The Thracians Worshiped their Good Healers

Society » ARCHAEOLOGY | June 28, 2018, Thursday // 12:15
Bulgaria: The Thracians Worshiped their Good Healers

Famous experts on Thracian history discuss various topics related to the ancient population of these lands at a scientific conference in Plovdiv under the title "The Sun is a God" within the Days of Thracian Culture. The conference is held in the Trakart Cultural Center, and among the various interesting contributions to the scientific heritage is the report by Assoc. Prof. Georgi Tomov of the Medical University in Plovdiv on "The Thracian Medicine".

The point of view is interesting, as the young scientist combines two scientific disciplines - medicine and archeology,reports bgnes. There is no written information about the Thracian medicine from the Thracians themselves, says Prof. Tomov. We judge what other writers wrote about them, mostly Greek chroniclers. It was, above all, very original and developed in two main directions. One is religious, cult, theological, the other is purely practical. In the first direction there is a pantheon of health deities, who are purely Thracian and who have been very reliant on dealing with diseases with different states. The practical part of medicine was based on the knowledge and use of various medicinal herbs and minerals and these things were combined into a very specific, very distinctive medical practice. What is unique to the Thracian medicine is that some of the healers, such as Orpheus and Zamoksis, later pass into the pantheon of the Greek health deities, Prof. Tomov explains.

Orpheus is the creator of cosmogony as a philosophical stream, which later the Greek authors develop and become known as orphism. We come from nowhere and come back to nothing. This is a very complex system of beliefs related to life, health, death, soul, the transition between life and death. Everything is unified in orphism. But beyond purely religious beliefs the Thracians also knew some purely practical ways to deal with different medical conditions. For example, what we know is that because of the consumption of wild animal meat at that time, a large number of people have suffered from various intestinal parasites, the so-called tapeworms. The Greek authors write about the Thracians that they used the roots of sweet fern as a remedy against pork tapeworm, and this knowledge is in Bulgarian folk medicine, and is confirmed by modern pharmacology. The roots of the sweet fern are actually containing substances that have anti-parasitic action. The Thracians often fought and had wound healing treatments. Two of the sons of Aesculap were what we call military doctors today. In Roman times, the knowledge of the Thracians is absorbed in medical practice and we find in Thracian burials of healers a complete set of medical instruments, some of which meet today's standards - ophthalmology, obstetrics, scalpels.

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