1887

n Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie - Egiptiese geneeskunde article

Volume 23, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0254-3486
  • E-ISSN: 2222-4173

Abstract


Our understanding of ancient Egyptian medicine is seriously hampered by problems in the decipherment of the Egyptian writing, and therelative scarcity of medical writings from pharaonic times. No Egyptian medical equipment has survived. In this study the most recentunderstanding of medicine in pharaonic Egypt (3100-332 BC) is reviewed as it comes to the fore in inscriptions on walls and monuments,the writings of visiting historians, but mainly the contents of 10 so-called medical papyri written between circa 2500 BC and the 4thcentury BC. A clearly recognizable system of empirical medicine evolved from a background of magico-religious medicine during theOld Kingdom (2686-2181 BC) and flourished virtually unchanged for more than 2 millennia. Scientific empirical medicine co-existedwith magical medicine during this time. The two entities influenced each other, and in the process Egypt produced mankind's firstscientific medical literature with a logical system of disease assessment and therapy, relatively free of magic. At the end of the pharaonicera a superior Greek medical system gradually became dominant, and when hieroglyphics were replaced by coptic Egyptian in the 5thcentury AD, the uniquely Egyptian contribution to medicine passed into oblivion, until early Egyptian writing was deciphered in the 19thand 20th centuries.

Weens probleme met die interpretasie van die Oudegiptiese skrif, was ons begrip van geneeskunde in faraoniese Egipte tot heel onlangsbaie gebrekkig en dikwels foutief. Hierdie studie gee die jongste sieninge weer oor die stand van geneeskunde in Egipte (3100-332 v.C.)soos afgelei uit inskripsies op geboue en monumente, die geskrifte van historici, en veral die inhoud van 10 sogenaamde MediesePapirusse, opgestel tussen ongeveer 2 500 v.C. en die 4de eeu v.C. Gebore uit vroeëre magies-religieuse geneeskunde het empiriesrasionelegeneeskunde tydens die Ou Koninkryk (2686-2181 v.C.) tot stand gekom, vir twee millennia relatief onveranderd gebloei enaan die mensdom sy eerste mediese geskrifte en logiese sisteem van empiriese siekte-beoordeling en -hantering gebring. Mettertyd hetmeer gevorderde Griekse wetenskapsdenke Egiptiese geneeskunde oordonder, en met die vervanging van die Oudegiptiese skrif deurkoptiese Egipties (5de eeu v.C.) het die sonderlinge bydraes uit die Nylvallei vir die mensdom verlore geraak, en eers weer na voregekom met die ontsyfering van hiërogliewe, hiëraties en demoties in die 19de en 20ste eeue.

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/content/aknat/23/4/EJC20350
2004-12-01
2019-12-08

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