Who is Herophilos?June 25, 2021
Herophilos, BC. Greek physician who lived between 335 and 280 BC. He was born in today’s Turkey, in the Kadıköy region of our city, Istanbul.
Herophilos, who spent most of his life in Alexandria, is considered the first anatomist in human history. He was the first scientist to conduct studies on human cadavers. He was the founder of scientific anatomy by examining the internal organs of the human body for the first time.
Herophilos, whose works have not survived to the present day, started his education life on the island of Kos (today Kos) as a student of Praksagoras. Later, while spreading the reputation of medicine with his mastery in diagnosis and treatment in Alexandria, the largest medical center of that age, he laid the scientific foundations of anatomy with his lectures and experimental research, especially at the Alexandria School of Medicine.
Herophilos, one of the pioneers of the studies on human cadavers enabled by the Alexandria School, brought valuable information to anatomy, which he brought a new approach with his explanations and observations. He made the distinction between the brain and the cerebellum, examined the three-layered membrane surrounding the brain, the channels in the hard membrane, and the area where these channels join (Herophilos aggregation). He is one of the first to distinguish between motor and sensory nerves by separating the nerves, which he sees as the center of mental faculties, according to their functions.
Herophilos, who influenced many medical scholars after him, especially Erasistratos, and was the creator of many terms used today, pioneered the development of physiology as a science based on observation as well as anatomy.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook