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Sickness / which god?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 9:44 pm    Post subject: Sickness / which god? Reply with quote

Ok, I am sure there is another, easier, way to ask/explain this question, but for now it is aluding me Rolling Eyes if someone was sick themselves, or a family member/ loved one was ill, who would they go pray to for their recovery? Also, if the wanted to give the god a gift, what is that called... can't think of the word to save my life, I keep wanting to say they "donated" it, and I KNOW that is wrong. As for the God, I want to say Bast, but deep down, I am pretty sure that is totally wrong. Thanks in advance!!!
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 9:44 pm    Post subject: Advertisement

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have seen some info about people offering to Horus.

There are examples of magical stelae for instance. See:
There is a magical stelae from the time of Nectanebo (dyn 30) on this page.
Magical stelae were called cippus
The focus of each cippus is an image of the god Horus as a child (depicted naked and with a side-lock)
The idea seems to have been to pour water (rainwater?) over the cippus while reciting spells so that the water would take on magical power.
The water could then be drunk or externally applied.

Isis may also have been associated with healing?
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Merytre-Hatshepsut! From that link, I found another that seems pretty complete

Ancient Egyptian Medicine
In Sickness and in Health: Preventative and Curative Health Care
If you had to be ill in ancient times, the best place to do so would probably have been Egypt. Not that it would have been much fun. Unlike the injuries received through accidents which were dealt with by the swnw, or scorpion stings and snake bites for which the xrp srqt, the exorciser of Serqet, knew the appropriate spells and remedies, illnesses and their causes were mysterious.
The Egyptians explained them as the work of the gods, caused by the presence of evil spirits or their poisons, and cleansing the body was the way to rid the body of their influence. Incantations, prayers to the gods - above all to Sekhmet [9] the goddess of healing, curses, and threats, often accompanied by the injection of nasty smelling and tasting medicines into the various bodily orifices, were hoped to prove effective.
Montemhet, 4th prophet of Amen, put his faith in the god he served:
I bow down to your (i.e. Amen's) name
May it be my physician,
May it drive pain away from me.
Statue inscription of Montemhet, Third Intermediate Period
M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Volume III, p.30
Preventive measures included prayers and various kinds of magic, above all the wearing of amulets. The importance of the diet was partially recognised [30], and the natural human craving for diversity and rich well-irrigated soil resulted in a diet which was mostly reasonably balanced: carbohydrates from cereals, vitamins from fruit and vegetables, and proteins mostly from fish. Milk and milk products were just occasionally consumed, as were legumes, seeds and oil.
The healers and their art
The Egyptian priest-physician, wab sxmt, had a number of important functions. First, to discover the nature of the particular entity possessing the person and then attack, drive it out, or otherwise destroy it. This was done by some powerful magic for which rituals, spells, incantations, talismans and amulets were used.
When Bentresh, a daughter of the chief of Bekhten, fell ill, Ramses II dispatched Thutemhab, a scribe experienced in his heart, who can write with his finger. After Thutemhab had seen the princess and concluded that she was possessed of a spirit, he returned to Egypt, and the statue of Khonsu-in-Thebes-Beautiful-Rest agreed that Khonsu-the-Plan-maker, the great god, smiting the evil spirits should be sent to Bekhten:
This god arrived in Bekhten in a full year and five months. Then the chief of Bekhten came, with his soldiers and his nobles, before Khonsu-the-Plan-Maker. He threw himself upon his belly, saying: "Thou comest to us, thou art welcome with us, by command of the King Usermare-Setepnere (Ramses II)."
Then this god went to the place where Bentresh was. Then he wrought the protection of the daughter of the chief of Bekhten. She became well immediately.
Apocryphal story written down in the late first millennium BCE
James Henry Breasted Ancient Records of Egypt, Part Three, § 433ff.
Physical medicines such as herbs were mostly expected to assuage the pain only, while magic effected the cure. Beyond this, Sekhmet priests seem to have been involved in the prevention of plagues, meat inspection and even veterinary medicine.

According to Herodotus there was a high degree of specialisation among physicians
The practice of medicine is very specialized among them. Each physician treats just one disease . The country is full of physicians, some treat the eye, some the teeth, some of what belongs to the abdomen, and others internal diseases.

Herodotus, Histories 2,84

One interesting section in the Papyrus Ebers [6] describes several charms and invocations that were used to encourage healing. One is used before taking an herbal remedy as follows: "Come Remedy! Come thou who expellest (evil) things in this my stomach and in these my limbs!"
Not all of Egyptian medicine was based on wishful thinking [8] (moreover we should never disregard the effect faith can have on our health), much was the result of experimentation and observation.
Magic is effective together with medicine. Medicine is effective together with magic.
From the Ebers papyrus [19]

Apart from spiritual healing, they practised various methods of color healing, massage
Examination of a woman aching in her legs and her calves after walking
You should say of it 'it is discharges of the womb'.
You should treat it with a massage of her legs and calves with mud until she is well

Kahun Medical Papyrus [22]
and surgery as well as the extensive use of therapeutic herbs and foods.

A few papyri have survived, from which we can learn about Egyptian medicine:
The Edwin Smith Papyrus describing surgical diagnosis and treatments,
the Ebers Papyrus on ophthalmology, diseases of the digestive system, the head, the skin and and specific maladies like aAa, which some think may have been a precursor of aids and others, perhaps more reasonably, consider to have been a disease of the urinary tract, a compilation of earlier works that contains a large number of prescriptions and recipes,
the Kahun Gynaecological Papyrus,
the Berlin Medical Papyrus,
the London Medical Papyrus.

As early as 3,000 B.C. evidence of brain surgery is found in papyrus writings in Egypt. "Brain," the actual word itself, is used here for the first time in any language.
... the membrane enveloping his brain, so that it breaks open his fluid in the interior of his head .
The Edwin Smith papyrus, case 6
Some important notions concerning the nervous system originated with them, but they considered thinking to be a function of the heart.
Their dissection of bodies during mummification seems not to have added greatly to their knowledge of the inner workings of the human body, possibly because mummifiers and physicians did not move in the same circles. They had some anatomical knowledge though, had made the connection between pulse and heart, but did not have any understanding of the circulation of the blood

Now if the priests of Sekhmet or any physician [29] put his hands (or) his fingers upon the head , upon the back of the head upon the two hands , upon the pulse , upon the two feet , he measures (h't ) the heart , because its vessels are in the back of the head and in the pulse ; and because its pulsation is in every vessel of every member.
The Edwin Smith papyrus, case 1
This knowledge reached Greece through the doctors of Alexandria. The anatomical properties they were best aware of were superficial, pertaining to accessible body parts such as bones of limbs or the infants' fontanelles
fluttering under the fingers like the weak place of an infant's crown before it becomes whole
The Edwin Smith papyrus, case 6
Sometimes the knowledge was either not very exact or badly expressed. One is left to wonder underneath what the bronchi were to be found:
"A dislocation in his two collar-bones" means a displacement of the heads of his sickle-bone(s). Their heads are attached to the upper bone of his breast to his throat, over which is the flesh of his gorge, that is the flesh that is over his bosom. Two canals are under it: one on the right and (one) on the left of his throat (and) of his bosom; they lead to his lungs.
The Edwin Smith papyrus, case 34
That this theoretical knowledge was often successfully applied is proven by archaeological finds in the workers' tombs at Gizeh for instance. Skeletons with broken arms that had been set, a man who had survived the amputation of a leg by fourteen years and another brain surgery by two years.
The diseases
Everyday complaints like stomach upsets, bowel trouble and head aches went probably mostly untreated, even if the physicians could offer remedies:
For the evacuation of the belly:
Cow's milk, 1; .grains, 1; honey 1; mash, sift, cook; take in four portions.

To remedy the bowels:
Melilot (?), 1; dates, 1; cook in oil; anoint sick part.

To refresh an aching head:
Flour, 1; incense, 1; wood of wa, 1; waneb plant, 1; mint (?), 1; horn of a stag, 1; sycamore (?) seeds, 1; seeds of [ (?)], 1; mason's plaster (?), 1; seeds of zart, 1; water, 1; mash, apply to the head.

To renew bowel movements in a constipated child:
An old book, boil in oil, apply half on the belly to reestablish evacuation.
Ebers Papyrus
G. Maspero, Etudes de mythologie et d'achéologie égyptiennes III, 1898, pp.289f.
The common cold plagued the ancient Egyptians as it still does us today, and their remedy, the milk of a mother who has given birth to a boy, was probably as effective as anything we have got today [26]. Moreover they had a tried and true spell to go with it
May you flow out, catarrh, son of catarrh, who breaks the bones, who destroys the skull, who hacks in the marrow, who causes the seven openings in the head to ache.
Ebers Papyrus
While some Egyptians lived to a ripe old age like Ramses II or Nitokris, daughter of Psammetic, who reigned as God's Wife for more than sixty years, the age at death was rarely above thirty-five years, with bilharziasis (schistosomiasis) - a disease difficult not to contract in a country flooded for months every year - a common cause of anaemia, a debilitating loss of resistance to other diseases and subsequent death. The Ebers Papyrus addresses some of the symptoms of the disease and in two columns discusses treatment and prevention of bleeding in the urinal tract (haematuria) [6]. The Hearts Papyrus cites antimony disulfide as a remedy [17].
Insect borne diseases like malaria and trachoma, an eye disease, were endemic; the bubonic plague [32] spread along the trade routes and a number of epidemics reported in Egyptian documents are thought to have been outbreaks of plague.
A child's vertebra showing signs of tubercular infection
Source: V.Easy

Smallpox [13], measles and cholera were easily propagated in the relatively densely populated Nile valley, where practically the whole population lived within a narrow strip of land, sometimes only a few hundred metres wide, along the river.
Trichinae afflicted the pigs, parasitic worms and tuberculosis the cattle and were passed on to the human population. Human tuberculosis [1] [34] was widespread; Leprosy on the other hand, caused by bacteria similar to the tubercle bacillus, was relatively rare, possibly because of an immunity TB sufferers acquired. Some think that leprosy originated in Egypt and spread to the Levant along the migration and trade routes.
Silicosis of the lungs, the result of breathing in airborne sand particles, was a frequent cause of death, as was pneumonia.
The various kinds of malignant tumors were almost as frequent then as they are nowadays in comparable age and gender groups.
The restricted diet caused or aggravated a number of ailments some with fatal outcome [35]. There were times when Malnutrition was widespread. The growth of the population was therefore often stunted. Grown males reached a height of about 1.60 m, females 10 cm less during the early Middle Kingdom. Because of vitamin and other deficiencies [2], dental abrasion, and bad mouth hygiene, caries and abscesses were the lot of many.
Eye infections are a common complaint in Africa. In ancient Egypt they were at least in part prevented by the application of bacteriocidal eye paint. The ingredients of some of the remedies may not have been as difficult to come by in a civilisation where the brain was removed in little bits from the skull during mummification as it would be in a modern western country:
Prescription for the eye, to be used for all diseases which occur in this organ:
Human brain, divide into its two halves, mix one half with honey, smear on the eye in the evening, dry the other half, mash, sift, smear on the eye in the morning.
Ebers Papyrus
G. Maspero, Etudes de mythologie et d'achéologie égyptiennes III, 1898, p.290.
The hard physical toil, often repetitive, caused great harm to the bones and joints of the labourers after only a few years of being subjected to it. Those who survived into old age were victims of the same infirmities that still plague the aged like arteriosclerosis [27], arthritis [3], from which Ramses II suffered, and dementia.
Congenital diseases were not infrequent and often brought about early death as the burials of infants bear out. Their causes may have been environmental, nutritional or social. Inbreeding, not infrequent among the royals, was probably also not rare in the common people largely bound to the soil: the occurrence of a sixth finger or toe in mummies, often the result of inbreeding, has been noted a number of times.
Open wounds were often treated with honey. But sometimes lockjaw set in. When a tetanus infection was recognized, physicians knew they were powerless against this affliction:
Thou shouldst say regarding him: "One having a gaping wound in his head penetrating to the bone, perforating the sutures of his skull; he has developed 'ty’, his mouth is bound, (and) he suffers with stiffness in his neck. An ailment not to be treated."
The Edwin Smith papyrus, case 7

Instances of diseases, which are rare today, were also found: in a First Intermediate Period cemetery at Abydos the skeleton of a child has been discovered which had suffered from osteopetrosis. [28]
Herbal Medicine
Herbs played a major part in Egyptian medicine. The plants mentioned in the Ebers papyrus for instance include opium, cannabis, myrrh, frankincense, fennel, cassia, senna, thyme, henna, juniper, aloe, linseed and castor oil. Cloves of garlic have been found in Egyptian burial sites, including the tomb of Tutankhamen and in the sacred underground temple of the bulls at Saqqara.

Egyptians thought garlic and onions aided endurance, and consumed large quantities of them. Raw garlic was routinely given to asthmatics and to those suffering with bronchial-pulmonary complaints.
Garlic was an important healing agent then just as it still is to the modern Egyptian and to most of the peoples in the Mediterranean area: Fresh cloves are peeled, mashed and macerated in a mixture of vinegar and water. This can be used to gargle and rinse the mouth, or taken internally to treat sore throats and toothache. Another way to take garlic both for prevention as well as treatment is to macerate several cloves of mashed garlic in olive oil. Applied as an external liniment or taken internally it is beneficial for bronchial and lung complaints including colds. A freshly peeled clove of raw garlic wrapped in muslin or cheesecloth and pinned to the undergarment is hoped to protect against infectious diseases such as colds and influenza.
Coriander (C. Sativum) was considered to have cooling, stimulant, carminative and digestive properties. Both the seeds and the plant were used as a spice in cooking to prevent and eliminate flatulence, they were also taken as a tea for stomach and all kinds of urinary complaints including cystitis. Coriander leaves were commonly added fresh to spicy foods to moderate their irritating effects. It was one of the herbs offered to the gods by the king, and seeds were found in the tomb of Tutankhamen and in other ancient burial sites.
Cumin (Cumin cyminum) is an umbelliferous herb indigenous to Egypt. The seeds were considered to be a stimulant and effective against flatulence. They were often used together with coriander for flavoring. Cumin powder mixed with some wheat flour as a binder and a little water was applied to relieve the pain of any aching or arthritic joints. Powdered cumin mixed with grease or lard was inserted as an anal suppository to disperse heat from the anus and stop itching.
Leaves from many plants, such as willow, sycamore, acacia or the ym-tree, were used in poultices and the like. Tannic Acid derived from acacia nuts commonly helped heal burns. Castor oil, combined with figs and dates, was used as a laxative.
Tape worms, the snakes in the belly, were dealt with by an infusion of pomegranate root in water, which was strained and drunk. The alkaloids contained in it paralysed the worms' nervous system, and they relinquished their hold. Ulcers were treated with yeast, as were stomach ailments.
Some of the medicines were made from plant materials imported from abroad. Mandrake, introduced from Canaan and grown locally since the New Kingdom, was thought to be an aphrodisiac and, mixed with alcohol, induced unconsciousness. Oil of fir, an antiseptic, originated in the Levant. The Persian henna was grown in Egypt since the Middle Kingdom, and - if identical with henu mentioned in the Ebers Papyrus - was used against hair loss. They treated catarrh with aloe which came from eastern Africa. Frankincense, containing tetrahydrocannabinol and used like hashish as painkiller, was imported from Punt.

Animal products and minerals were used too. Honey and grease formed part of many wound treatments, mother's milk was occasionally given against viral diseases like the common cold, fresh meat laid on open wounds [31] and sprains, and animal dung was thought to be effective at times [20].
A cosmetics jar at the Cairo Museum bears the legend: "Eye lotion to be dispersed, good for eyesight." An Egyptian papyrus from 1500 BCE discusses recipes for treating conjunctivitis and cornea, iris, and eyelid problems. Lead-based chemicals like carbonates and acetates were popular for their therapeutic properties [12].
Malachite used as an eye-liner also had therapeutic value. In a country where eye infections were endemic, the effects of its germicidal qualities were appreciated even if the reasons for its effectiveness were not understood [33].
Pregnancy and childbirth
Fertility was important to the Egyptians and the Kahun Gynaecological Papyrus includes a number of tests for it. At the same time there seems to have existed the need for planning pregnancies. Silphium grown in Cyrene was famous for many medical qualities, among them its contraceptive properties [5]. Some Egyptian women used honey and natron for this purpose. Others soaked cotton in a paste of dates and acacia bark which has a spermicidal effect, because of the lactic acid it contained. They also devised the first known pregnancy test: They moistened a small sample of barley and wheat each day with the woman's urine. If the barley grew, the child would be a male. If the wheat germinated, the child was a female. If neither wheat nor barley sprouted, the woman was not pregnant.
The Ebers papyrus mentions two remedies which "cause all to come out which is in the stomach of a woman", possibly referring to inducing a miscarriage.
In Ptolemaic times, upper-class women may have given birth in special birth-houses attached to temples, where pictures of Bes, the patron god of pregnant women and Hathor, goddess of healing, adorned the walls. In the Sobek temple at Kom Ombo there is a depiction of pregnant woman sitting on a birthing chair. The newborn dropped through a hole in the seat and was caught by a mid-wife.
Birth itself was dangerous both to the mother and the baby. Infant mortality was high, probably around 30 percent, and complications and childbed fever killed many women.
At Saqqara there is the tomb of Ankh-Mahor, known as The Tomb of the Physician. In one of the wall pictures two men are having their extremities treated variously explained as manicure, massage or surgery. In the accompanying text the patient implores the physician: Do not let it be painful. The answer was ironical: I do (it) so you will praise it, (O) king! perhaps not in the best Egyptian bedside manner.

Another picture shows the performance of a circumcision [21] of adolescents (the only instance of a depiction of this procedure) with the hieroglyphs saying The ointment is used to make it acceptable, which has been interpreted as meaning that a local anaesthetic was being used, though this reading is, as happens often in such inscriptions, doubtful. Poppies (Spn) are occasionally mentioned in Egyptian medical literature. The physicians must have had a pretty good idea of their properties.
It is difficult to estimate how pervasive the practice of circumcision was. The remains of mummies are of little help and literary evidence is scarce. During the New Kingdom both Merneptah and Ramses III had their slain enemies emasculated and their genitals collected. The lack of circumcision among the Libyans and their allies is repeatedly mentioned:
.... Libyans slain whose uncircumcised phalli were carried off: 6,359

as opposed to the
.... [Ek]wesh who had no foreskins, slain, whose hands were carried off, (for) they had no [foreskins] ......

and again enemies of unknown origin
.... in heaps, whose uncircumcised phalli were carried off to the place where the king was: 6,111 men ....
James Henry Breasted Ancient Records of Egypt Part Three, § 588
The fact that they collected uncircumcised genitals as trophies may indicate that this was unusual in their eyes.
Boys destined for priesthood were circumcised as part of the initial ritual cleansing, which also included the shaving of the whole body. The practice of circumcision became more universal during the Late Period, perhaps as part of a rite of passage.
... the Colchians, Egyptians, and Ethiopians alone of all the races of men have practised circumcision from the first. The Phoenicians and the Syrians who dwell in Palestine confess themselves that they have learnt it from the Egyptians, and the Syrians about the river Thermodon and the river Parthenios, and the Macronians, who are their neighbors, say that they have learnt it lately from the Colchians. These are the only races of men who practise circumcision, and these evidently practise it in the same manner as the Egyptians. Of the Egyptians themselves however and the Ethiopians, I am not able to say which learnt from the other, for undoubtedly it is a most ancient custom; but that the other nations learnt it by intercourse with the Egyptians, this among others is to me a strong proof, namely that those of the Phoenicians who have intercourse with Hellas cease to follow the example of the Egyptians in this matter, and do not circumcise their children.
Herodotus Histories II
Female circumcision, to this day more common in countries of equatorial east Africa than in Egypt, seems to have been practised occasionally [14][21][23].
... I was circumcised, together with one hundred and twenty men, and one hundred and twenty women ...

The Offering of Uha
c. 2400 BCE
The knives used had stone blades. Flint or obsidian have edges sharper than modern surgical steel. It is small wonder that physicians would hesitate to replace sharp flint blades with comparatively dull metal ones, made first of bronze and later of iron. When metal instruments were finally used to any extent, the act of cauterizing accompanied it. In some procedures, the blade was heated until it glowed red, and then used to make incisions. It cut as well as sealed up the blood vessels, limiting bleeding [10].
In the temple of Sobek there are reliefs of medical instruments: bone saws, suction cups, knives and scalpels, retractors, scales, lances, chisels and dental tools.
Trepanation, practiced in many early cultures for a number of reasons, is not mentioned in any of the medical papyri, but seems to have been performed occasionally using mallet and chisel. Just 14 skulls, some healed or partially healed, have been found [18]. Limb amputations were also performed.
Prostheses and cosmetics
Prosthesis worn by the owner while still alive,
3rd Intermediate Period;
Source: Jon Bodsworth

Prostheses were generally of a cosmetic character, such as an artificial toe made of cartonnage at the British Museum, or added as a preparation for afterlife such as a forearm on a mummy in Arlington Museum (England) and an artificial penis and feet on another mummy in the Manchester Museum . A wooden big toe prosthesis has also been found (Albert Zink [24]) which must have improved the walking capabilities of its wearer, a fifty to sixty year old woman, after her big toe had been amputated, possibly because of gangrene [27].
Cosmetic prosthesis, the toenail inlay has been lost;
Source: British Museum

Physicians performed other cosmetic tasks as well. Apart from prescribing lotions, salves and unguents for skin care, they also produced remedies against the loss of hair and graying, which was combatted by an ointment made with blood from the horn of a black bull. Hair loss was hoped to be stopped by a mixture of honey and fats from crocodiles, lions, hippos, cats, snakes, and ibex.
As their diet included much abrasive material (sand and small stone particles from grinding the corn) the teeth of the ancient Egyptians were generally in a very poor state. Caries and the destruction of the enamel caused the loss of teeth at an early age and often killed as well. Mutnodjmed, pharaoh Horemheb's second wife and sister of Nefertiti, had lost all her teeth when she died in her forties. Djedmaatesankh, a Theban musician who lived around 850 BCE suffered from 13 abscesses, extensive dental disease and a huge infected cyst, which probably killed her aged about 35 [4].
On the other hand, if there was no abrasion due to lucky circumstances, a person might have a minimal incidence of caries and thus a perfect set of teeth thanks to the paucity of sugar in the diet of the ancient Egyptians.
Swollen gums were treated with a concoction of cumin, incense and onion. Opium, the toxicity of which was well known, might be given against severe pain. At times holes were drilled into the jawbone in order to drain abscesses. Caries, thought to be caused by tooth worms, were sometimes treated by fillings made of resin and chrysocolla. But extraction of teeth, which might have saved the lives of many a patient, was rarely if ever practised.
A few examples of restorative dentistry are known. One mummy had three substitute teeth skillfully tied to the abutment teeth with fine gold wire, but it has been suggested that this was done post-mortem.

The profession of dental physician seems to have existed since the early third millennium: Hesi-re is the first known Doctor of the Tooth. But apart from this instance, dentistry as a medical specialty is rarely if at all mentioned until the Graeco-Roman Period.
The role of Egyptian medicine in history
Egyptian physicians were much sought after in the Ancient World, despite the fact that little was added to the canon of knowledge after the First Intermediate Period (about 2000 BCE). Ramses II sent physicians to the king of Hatti and many rulers, the Persian Achaemenids [16] among them, had Egyptian doctors in attendance.
Their treatments were based on examination, followed by diagnosis. Descriptions of the examination - the most exacting part of a physician's job - are lengthier than both the diagnosis or the recommended treatment (cf. the Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus).
Another remedy: When you see a man in whose neck is mucilaginous matter and he suffers from the joint of his neck, he suffers from his head and the vertebrae of his neck are stiff, his neck is heavy. it is impossible to look at his belly or very difficult.

Then you shall say: someone having mucilaginous matter in his neck.

Then you shall cause him to anoint himself and to apply ointment, so that he will improve at once.
pEbers 294 (51,15ff)
after a German translation by Dr. Peter Brügger
Treatment was conservative: if no remedy was known then only such steps were to be taken which would not endanger the patient. Some head wounds for instance, considered as an ailment not to be treated [20] might just be anointed externally with an unguent forestalling infection or the patient might be tied at his mooring stakes, until the period of his injury passes by [20] in order to prevent him from causing further damage to himself.
The Egyptian theories and practice influenced the Greeks, who furnished many of the Roman Empire's physicians, and later Arab and Western European medical thinking for centuries to come.

Picture sources:
[ ] Medicine bottle: Rosicrucian Order website
[ ] A child's vertebra: V. Easy
[ ] Surgical instruments at Kom Ombo: V. Easy
[ ] Toe prosthesis: Jon Bodsworth
[ ] Big toe prosthesis: British Museum website
[ ] Teeth tied together with wire: Source

[1] Andreas G. Nerlich of Munich found through DNA analysis of 26 New Kingdom and Late Period Thebans that six of them had been infected by tuberculosis belonging to the human rather than the bovine type. He thinks that up to 50% of the population may have been affected.
[2] Chronic anaemia 30%, osteopenia (vitamin D deficiency) 10%, scurvy (vitamin C) 10% (Nerlich)
[3] Osteoarthritis varied according to the burial places from 2 to 20% (Nerlich)
[12] Lead based medicines were banned only in the twentieth century CE because of their toxic effects.
[13] The mummy of Ramses V has smallpox lesions. He quite possibly died of the disease.
[14] No physical evidence for clitoridectomy has been found in female mummies [15], but there are also contrary claims [23]. Strabo in his Geography said of the Egyptians: They circumcise the males, as also the females, as is the custom also among the Jews, who are of Egyptian origin, as I said when I was treating of them. (Book XVIII)
[16] The best known among these was Udjahorresne, who was the physician of Cambyses and Darius I.
His majesty (i.e. Cambyses) assigned me to the office of chief physician. He made me live at his side as companion and administrator of the palace.
Statue inscription of Udjahorresne
M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Volume III, p.37
[18] International colloquium on cranial trepanation in human history: Dr. Richard Sullivan, Department of Physiology, University College London, London (UK) - The place of trepanation in proto-surgical practice in ancient Egypt ( - inaccessible at least since January 2003)
[29] As is also mentioned in the Ebers Papyrus, wab-priests, swnw-physicians or any other healers could make use of these medical writings.
[30] The demotic Insinger Papyrus mentions a number of problems that might arise because of bad diets or lifestyles, although its advice was kept very generalised. Excess rather than balance was thought to be the main issue. The long-term effects of alcohol, for instance, were not recognised and - if ancient depictions are to be believed - obesity was not widespread.
The life that controls excess is a life according to a wise man's heart.
Vegetables and natron are the best foods that can be found.
Illness befalls a man because the food harms him.
He who eats too much bread will suffer illness.
He who drinks too much wine lies down in a stupor.
All kinds of ailments are in the limbs because of overeating.
He who is moderate in his manner of life, his flesh is not disturbed.
Illness does not burn him who is moderate in food.
Poverty does not take hold of him who controls himself in purchasing. His belly does not relieve itself in the street because of the food in it.
M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Volume III, p. 190
[31] Papyrus Insinger contains the following maxim:
Cedar oil, incense, natron, and salt are [small (?)] remedy for healing his wounds.
M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Volume III, p. 199
[33] Pliny reports in his Natural History:
Cadmia acts as a desiccative, heals wounds, arrests discharges, acts detergently upon webs and foul incrustations of the eyes, removes eruptions, and produces, in fact, all the good effects which we shall have occasion to mention when speaking of lead. Copper too, itself, when calcined, is employed for all these purposes; in addition to which it is used for white spots and cicatrizations upon the eyes. Mixed with milk, it is curative also of ulcers upon the eyes; for which purpose, the people in Egypt make a kind of eye-salve by grinding it upon whet stones.
Pliny, Natural History, Book XXXIV, chapter 23 - (eds. John Bostock, H.T. Riley)
[34] Until the last century many people, and physicians among them, considered the climate of Egypt to be particularly advantageous for the health of TB sufferers. The Roman Pliny the Elder did not share this opinion:
There are numerous other medicinal resources derived from the sea; the benefit of a sea-voyage, more particularly, in cases of phthisis, as already mentioned, and where patients are suffering from haemoptosis, as lately experienced, in our own memory, by Annaeus Gallio, at the close of his consulship: for it is not for the purpose of visiting the country, that people so often travel to Egypt, but in order to secure the beneficial results arising from a long sea-voyage.
Pliny, Natural History, Book XXXI, chapter 33 - (eds. John Bostock, H.T. Riley)
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PS I am still at a loss as to what the were doing when the gave the god a gift....I know it was not dedicating or donating and have been thinking for hours anout it.... it is right on the tip of my tounge and just won't come out Evil or Very Mad once again thanks for your help!
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmt_sesh THANK YOU!!!!! That is what I wanted and couldn't get off my tounge!!!!! Thank you Thank you Thank you and sorry for sounding like an idiot for not coming up with it. Embarassed
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy No problem. Glad I could help. We all suffer from that tip-of-the-tongue dilemma now and then.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We all suffer from that tip-of-the-tongue dilemma now and then.

It happens to me all the time! Now, what would be the ancient cure for that? And which god would we pray to? Thoth? Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can offer, dedicate, present, proffer. . . 'consecrate' is a nice one. Imhotep was often associated with healing, as was Asklepios.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bes came immediately to my mind:

A guardian god.

Dwarf-god, grotesque in appearance, benign in nature.

A god of a far different order from the serene and poised figures of the official pantheon. He was a plump, bandy-legged, hairy, rude dwarf with a wicked gleam in his pop-eyes. his tongue resolutely stuck out at the follies of mankind. Bes was a foreign god, an import from the land of Punt (Libya). He was a swaggering, jolly, mock-gallant pigmy, fond of music and clumsy, inelegant dancing. He was a popular proletarian god who was adopted by the middle classes; he was considered a tutelary god of childbirth and, strangely enough, of cosmetics and female adornments. Bes chased away demons of the night and guarded men from dangerous animals. His image was carved on bedpost, bringing a touch of coarses geniality into the boudoir. He eventually became a protector of the dead and, amazingly, competed with even the refined and magnificemt god Osiris for the attentions of men. Bes' only clothing appears to have been a leopard skin tied round his shoulders and an ostrich feather stuck in his uncombed hair.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sekmet was the goddess of healing because being such a fierce goddess she was thought to frighten the sickness away. Doctors were said to be 'Priests of Sekmet'.
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