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Ancient and contemporary management in a disease of unknown aetiology

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Chapter Summary

This chapter selects a contemporary disease and looks at it in a manner acceptable to that of the doctor in antiquity. The purpose is to understand what lies behind modern management, and this may in turn cast some light on the approach of the ancient physician. The chapter examines a disease that baffles us and yet is common enough to observe patterns in the patients' and doctors' way of handling it. A good example is what is now called "chronic fatigue syndrome". In Hippocratic times opposition to supernatural causes of disease was the dominant philosophy and "natural" causes were considered an imbalance of the four bodily humours: blood, phlegm, choler and melancholy. The chapter suggests that the springs of human perception remain the same through the millennia and through the change and transformation of religions and philosophy.

Keywords: ancient physician; chronic fatigue syndrome; contemporary disease; Hippocratic times; human perception; modern management



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