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Kos, the island of Hippocrates

Kos, the island of Hippocrates

Kos island has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Originally colonized by the Kares, it was when the Dorians came in the 11th century B.C. the Persians invaded, but they were expelled by the joint efforts of the Athenian Federation 21 years later. The island saw great development in the 4th century B.C., especially after the building of their beautiful new city in 366 B.C., where the modern city is now situated. After a brief occupation by a Persian General, Kos again prospered under the auspices of Alexander the Great. Unfortunately, during the period of the Roman Empire, its libraries and other treasures were looted. But it saw new heights with the coming of the Byzantine Empire.

Later conquered by the Venetians, Kos was sold to the Knights of Saint John in 1306. They ruled it for 200 years, until their abandonment of it to the Turks. The Turkish occupation lasted for almost four hundred years, until 1912, when the Italians took over. Germany, too, came to occupy Kos until the end of Word War II when the British arrived as guardians. Kos is known throughout the world as the birthplace of Hippocrates. He is known as the father of medicine (460 B.C.), because until he rescued it from the priests and charlatans, it was not a science but practice of magic and sorcery. He introduced and systematically classified new methods for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, and described conditions, which are today named for modern scientists. The Hippocratic Oath established his as the greatest medical Mind of the time, and the Oath is considered the most significant of his writings. Even today, doctors throughout the world take this sacred vow which binds them to art of healing. One of the most remarkable archaeological sites of the island is the Asklepion, possibly the best and certainly the most renowned hospital of its time. Its famous spa, with running mineral waters, was used to treat skin diseases. Only the foundations and some pillars have remained from the splendor of the Temple of Asklepios, as well as pillars of the arcade that is thought to have been part of Hippocrates Medical School. Also surviving the millenia is the plane tree of Hippocrates tutored his students under the shade of its rich foliage. The International Hippocratic Institute was recently built near the Asklepion as a public welfare foundation whose aim is the realization of the Hippocratic principles of humanized medicine. World-renowned cultural and medical personalities and institutions. In fact the Museum of Medicine has recently begun to function, with noteworthy exhibitions, collections of books, stamps, coins and busts related to Hippocrates.

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