Aretaeus of Cappadocia and his treatises on diseases

Here we present the ‘Abstract‘ of the corresponding paper by Tekiner H.


Aretaeus of Cappadocia is considered as one of the greatest medical scholars of Greco-Roman antiquity after Hippocrates. He presumably was a native or at least a citizen of Cappadocia, a Roman province in Asia Minor (Turkey), and most likely lived around the middle of the second century (A.D.) His eight volume treatise, written in Ionic Greek, entitled On the Causes, Symptoms and Cure of Acute and Chronic Diseases remained unknown until the middle of the 16th century when, in 1552, the first Latin edition was published. In this work, Aretaeus offered clinical descriptions of a number of diseases among which he gave classic accounts of asthma, epilepsy, pneumonia, tetanus, uterus cancer and different kinds of insanity. He differentiated nervous diseases and mental disorders and described hysteria, headaches, mania and melancholia. He also rendered the earliest clear accounts on coeliac disease, diphtheria and heart murmur, and gave diabetes its name.



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