• David Ottoson


From the earliest dawn of civilisation until the present day, the concept of pain has undergone a continuous process of change. In many primitive civilisations, pain was attributed to the intrusion of objects or spirits into the body. It is interesting to note that this idea still remains among the aborigines in Australia, New Guinea and in some islands of Melanesia. The objects causing pain were thought to be harmful things like an arrow, sword or a spear. For the ancient Persians and Egyptians, pain was considered to be caused by magic influences of spirits of the dead or by demons and devils. In the Hebraic civilisation, pain was thought to be a consequence of sin; the idea of pain as punishment for committed sins derives from this time. The ancient Greeks were greatly interested in the nature of sensations and particularly in pain. For Plato, the knowledge of sensation and pain was of fundamental importance in his search of truth.


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Copyright information

© D. Ottoson 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Ottoson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology IIKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden

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