This Week In History, July 9 – 15

Published July 14, 2017

Monks Find Ancient Prescription Made By The “Father Of Modern Medicine”

St Catherines Monastery

John Bulmer/Getty ImagesSaint Catherine’s Monastery, or Santa Katarina, a Greek Orthodox monastery on the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, 1967. It is thought to be the world’s oldest Christian monastery.

When medical students receive their white coats, many recite some variation of an oath written more than a millennium ago — sometime between the third and fifth centuries BC.

“Into whatsoever houses I enter, I will enter to help the sick, and I will abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm, especially from abusing the bodies of man or woman, bond or free.”

These words are thought to have been initially penned by Hippocrates, likely the most famous doctor in history.

“The Father of Western Medicine” lived in Ancient Greece between around 460 and 370 BC. Though he is credited with being one of the first people to theorize that diseases are caused naturally (rather than by any kind of spiritual or magical curse), only about 60 writings attributed to him and his teachings are known to exist today.

Which is why it’s especially exciting that monks doing restoration work in Egypt’s Saint Catherine Library claim to have found a manuscript bearing research from the first doctor himself.

Dig deeper here.

Super-Rich Ancient Family Brought “Back To Life” With CGI


Philippe Froesch, Visual Forensic

21st-century technology has made it such that many of us cannot go a day — sometimes even an hour — without seeing some sort of image of the world’s upper crust. Now, some of that very technology allows us to bear witness to elites of millennia past.

Just opened up for public viewing this week, two Canadian museums have created digital renderings of an ancient, elite family from British Columbia.

With high cheekbones, square jawlines and sleek, obsidian hair, the family members certainly look the part of high society — past or present. But more impressive than their facial features is how researchers came to recreate them in the first place.

Learn how they did it here.

All That's Interesting
All That's Interesting is a Brooklyn-based digital publisher that seeks out stories that illuminate the past, present, and future.