Academic Master

Health Care

History of the Epidemic of Disease

Question 1

We discussed various societies’ views of disease causation and cure in both supernatural and natural terms.  What were these views, and how would you describe them?

Society’s view of disease cause and cure

Supernatural views of disease causation

During ancient times, society did not understand the causes and cures of diseases. The humans believed that disease was a result of powers beyond control. The societies such as the ancient Greeks believed that disease was a result of the actions of an individual. Furthermore, the people believed that evil spirits caused illnesses. Society believed that evil spirits came from the dark world or were sent by enemies to attack people with diseases. Additionally, society also believed that the gods also caused illnesses. The gods sent illnesses to society due to dissatisfaction with the people’s behavior. The gods such as Seth in the Egypt belief caused illnesses to the people as punishment for sins. The Romans believed that a god called Asclepius healed illnesses when they offered sacrifices.

Supernatural cures

The societies believed in the intervention of powers beyond human understanding to cure illnesses. The societies believed in curing illnesses by exorcising demons and keeping the demons away from the people. The priest could cut holes into skulls to allow evil spirits to escape. The trephined skull has proved that the exercise of boring holes in the head happened. Additionally, priests would pray to god to protect society from demons that caused illnesses and gave people charms to scare away evil spirits. The modern-day aboriginals continued the activity by burying hair, nails, and feces so that the demonic powers could not attack.

Natural views of disease causation

Natural beliefs began in the ancient period and explained that diseases did not result from magic or God. Society used herbal medicine to treat persons based on observation and common sense. The Egyptians studied the body and did comparisons with the Nile river irrigation. The observers concluded that the body worked similarly to the irrigation system and that the heart was the most significant organ. The Egyptians believed that illnesses developed when some of the body channels were blocked same as the irrigation tunnels. The ancient Greek physician called Hippocrates stated that each disease occurs naturally, and the discovery of the cause results in the finding of a cure.

Natural disease cures

The discoveries in body functions resulted in treatments such as bloodletting and vomiting. The Egyptians discovered the use of herbs such as the Edwin Papyrus and honey to treat illnesses. Additionally, the Egyptian doctors started curing illnesses using more common sense and observation, for example, an injured person would apply herbs to the wound.

Reasons for the prevalence of the views

The views became popular over the years due to the deep research in the medical field. Many individuals ventured into the field of medicine and discovered herbs that healed the illnesses that affected the persons. The Egyptians discovered how the body works and explained to society advice on how to live well. The people appreciated the methods of treatment and applied them to cure illnesses.

Question 2

Disease played a major role in ancient Greek and Roman civilization, especially in the end. What were these diseases and how did they contribute to the fall of ancient Greece and Rome?

Diseases in the ancient Greek and Roman

The Greeks and ancient Rome suffered plagues that affected society and caused the downfall of the Greeks. The illnesses spread through the regions very fast at a rate that the people could not control. The main illness was smallpox, which affected and killed the people. The smallpox infection affected most of the population resulting in more than 25% of deaths. The highly contagious disease caused a rash, high fever, and diarrhea. Additionally, other illnesses caused by viruses such as measles and typhus caused deaths. The evidence of a mass grave proved that the illnesses caused widespread deaths.

The contribution of the illnesses

The illnesses caused mass deaths in society. Most of the people did not survive the plague that hit the society since the medical researchers had not discovered the medicines to treat the diseases. Therefore, the illnesses resulted in a weakening of the Greek and Roman societies due to the reduction in the populations. The mass death of the warriors who protected the Greek cities resulted in the siege by the Sparta people during the Peloponnesian war.



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