, he taught those of aptitude and ability. He observed and studied the medical practices of the hierophants of Asclepius that of the mystics and of the practical doctors and followed through with gymnasts and philosophers in their own medical pursuits and practices. The results were innovative therapeutic methods, simplified and objectified religious medical instructions and a declaration of a manifesto that condemned the charlatans of the time and described the humanitarian notions of “either aid or do not harm”, and “where love for man exists, love for art will also follow”.

To Hippocrates, Mother Nature was the greatest leader. He conceived medicine to be tied to philosophy, which in turn led him to believe that a doctor ought to be capable of producing philosophical thought. Therefore, to qualify as a doctor one should be among others respectful of the divine, a philanthropist, modest, unconcerned by wealth, patient, gentle, and a man of confidence.

The fame of Hippocrates spread through Greece like wildfire. From every corner of the peninsula summons came asking for his services. He cured among others Democritus of Abdera, the king of Macedonia Perdikas II who was afflicted by psychological depression. On a visit to Athens he halted a plague that scourged the town. He was honored by the Athenians with a golden wreath and celebrated by his fellow islanders who carved his likeness upon the coinage of the city.

Hippocrates died in Thessaly of old age and was buried between Tirnavos and Larissa. Legend has it that a nest of bees that produced honey with therapeutic qualities remained existed above his grave.

Thanks to Hippocrates the small island of Kos contributed critically to Greek thought and civilization. Hippocrates’ genius, a hierophant and a mystic of the most vital of man’s religions, a reformist of medical arts, made the island prominent among the old world.

Hippocratic Oath​​​

​​​​The oath to Hippocrates a masterpiece of moral beauty promotes professional morality in the medical profession and becomes the vessel of communication for this master’s legacy to every man. It cannot be a coincidence that the international corpus of doctors pledges to this oath in ceremony in spite of it not being a mandatory act any longer.

However as the case might be, modifications to the original body of the oath have been made in accordance to country or school orientation, such as excluding those articles that forbade most general doctor’s from committing abortions ,euthanasia and surgery.

The oath is respectfully recited during the apex of the Hippocratia festival which takes place in Kos annually and finishes with the said ceremony in the Asklepieion. A youth wreath bearer accompanied by two girls representing the goddesses Panacea and Hygeia leads a procession of three flute players who weave a rhythmic musical track as they slowly and magnificently descend the stairs of the second terrace of the Asklepieion. Twelve daughters garbed in white robes bearing flowers shower the altar of Apollo with rose petals while the wreath bearer recites the oath.

Hippocratic Oath​​

  1. I swear by Apollo, the healer, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath and agreement:
  2. To consider dear to me, as my parents, him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and, if necessary, to share my goods with him; To look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art; and that by my teaching, I will impart a knowledge of this art to my own sons, and to my teacher's sons, and to disciples bound by an indenture and oath according to the medical laws, and no others.
  3. I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.
  4. I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.
  5. But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts.
  6. I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art.
  7. In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or men, be they free or slaves.
  8. All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal.
  9. If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all humanity and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my life.​​​​​​​​​​​
Travel Notebook
Using the symbol Add points of interest , you can keep in the notebook points of interest and places you like to visit when you come to our island. You can have in your cell phone the list of points via application we have created.