Georgia and Medicine
The real picture of the historical development of the Georgian nation would be impossible without the history of Georgian medicine, which includes all social formations from ancient times to present.
The word “medicine” is associated with the name of Aieti’s daughter Medea, the legendary king of Colchis, which is considered of her epoch’s famous treat.
The study of housing and weapons of primitive people confirms already Year Existence of medical treatment in Georgia in the third millennium of accounting.
The excising Primitive communal Medicine confirms the oldest samples of Georgian folklore, namely “Amiriani” and “Khogai Mindia”. In “Argonautics” of Apollonius Rhodesos and in the Greek-Roman texts and artistic-historical works about Medea and Colchis are a series of events related to Georgian medicine. Kolkhida is considered as a country in which medical activities and knowledge are based on new findings, experiments, identification of plants medicinal properties, poisons and treated materials. Medea’s mother and sister taught her the arts of medicine. In Aeti’s wife’s Haketta’s garden, which has been planted in Phasis Valley in the River, has brought about 40 medicinal plants. Medea’s name is related to medical-biological concepts such as “rejuvenation” and “blood transfusion”. According to the Euripides Tragedy, Medea also is treated an infertile. Medea’s medical work related to the history of world medicine is known as “CURA MEDIANA”, which also indicates that in the country where these ideas are presented, medical-practical activities impossible not be at the highest level.
During the archaeological excavations found numerous, very sophisticated surgical instruments with a snail image that were used for surgical manipulation and hygiene purposes, various medical techniques made from bronze, which were used for preserving drug preparatory components and so on. X-ray study of archeological materials revealed the pathological alteration and treatment of bone and skulls with traumatic stress disorders resulting from diseases and traumatic injuries, with further healing, which once again indicates a high level of medical culture in the period of primitive communal period in Georgia.
As it turns out, mineral water in Georgia was still used for therapeutic purposes of the slave-type (BC VI century BC and V century BC), which confirms the remnants of ancient baths found in Borjomi, as well as the Armazi bath, which were supplied with Mineral waters. The same period (BC III-IV century BC) belongs to the masked glass ointment in Akhaltsikhe. According to the findings of the items found in the Ksani Gorge, Kldeeti, Armazi, Ureki, Vani’s tombs (II-IV century BC), also the findings of the invented items, as well as utilities and sanitary-hygienic techniques, we can judge the highest level of living in this epoch and, therefore, the highly hygienic culture.
Georgian hagiography gives more interesting material on Georgian medicine issues. Specifically: the historic-hagiographic monument of “Martyrdom of the Holy Queen Shushanik” created by Iakob Tsurtaveli in the V century and the work of VI century “ St. Nino’s life “. St. Nino is most famous in the drug treatment in Georgia. From these monuments it becomes clear that there were “Scientists of cures”, “art therapist” who were studying the patient in every way (“and he did it all …”).
At the same period belongs Petre Iberieli’s work and by him in Palestine, and by the Queen Bakurdakht in Georgia, the establishment of hospitals.
Georgian hospitals were existed in the V century, since both in Georgia and so abroad. One of the most important places in the cultural life of Khada and Tao-Klarjeti monastery was the medical practice. In this regard, it is particularly noteworthy Grigol Khandzteli and his disciple Epiphane’s medical practice.
During this period, the medical activities of the labs of Lavra and Khandzta of Georgians of Sabatminda (Jerusalem), Illarion Kartveli and Syriel Fathers doctors work.
In the textbooks for therapy for that time the most difficult issues of physiology presented are given anatomical-physiological and rich medical terminology, as well as the necessity of complete reciprocity, and the ethical issues related to the adoption of the patient.
Medicine history developed feudalism (XI-XIX century 50s) begins with the classical period, which is distinguished by the development of medical-practice and medical literature, by establishing professional medicine, intensive building of medical institutions. It is obviously shown in differentially presented professional medicine: surgeon (jara), therapist (aamer) and mean.
Athony’s Ivera Monastery was known as medical practicing. From XI century, there have developed several hospitals, including specialized hospitals for leprosy-leprosarium. The head of the monastery Ekvtime Chorchaneli-Khursidze was the organizer of the medical work and hospital construction. This period belongs to Petritsoni and Gelati monasteries hospitals’ building, the establishment of Vardzia’s pharmacy and Vaniskvab Monastery hospital.
Among Georgian medicine history’s classic period’s brilliant monumentals are recognized medical practical monuments as a Kananeli’s “Ustsoro Karabadini” (XI Century) and “Book Saakimo” by Jokhakophili (XIII century), where is accurately given that period’s anatomical-physiological, prophylactic, hygienic, clinical- Diagnostic, diets and treatments issues.
With the weakness of the political, economical and cultural life of Georgia as a result of the continuous invasion of the XIII – XV centuries, many of the medical centers have been destroyed and annihilated and in the history of medicine, as well as in the history of the country this epoch came as the name of the period of fall.
During the restoration period (XVI-XVIII century), the improvement of political and social life helped to restore and develop medical activities. In particular there had been built the new building of St. George Hospital, and in 1610 – St. Modest’s Hospital, as well as Leprosorium. It is noteworthy that Erekle II paid great attention to the development of the medical case, protecting Catholic missionaries and promoting their medical activities, inviting experienced doctors from abroad, particularly from Constantinople.
The most important medical monument of the revival period belongs to Zaza Panaskerteli-Tsitsishvili’s “The Medical Book-Karabadin”, where is accurately considered the theoretical and practical issues of medicine, and most importantly, it should be considered its main literary source as the old Georgian medical monuments. It is also worth mentioning David Batonishvili’s encyclopedic nature work “Jadigar Daud”, which deals with almost every major issue of medicine at that time. The same period belongs activities of Sulkhan Saba Orbeliani. His well-known dictionary includes up to 50 anatomical-physiological terms, up to 160 names of diseases, up to 40 words indicating symptoms of the disease, up to 140 medicinal plants.
From XVII century in Georgian medicine, it is evident the influence of European medicine on terms of terminology, diagnostics and cure.
The medical-literary work of John and David Bagrationi is particularly important for the history of Georgian medicine, namely David Bagrationi’s “Therapeutic Receipts”, “Short Psychic”, and the Great Encyclopedia of John Bagrationi’s “Calmasoba”, containing medical texts. His pants belongs the project of reforms – the “Sjuldeba” in which the issue of maternity arrangement takes important place.
The Georgian medicine of the XIX century is characterized by the development of medical and sanitary services and pharmacy cases, by taking measures against epidemics, by using resort-balneological resources, by continuing folk medicine traditions.
It is noteworthy that important instances of this period include the establishment of a medical center (the Michael Hospital in 1868), the Maternity House (1873), the Paster Station, which was intended for the entire Caucasus, and from 1884 to the establishment of a rural area For the medical service of the population. Almost every Georgian physician working in this period had higher education in Russia due to the absence of a higher medical institution in Georgia. It is worth mentioning p. Klipitonashvili, S. Sharimanashvili, Z. Zubalashvili, M. Chiangyan, S. Alexi-Meskhishvili and others.
The most important event in the history of Georgian medicine in the 20th century was the establishment of the Faculty of Medicine of Tbilisi State University (September 1918), the famous Georgian scientist-doctor of this period: M. Tsinamdzgvrishvili, V. Asatiani, K. Eristavi, V. Zhghenti, A. Tsulukidze, Av. Zurabashvili, P. Sarajishvili, S. Khechinashvili and others.