Ancient Greeks and Romans

by Caleb Briggs and Courtney Turner

Ancient Greeks

Contrary to the common belief, Ancient Greeks belived that illnesses were the result of natural causes. They used therapies such as massage, art therapy, and herbal treatments to cure ailments. The Greeks also discovered that diet and cleanliness could prevent disease.


Hippocrates was an ancient Greek physician of the Classical Age- an era of war and conflict in Greece- who was considered one of the most extraordinary figures in the history of medicine. He was referred to as the "Father of Medicine" and he founded the Hippocratic School of Medicine. His school produced over 60 medical texts (the Hippocratic Corpus), claimed that the four humours must be balanced, with a person's environment and lifestyle being responsible for imbalances. Treatment consisted of a perscription of diet, exercise, and limited medicines.

Ancient Romans

The Ancient Romans realized that people in towns often became sick from drinking water that had been contaminated with sewage. They established the first public sanitation systems by building sewers and aqueducts. The Romans treated disease with diet, exercise, and medication. They used rooms in doctors' houses to care for ill or wounded soldiers, which became the first hospitals. The Romans also believed the body was regulated by 4 humors that had to stay balanced to prevent illness. These four humors were blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile.