Hippocrates (c.460–370 BC) is generally regarded as the father of scientific medicine, even if the Hippocratic oath, much altered from its original form, may well have nothing to do with him. Hippocrates was certainly born on Kos, probably at Astypalia near present-day Kéfalos, but otherwise confirmed details of his life are few. A great physician who travelled throughout the Classical Greek world, he spent at least part of his career teaching and practising on his native island. Numerous medical writings have been attributed to Hippocrates; Airs, Waters and Places, a treatise on the importance of environment on health, is generally thought to be his, but others are reckoned to be a compilation found in a medical library in Alexandria during the second century BC. His emphasis on good air and water, and the holistic approach of ancient Greek medicine, now seem positively contemporary.

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