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Herodicus, the father of sports medicine

  • Anastasios D. GeorgoulisEmail author
  • Irini-Sofia Kiapidou
  • Lamprini Velogianni
  • Nicholas Stergiou
  • Arthur Boland
Sports Medicine

Abstract

Herodicus (fifth century bc) is the first person in the history of medicine who actually combined sports with medicine. He used to be a sports teacher, who later studied medicine and managed to succeed Euryphon in the medical school of Cnidos, one of the most prominent in ancient Greece together with its neighbor medical school of Cos (Hippocrates’ home). In Cnidos Herodicus formed his own theoretical perspective of medicine. He considered, namely, bad health to be the result of imbalance between diet and physical activity and for this reason he recommended strict diet, constant physical activity and regular training. He believed that this combination was the ideal way to maintain good standards of health and he applied this type of treatment method to his patients. Unfortunately, Herodicus’ works are lost today. However, excerpts of his medical system, which can be traced in ancient texts, support the fact that Herodicus can be considered as the father of sports medicine.

Keywords

Sports medicine History of medicine Physical activity Herodicus Training Diet 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anastasios D. Georgoulis
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Irini-Sofia Kiapidou
    • 1
  • Lamprini Velogianni
    • 1
  • Nicholas Stergiou
    • 2
  • Arthur Boland
    • 3
  1. 1.Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Center of Ioannina, Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryUniversity of IoanninaIoanninaGreece
  2. 2.HPER Biomechanics LaboratoryUniversity of Nebraska at OmahaOmahaUSA
  3. 3.Massachusetts General Hospital, Sports Medicine/Shoulder ServiceBostonUSA
  4. 4.IoanninaGreece

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