Medical and surgical science owes much to this ancient Greek medicine man, who practised in the Island of Cos between four and five hundred years before the birth of Christ. A great believer in the curative effects of Nature, Hippocrates also advocated the study of diet and the pursuing of a course of life best calculated to promote health. Nevertheless, he did not hesitate when these methods failed to have recourse to surgery, one of his axioms being : " What cannot be cured by medicine must be cured by the knife : what cannot be cured by the knife must be cured by fire." Hippocrates wrote many books about medicine, physics and life. So far from being purely a scientific inquirer, he was a man with a remarkable literary gift, and a maker of maxims which have endured through the centuries, perhaps the most famous being: " Life is short, art is long,"
In the practice of medicine, however, he had the true scientific mind which approaches its problems entirely free from prejudice or superstition, and in the way he went to work there was little difference between him and a modern scientist.