Forms and Limits of Therapeutic Treatments of Hereditary Diseases in Ancient Greece


  • Franco Giorgianni Department of Cultures and Society University of Palermo, I


Therapy of Hereditary and Congenital Diseases, Genetics , Greek Medicine , Hippocratic Corpus


 Not being epistemologically different from treatment of congenital diseases, the therapy of hereditary diseases has to be considered in its complex relationship with the concepts of nature and culture, and with the ideas of Greek authors about generation and education. As such, therapy of hereditary diseases can be described as the (often hopeless) attempt by the ancient, particularly Hippocratic physician to restore the health condition or to contrast the natural tendency of the patient to develop and give expression to his or her pathological inheritance. If for the Greek physician dietetics represents the most widely practised way of treating disaeses on a presumed inherited basis, the notion of therapy may be more generally applied to the various forms of eugenic measures and rules controlling and shaping the social and political life of Greek citizens according to the real and ideal political systems.