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Berwick Civic Society had a second lecture during July.

Saturday, 11th August 2018, 09:00 am

It was delivered on Wednesday, July 11, at 7.30pm, by Dr Peter Jones, a renowned university classics academic writer and reviewer.

The subject matter was Greek medicine, language and practice.

Dr Jones commenced his lecture by outlining the assumptions the ancient Greeks had made on medical issues and associated remedies.

He went on to expand on the well-established classical view at the time that there were four basic elements that made up the entire world, namely Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

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There was also the concept that the prevailing seasons aided medicinal balance in the human body. Reference to Melas Cholos (black bile) featured in this principle.

There was the perception that blood within veins and arteries contained air and that blood simply sloshed about.

This view continued into the 16th century when relatively modern medics thought that blood travelled up and down in the body.

It was not until much later that the theory of circulation was hypothesised and adopted by modern medical practitioners.

Dr Jones went on to describe the derivations of medical terminology relating to organs and diseases originating from both Greek and Latin languages.

Most definitions of medical conditions can still be expressed in Latin form.

Society member Catherine Seymour was asked to do a set of readings to illustrate the ancient Greek example of how medical conditions were initially defined.

Each reading was followed by an explanation of the derivation, some quite humorous by today’s standards.

Epilepsy, diabetes, gout, tetanus and catarrh were just some of the conditions mentioned.

Attendees were encouraged to contribute during this part of the lecture in a question and answer format.

Chairman Zoreen, Lady Hill, gave the vote of thanks.