[Ebers Papyrus. The book of medical knowledge of the 16th century B.C. Egyptians].
Journal: 2005/January - Archiwum historii i filozofii medycyny
ISSN: 0860-1844
PUBMED: 15586450
In 2nd century B.C. Clemens Alexanrinus was sure, that the Egyptians collected all their knowledge in 42 secret books. of which last six contained medical knowledge. Despite this and records of other ancient authors, for long time the opinion about the history of medicine was not changed. In traditional view the role of Hippocrates and the Greeks was emphasized. In 19th century egyptologist began finding Egyptian papyri, whose contents concerned medical matters. The first medical papyrus was published by Georg Ebers in 1875. The Ebers Papyrus is a scroll 20,23 meters in length and contains 108 columns of text. I is dated at the reign of Amenophis I (1536 B.C.). This papyrus was published and translated by different researches (the most valuable is German edition Grundriss de Medizin de alten ägypter, and based on this Paul Ghalioungui edition). In the opinion of Grundriss, chaotic arrangement of medical advices in papyrus suggest different originals from which they drew. The text of The Ebers Papyrus is ordered in series of prescriptions, which are grouped according to different diseases, illnesses and injuries. ALmost all of those groups have introduction by the formula: "Here begins.." used on 36 occasions. They are, however, often varied and disorganised. The owner of this papyrus was probably a physician - the text mentions about "physician secrets". Herodotus writes, that Egyptian physicians were specialized, which seems to be confirmed by The Ebers Papyrus.
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