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Anatomy was not so known to ancients

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Roman mosaic with athletes. Dated on 1st CE
Roman mosaic with athletes. Dated on 1st CE

Currently there is great admiration for ancient Greeks or Romans. Their culture or level of civilization is admired; also medicine. However, it cannot be denied that in the latter field the ancients were not always right, especially when it comes to the functioning of our body.

A great example is the message of Hesiod or Alcaeus, who in their works mention that in the event of severe heat – literally – we should “wet the lungs”. Plato himself stated in his dialogue “Timaeus” that: “From the passage of egress for the drink, where it receives and joins in discharging the fluid which has come through the lungs beneath the kidneys into the bladder and has been compressed by the air”.

In turn, in Plutarch’s “Symposiacs” the characters of one of the conversations conclude that the human body has two holes in the mouth; one feeds solid food into the esophagus and the fluid into the lungs. Everything in directed by the tongue.

  • Mikołaj Szymański, Ab ovo. Antyk, Biblia etc., Warszawa 2004

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