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Aretaeus of Cappadocia : the forgotten physician

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Aretaeus of Cappadocia (probably first century AD) is one of the least known physicians of antiquity. Not quoted by contemporary medical writers, he was unknown to Arabic physicians of medieval times. His very significant contributions to medicine only became known when a manuscript was discovered and published in Latin in the sixteenth century. He was clearly a sound clinician and gifted medical author, responsible for the first recorded descriptions of steatorrhoea (coeliac disease), diabetes mellitus and diphtheria. In addition, his descriptions of leprosy, asthma, tetanus, acute pneumonia and epilepsy (diseases already recognised in his day) were significantly superior to those of his predecessors. He was the first to describe a heart murmur (bruit).

Aretaeus van Kappadosiƫ : die vergete geneesheer Aretaeus van Kappadosiƫ (waarskynlik eerste eeu nC) was een van die mins bekende geneeshere van die antieke tyd. Hy is selde deur tydgenootlike mediese skrywers aangehaal, en was ook by die middeleeuse Arabiese geneeshere onbekend. Sy besonder treffende geneeskunde bydraes het eers aan die lig gekom toe van sy manuskripte in die sestiende eeu ontdek en in Latyn vertaal is. Hy was klaarblyklik 'n puik geneesheer en begaafde skrywer, verantwoordelik vir die eerste aangetekende beskrywing van steattoree (seliak siekte), diabetes mellitus en difterie. Hierbenewens was sy beskrywings van melaatsheid, asma, tetanus, akute longontsteking en epilepsie beduidend beter as diƩ van sy voorgangers. Hy was die eerste persoon wat 'n hartgeruis (bruit) beskryf het.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2009

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