Biological Sciences

A History of Ideas About the Prolongation of Life by Gerald Gruman MD PhD

By Gerald Gruman MD PhD

Textual content examines attitudes towards durability and loss of life in Islamic and chinese language societies in addition to in Western civilizations. presents an realizing of the origins of drugs, own hygiene and public health and wellbeing, and the underlying mental and social matters surrounding getting older. Softcover.

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The first grouping would be substances with divine properties. 68 Such materials exist in a hazy borderland between the natural and supernatural, at times 40 History of Ideas About Life Prolongation being ethereal and unobtainable, and then again being identified with such mundane substances as honey or the fermented juice of the soma plant. Closely related to these foods of the gods are the foods of the blest in the various terrestrial paradises, for example, the fruit of the "Jambu" tree of the Uttarakurus, or the fruit of the tree of life in the garden of Edén.

Examples of that idea will be seen in the medieval Alexander romances. 50 Indicative of this ambiguity is the story, told at the Byzantine fountain shrine of Balukli, relating the revival of a dead fish, a theme which recurs in secular stories about the fountain of youth. In ancient Greek and Román writings there are two interesting references to fountains with prolongevity properties. 53 The spies showed disbelief when the Ethiopian king claimed for his people a life expectancy of one hundred twenty years.

39 Gomara, whose History of the Indies was published in 1552-1553, depicted Ponce de León as . . 40 A somewhat different versión of the expedition was given in 1575 in the Memoir of Fontaneda, a Spaniard who was held captive for twentyseven years by Florida Indians. Fontaneda connected Ponce de León with the tradition that the much-venerated Jordán River (flowing out of Edén) might be found in the Indies. Juan Ponz [sic] de León . . went to Florida in search of the River Jordán . 41 Besides illustrating the legend of the fountain of youth, the story of Ponce de León itself represents something of a legend.

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