Compared to other ancient civilizations, life was simpler back in Greece, right? Wrong! While we’d like to imagine it as a cultured and sophisticated society, there’s absolutely no way you’d survive life in ancient Greece for long. Here’s why.
Feeling unwell? Prior to the 5th century BCE, the human body was basically left to the mercy of the gods. Patients often participated in a healing ritual called temple sleep, or incubation. It’s exactly what it sounds like patients would literally just go to sleep in a temple. And then, in the morning, they’d tell a priest about their dreams from the night before. Based on that dream, the priest would prescribe a remedy, usually in the form of incantation or a charm of some sort or they’d simply declare the patient healed.
There were technically doctors back then… but there weren’t any specific requirements for people who advertised themselves as such. And as for surgery, these are the kinds of tools that were used… the stuff of nightmares.
Meanwhile, anyone who happened to live in Athens in 430 BC had roughly a 25 percent chance of dying in a horrible way. That’s because a mysterious plague broke out that lasted for about five years, and the death toll was catastrophic. This plague ended up killing somewhere between 75,000 to 100,000 people.
Watch the video for more about Why You Wouldn’t Survive Life In Ancient Greece!
Faith-based medicine | 0:15
Sick? Get pregnant! | 1:24
Life in Sparta would break you | 2:18
Cosmetics were often deadly | 3:20
Rampaging sea pirates | 4:01
The injustice of it all | 5:06
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