Louise Cilliers

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Since time immemorial the snake has been venerated as an enigmatic creature with supernatural powers. As a snake and staff symbol it is also traditionally associated with the healing arts, either as the single-snake emblem of Asklepios, or as the double-snake emblem (caduceus) of Hermes. The mythological basis for this symbolism is reviewed. The Asklepian(More)
The Athenian epidemic of 430-426 BC, at the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, caused the death of the great statesman, Pericles, decimated the population and contributed significantly to the decline and fall of classical Greece. In his remarkable documentation of the epidemic, Thucydides (who survived the disease) not only left us a clear clinical picture(More)
In Graeco-Roman times all tumours (Greek: onkoi, abnormal swellings) were considered to be of inflammatory origin, the result of unfavourable humoural fluxes, and caused by an extravascular outpouring of fluid into tissue spaces. The neoplastic nature of tumours is a more recent concept, barely two centuries old. In Hippocratic literature tumours were(More)
Cancer of the breast, seen by Galen as the commonest cancer of his time, was probably first mentioned by Hippocrates in the 5th century BC. A single case history was described but no specific treatment mentioned. For centuries no further cases were described, until Cato, 2nd century BC, advocated cabbage poultices for all tumours and breast cancer in(More)
Akhenaten was a unique pharaoh in more ways than one. He initiated a major socio-religious revolution that had vast consequences for his country, and possessed a strikingly abnormal physiognomy that was of note in his time and has interested historians up to the present era. In this study, we attempt to identify the developmental disorder responsible for(More)
Although the Mesopotamian civilisation is as old as that of Egypt and might even have predated it, we know much less about Mesopotamian medicine, mainly because the cuneiform source material is less well researched. Medical healers existed from the middle of the 3rd millennium. In line with the strong theocratic state culture, healers were closely(More)
In antiquity crucifixion was considered one of the most brutal and shameful modes of death. Probably originating with the Assyrians and Babylonians, it was used systematically by the Persians in the 6th century BC. Alexander the Great brought it from there to the eastern Mediterranean countries in the 4th century BC, and the Phoenicians introduced it to(More)