An Outline of Odontoiatry and Odonotology in the Ancient World

Sergio Musitelli


Dentistry was surely practiced in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Phoenicia, Etruria, Greece and Rome, but odontology arose only with the dawn of Greek science. One may find the first references to a rational odontology only in the fragments of the Pre-socratic philosophers and in the Corpus Hippocraticum. Aristotele was the first to treat odontology under a comparative anatomophysiological point of view. Celsus and Scribonius Largus got their matter from Hippocrates, Aristotle, the Hellenistic anatomists as well as from folk-traditions, but payed attention rather to dentistry than to odontology. Finally Galen gathered all the knowledge about odontology and dentistry from Hippocrates up to Hellenistic anatomists and organized all the matter in his monumental teleologic and theleological system, that was inherited by both the so called iatrosophists and the Byzantine physicians. 


Key words: Odontoiatry - Odontology - Dental mechanics - Dental surgery 

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