14.3.17

Endoscopy in Antiquity and the bronze-diopter colposcope of ancient Dion

Endoscopy, ie the direct examination of the cavities of the human body and especially of the peritoneal cavity, was the pursuit of doctors from antiquity. 



The first chronological description of an endoscopic technique is placed at the times of Hippocrates (460-375 BC) , which was first described the colonoscopy using cylindrical tube. 
Ο Iπποκράτης

Also, the colposcope or gynecological speculum, as has come to be called the Greek terminology, was in wide use during the Hellenistic and Roman times, and found such tools in the excavations of Pompeii and recently Dion.

H diopter, so call this body archaeologists, Dion is identical to those found in Pompeii and probably dates to the 1st century. Description of the use of the instrument is made by the Efesio Soranus (98-138 AD), considered as the father of Obstetrics and Gynecology, in the 17th chapter of his fourth book.

The content of this book is known by the Latin translation of Moschiona. Another description of this tool was saved from the book by Paul Aeginitou, which describes in detail the use of: "Woman to be seen tied to obstetric stool and the physician selects the appropriate diopter to not hurt the uterus after previously checked the size of the vagina with a special catheter. Diopter inserted into the vagina, the screw-up, the doctor who holds the apparatus by the handles, while the bolt to open the legs of the body carefully turning him assistant.

The tools are similar to those currently used for the review of the vagina and cervix. That confirms that in ancient times was undivided interest of doctors can view internal organs. H development of this tool seems to have been the Hrofileio Medicine School of Alexandria, where he had studied and Soranus. The achievements of ancient Greek doctors were carefully studied and successfully used by the Arabs in the 10th-11th century, when Europe was skepasthei from the darkness of the Middle Ages.
Thus, the famous Arab physician Almpoukasim (936-1013 AD) describes a body illuminated artificially overview vaginal, nasal cavities, etc.
The bronze colposcope found in the summer of 1993 during excavations at Dion and probably dates to the 2nd century BC The colposcope has a length of about 220 mm and consists of a shaft with a screw form which results in decorated T-shaped handle. 
The screw passes through a cylindrical nut, the billet, which is moved axially once twisted axis. The hog bears on one side of the pin, in which two articulated rotary slightly bent arms.
At the end of the arms are mounted two pistons and a third piston is arranged in the middle of the rule. When the colposcope is closed on three pistons form a variable circular section elongated stem, called priapiskos, or lotus, which means clover, because through the clockwise rotation of the screw is divided into three parts, which dilate the vagina. A description of the colposcope saved in Paul's work in Aegina (7th century AD) describes in detail and use of the colposcope.

The woman in question is immobilized on a seat (stool). The medical instrument inserted into the vagina by the doctor, who holds by the handles with the screw facing upwards. Then the screw carefully rotate the assistant. When you expand the vagina, then the doctor intervenes to heal possible abscess. After the secretion of pus used gauze (limniskos) soaked in rose oil to soothe the wound.


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