Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology History Of Anatomy and Embryology
Democritus (460-370 BC) on Embryology, Anatomy and Pediatrics: the unknown aspects of the Greek atomic scientist
Gregory Tsoucalas, Marianna Karamanou*, Antonis A. Kousoulis, George Androutsos
History of Medicine Department, Medical School, University of Athens, Greece
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Democritus was born in Abdera, Thrace, in the 5th century BC. He travelled to the East while being the student of famous philosophers. His philosophical ideas and the establishment of particles, “the atoms”, gave him a leading position in world history. However, his medical knowledge was vast especially in the field of pediatric pharmacology. Numerous are also the reports of his passion for anatomy. Democritus’ views regarding the issue of Human Nature and Anatomy are depicted in a letter he sent to Hippocrates of Kos. He died in old age, possibly of infection after having totally neglected his personal hygiene.