Portrait of Seven Notable Greek Physicians & Botanists

Portrait of Seven Notable Greek Physicians & Botanists

Prince Albert Victor

One of the most intriguing𠅊nd sensational𠅌ontenders for Jack the Ripper’s grim legacy is Prince Albert Victor, the son of King Edward VII and grandson of Queen Victoria. Known to his family as Eddy, the prince was second in line to the throne when he died of influenza at 28. In 1970, the British physician Thomas Stowell published an article implying that Eddy had committed the murders during fits of insanity caused by an advanced case of syphilis. This rather dubious claim took the international press by storm, and some contemporary conspiracy theorists continue to explore whether the man who could have been king was instead history’s most notorious serial killer. Official records, newspaper reports and other sources, however, offer strong indication that the prince was nowhere near Whitechapel when the victims died.

LEGO Celebrates Greek Bicentennial With Historical Figures

Heroes from the Greek Revolution, including Kolokotronis, Mavrochordatos and Lord Byron, have been made into LEGO figures celebrating the Greek Bicentennial this month. Credit: Facebook/The LEGO Classicist

To celebrate the Greek Bicentennial of its 1821 Revolution, Liam Jensen, the “Lego Classicist,” created “Lego portraits” of three major figures from the revolution — Theodoros Kolokotronis, Alexandros Mavrokordatos and Lord Byron.

Now, Greek children — and children of all ages and nationalities all around the world — will have LEGO Theodoros Kolokotronis, General of the Greek War of Independence, LEGO Alexandros Mavrokordatos, one of the founders and first political leaders of independent Greece, and LEGO Lord Byron, who is so admired by the Greek people for giving his life in the Revolution.

General Kolokotronis, as portrayed by the LEGO Classicist. Credit: Facebook/The LEGO Classicist

The Lego Classicists Family is an educational project that combines history and pop-art to engage with the art and culture of the ancient world and the people who study it.

Liam D. Jensen is a Pop Artist and Historical Archivist who is most well-known for his portraits of notable classicists and historians around the world using the medium of LEGO mini figures.

He was asked by Prof. John Bennet at the British School at Athens to make the three figures as a special way to commemorate the Greek Bicentennial this year.

LEGO Mavrochordatos. Credit: Facebook/The LEGO Classicist

Jensen says “Theodoros Kolokotronis was probably the most challenging figure I have made to date, as often he is depicted in his dress uniform with a very specific-looking helmet that simply does not exist in any of LEGO Group’s existing parts (as I never use third party parts or 3D printed parts).

“So I talked to my friend Constantinos Vasiliadis, from the Acropolis Museum, who informed me that Kolokotronis was only depicted in that helmet after the War of Independence, and before that he was more often depicted with a sariki or small hat.

LEGO Lord Byron. Credit: Facebook/The LEGO Classicist

“And so,” he explains, “with Constantinos’ advice, I designed the portrait with that in mind.”

Prof. John Bennet is a British archaeologist, classicist, and academic who specialises in the Aegean civilisations. He has been Professor of Aegean Archaeology at the University of Sheffield since 2004, and Director of the British School at Athens since 2015.

Greek bicentennial commemorated forever in LEGO figures

Theodoros Kolokotronis is of course the foremost of all the warriors of Greece’s War of Independence, declared on March 25, 1821.

This modern-day Greek hero organized revolutionary bands, especially in the Peloponnese, into trained and co-ordinated fighting troops. Because he was 50 when he was appointed Commander-in-Chief, he was known as “The Elder of Morea (the Peloponnese)”.

Kolokotronis commanded many successful battles and sieges. His helmet, armour and weapons are in the Εθνικό Ιστορικό Μουσείο – National Historical Museum of Greece in Athens and there is a statue of him in the forecourt of the Old Parliament Building near Syntagma Square.

Another statue is in the Town Square of Nafplion where he is said to have ridden his horse straight up to the high Palamidi castle above the town, to celebrate taking the town back for the Greeks.

Alexandros Mavrokordatos was a Greek statesman, politician and intellectual who as the leader of the First National Assembly of the free Greeks wrote the first Greek constitution. He had an international perspective and connections and wore Western European dress.

He was educated at the University of Padua and was fluent in seven languages. When the Greek War of Independence broke out he was living in Italy with the British writers Percy and Mary Shelley and he returned immediately to Greece, buying arms on the way back.

After the war, he had a diplomatic and political career including being Premier of Greece and envoy to Munich, Berlin, Constantinople and London.

George Gordon, Lord Byron, was a renowned British poet and peer, a leading figure in the literary Romantic Movement, who fought for Greek Independence and died in Greece. He provided considerable financial support to Greek freedom-fighters and helped many individuals there.

His personal and literary fame, his known philosophical commitment to just causes and his poignant death in Greece at Missolonghi, drew attention to the Greek cause and galavanised international sympathy and support.

After his death, Lord Byron was hailed as a hero in Britain and Greece and he is still internationally renowned for giving his life for the cause that he loved.

As LEGO Classicist Jensen says, “May Greece proudly live forever and continue to bring us inspiration and spirit. Ζήτω η Ελλάς! Χρόνια Πολλά!”

William Osler (1849 – 1919)

Osler arrived at Johns Hopkins in 1888 as physician-in-chief. A British Canadian, Osler was already considered America's premier doctor and was known as a superb clinical teacher.

Billings, the hospital's planner, generally is credited with having recruited Osler, but according to Simon Flexner, Welch's biographer, Osler was actually a second choice. When Welch pleaded Osler's case, Billings agreed with reluctance, believing Osler to be too interested in pathology, a field Welch had well covered.

Billings stopped off between trains in Philadelphia and went to Osler’s apartment to ask him to take charge of the medical department of the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Osler said yes without hesitation. This very short job interview changed the course of American medicine.

Osler was famous for using mnemonics to help his students remember what they needed to know. Four F's, for instance, lead to typhoid fever, he told them: fingers, food, flies and filth. His 1892 text, Principles and Practice of Medicine, became the landmark text of internal medicine and has been continually updated.

A short, wiry man with a handlebar mustache, Osler had an uncontrollable urge to pull practical jokes that constantly got him into trouble. Two years before he arrived at Hopkins, he had tricked a respected medical journal into printing an outlandish, bogus paper, and after that, the journal’s editor refused to publish Osler or take his work seriously.

Osler remains the Will Rogers of the medical world, and a column dedicated to his memory, “Osleriana,“ was launched in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1986. He was the first to say, “A physician who treats himself has a fool for a patient.”

Perhaps Osler's greatest contribution to medicine was the establishment of the medical residency program, now the norm in most training hospitals. Through this system, doctors in training make up much of a hospital's medical staff.

Osler also instituted another first by getting his medical students to the bedside early in their training by their third year they were taking patient histories, performing physicals and doing lab tests instead of sitting in a lecture hall, taking notes. He once said he hoped his tombstone would say only, “He brought medical students into the wards for bedside teaching.”

He himself liked to say, “He who studies medicine without books sails an uncharted sea, but he who studies medicine without patients does not go to sea at all.”

Osler advocated good nursing, hygiene and prevention practices, and his medical stature helped him convince U.S. doctors to prescribe only drugs proven to be effective. He also fought against low-standard profit-making medical schools before he left for Oxford in 1905.

Life and works

It is known that while Hippocrates was alive, he was admired as a physician and teacher. His younger contemporary Plato referred to him twice. In the Protagoras Plato called Hippocrates “the Asclepiad of Cos” who taught students for fees, and he implied that Hippocrates was as well known as a physician as Polyclitus and Phidias were as sculptors. It is now widely accepted that an “Asclepiad” was not a temple priest or a member of a physicians’ guild but instead was a physician belonging to a family that had produced well-known physicians for generations. Plato’s second reference occurs in the Phaedrus, in which Hippocrates is referred to as a famous Asclepiad who had a philosophical approach to medicine.

Meno, a pupil of Aristotle, specifically stated in his history of medicine the views of Hippocrates on the causation of diseases, namely, that undigested residues were produced by unsuitable diet and that these residues excreted vapours, which passed into the body generally and produced diseases. Aristotle said that Hippocrates was called “the Great Physician” but that he was small in stature (Politics).

These are the only extant contemporary, or near-contemporary, references to Hippocrates. Five hundred years later, the Greek physician Soranus wrote a life of Hippocrates, but the contents of this and later lives were largely traditional or imaginative. Throughout his life Hippocrates appears to have traveled widely in Greece and Asia Minor practicing his art and teaching his pupils, and he presumably taught at the medical school at Cos quite frequently. His birth and death dates are traditional but may well be approximately accurate. Undoubtedly, Hippocrates was a historical figure, a great physician who exercised a permanent influence on the development of medicine and on the ideals and ethics of the physician.

Hippocrates’ reputation, and myths about his life and his family, began to grow in the Hellenistic period, about a century after his death. During this period, the Museum of Alexandria in Egypt collected for its library literary material from preceding periods in celebration of the past greatness of Greece. So far as it can be inferred, the medical works that remained from the Classical period (among the earliest prose writings in Greek) were assembled as a group and called the works of Hippocrates ( Corpus Hippocraticum). Linguists and physicians subsequently wrote commentaries on them, and, as a result, all the virtues of the Classical medical works were eventually attributed to Hippocrates and his personality constructed from them.

The virtues of the Hippocratic writings are many, and, although they are of varying lengths and literary quality, they are all simple and direct, earnest in their desire to help, and lacking in technical jargon and elaborate argument. The works show such different views and styles that they cannot be by one person, and some were clearly written in later periods. Yet all the works of the Corpus share basic assumptions about how the body works and what disease is, providing a sense of the substance and appeal of ancient Greek medicine as practiced by Hippocrates and other physicians of his era. Prominent among these attractive works are the Epidemics, which give annual records of weather and associated diseases, along with individual case histories and records of treatment, collected from cities in northern Greece. Diagnosis and prognosis are frequent subjects. Other treatises explain how to set fractures and treat wounds, feed and comfort patients, and take care of the body to avoid illness. Treatises called Diseases deal with serious illnesses, proceeding from the head to the feet, giving symptoms, prognoses, and treatments. There are works on diseases of women, childbirth, and pediatrics. Prescribed medications, other than foods and local salves, are generally purgatives to rid the body of the noxious substances thought to cause disease. Some works argue that medicine is indeed a science, with firm principles and methods, although explicit medical theory is very rare. The medicine depends on a mythology of how the body works and how its inner organs are connected. The myth is laboriously constructed from experience, but it must be remembered that there was neither systematic research nor dissection of human beings in Hippocrates’ time. Hence, while much of the writing seems wise and correct, there are large areas where much is unknown.

The Embassy, a fictional work that connects Hippocrates’ family with critical events in the history of Cos and Greece, was included in the original collection of Hippocratic works in the Library of Alexandria. Over the next four centuries, The Embassy inspired other imaginative writings, including letters between Hippocrates and the Persian king and also the philosopher Democritus. Though obviously fiction, these works enhanced Hippocrates’ reputation, providing the basis for later biographies and the traditional picture of Hippocrates as the father of medicine. Still other works were added to the Hippocratic Corpus between its first collection and its first scholarly edition around the beginning of the 2nd century ce . Among them were the Hippocratic Oath and other ethical writings that prescribe principles of behaviour for the physician.

This was a time of major change

In the dim light, I could glimpse the six narrow tiers on which up to 250 medical students and other spectators would congregate. There were no seats, no space to take notes and, initially, no windows. Shaped like a funnel and beautifully carved from wood, the concentric, gradually expanding tiers had amply-high balustrades to ensure that the spectators, if they fainted, could not fall and disrupt the dissection. Students, professors, aristocrats, visiting dignitaries and even noble ladies would attend the candlelit dissections. A violin orchestra would play on the top-most tier to make the atmosphere feel less nauseating.

Each body would be dissected over several days in winter, traditionally during the Carnival season – a licentious period when social mores would be more relaxed and dissections could be performed despite the still-existing taboos around them.

A range of emotions took over the group as we listened to the guide describe what took place where we stood. The more squeamish ones among us squinted their eyes and looked a bit put off. One surgeon who had travelled all the way from Canada to see this sanctuary of medicine for himself couldn’t get enough of the tales about the world’s first permanent anatomical theatre.

The world’s first permanent anatomical theatre was built in the Palazzo Bo in the late 16th Century (Credit: DEA / A. DAGLI ORTI/Getty Images)

After touring Palazzo Bo, I ventured back into the city where a number of other sites highlight Padua’s influence on modern medicine. I made my way to the Museum of History of Medicine (MUSME), which relies on hundreds of artefacts and dozens of interactive displays to tell the complex story of how we came to understand and treat the human body. From there, I strolled through Padua’s porticoes, past the Basilica of St Anthony to the university’s botanical garden.

Founded in 1545 and now a Unesco World Heritage site, the botanical garden was vital to medical students’ studies of botany – particularly the therapeutic and healing power of plants. Many new botanical species were introduced to Italy via this beautiful place, including sunflowers, potatoes and sesame, as well as jasmine and lilac.

According to Zampieri, Europeans even have this botanical garden to thank for coffee. “It’s a fact that the first mention in Europe of coffee was in [the 16th-Century work] De Medicina Aegyptiorum by Prospero Alpini, who was the garden’s director.”

The University of Padua’s botanical garden was founded in 1545 to help scientists study the healing power of plants (Credit: Hilke Maunder/Alamy)

As I left the botanical garden, I thought of what Herbert Butterfield, history professor and vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge, wrote in his book The Origins of Modern Science 1300-1800, published in 1959: “In so far as any single place could claim the honour of being the seat of the Scientific Revolution, the distinction must belong to Padua.”

Join more than three million BBC Travel fans by liking us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

Why physician executives?

�ministrative medicine” is a good fit for those who have insight into the doctor-patient relationship (the core product of health care) and an ability to think about operations globally. Before health care reform gained such momentum in this country, we had a triad of health care leadership: Doctors primarily cared for patients, business managers ran doctors' offices and business executives ran hospitals and insurance companies. This delineation contributed to the creation of a silo effect in health care, with each party focusing on its own division of the system, often at the expense of efficiencies in other divisions. This has led to many conflicts of interest in our system and a great deal of mistrust and misunderstanding in fact, much of the purpose of health care reform has been to realign the interests of health care providers, payers and purchasers so that they work toward mutually beneficial processes of care delivery. But market-based reform also has shown the need to “imprint medical expertise on business dynamics” in health care, and physicians with strong leadership skills are in a position to do just that.1

At the same time, the concept of leadership has shifted dramatically. Leaders are no longer taskmasters they are facilitators of empowerment, motivation and maximum performance by all individuals in the organization, whether that be a clinic, a hospital, a health plan or an integrated delivery system.2


Physicians with strong leadership skills are well-positioned to bring medical expertise to the business side of health care.

Because of their experience dealing with ambiguity, making tough decisions, interpreting nonverbal cues and persevering with confidence, physicians are suited for leadership.

Moving into administrative medicine means shifting from a focus on individual patients to the organization as a whole.


Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.

Eratosthenes, in full Eratosthenes of Cyrene, (born c. 276 bce , Cyrene, Libya—died c. 194 bce , Alexandria, Egypt), Greek scientific writer, astronomer, and poet, who made the first measurement of the size of Earth for which any details are known.

What were Eratosthenes’ major achievements?

In addition to calculating Earth’s circumference, Eratosthenes created the Sieve of Eratosthenes (a procedure for finding prime numbers), tried to fix the dates of literary and political events since the siege of Troy, and is thought to have created the armillary sphere (an early astronomical device for representing the great circles of the heavens).

What is Eratosthenes famous for?

Eratosthenes measured Earth’s circumference mathematically using two surface points to make the calculation. He noted that the Sun’s rays fell vertically at noon in Syene (now Aswān), Egypt, at the summer solstice. In Alexandria, also in Egypt, at the same date and time, sunlight fell at an angle of about 7.2° from the vertical.

How did Eratosthenes die?

Eratosthenes died in his 80s in Alexandria, Egypt. He had become blind in his old age and could no longer work by 195 BCE. He reportedly fell into despair, and he is said to have committed suicide by voluntary starvation in 194 as a result.

At Syene (now Aswān), some 800 km (500 miles) southeast of Alexandria in Egypt, the Sun’s rays fall vertically at noon at the summer solstice. Eratosthenes noted that at Alexandria, at the same date and time, sunlight fell at an angle of about 7.2° from the vertical. (Writing before the Greeks adopted the degree, a Babylonian unit of measure, he actually said “a fiftieth of a circle.”) He correctly assumed the Sun’s distance to be very great its rays therefore are practically parallel when they reach Earth. Given an estimate of the distance between the two cities, he was able to calculate the circumference of Earth, obtaining 250,000 stadia. Earlier estimates of the circumference of Earth had been made (for example, Aristotle says that “some mathematicians” had obtained a value of 400,000 stadia), but no details of their methods have survived. An account of Eratosthenes’ method is preserved in the Greek astronomer Cleomedes’ Meteora. The exact length of the units (stadia) he used is doubtful, and the accuracy of his result is therefore uncertain. His measurement of Earth’s circumference may have varied by 0.5 to 17 percent from the value accepted by modern astronomers, but it was certainly in the right range. He also measured the degree of obliquity of the ecliptic (in effect, the tilt of Earth’s axis) and wrote a treatise on the octaëteris, an eight-year lunar-solar cycle. He is credited with devising an algorithm for finding prime numbers called the sieve of Eratosthenes, in which one arranges the natural numbers in numerical order and strikes out one, every second number following two, every third number following three, and so on, which just leaves the prime numbers.

Eratosthenes’ only surviving work is Catasterisms, a book about the constellations, which gives a description and story for each constellation, as well as a count of the number of stars contained in it, but the attribution of this work has been doubted by some scholars. His mathematical work is known principally from the writings of the Greek geometer Pappus of Alexandria, and his geographical work from the first two books of the Geography of the Greek geographer Strabo.

After study in Alexandria and Athens, Eratosthenes settled in Alexandria about 255 bce and became director of the great library there. He tried to fix the dates of literary and political events since the siege of Troy. His writings included a poem inspired by astronomy, as well as works on the theatre and on ethics. Eratosthenes was afflicted by blindness in his old age, and he is said to have committed suicide by voluntary starvation.

The Behrakis Foundation

The Behrakis Foundation is a private family foundation established in Massachusetts in 1996 by George and Margo Behrakis. During his lifetime, Mr Behrakis has concentrated a majority of his philanthropy in the areas of Arts, Education, HealthCare, Hellenic Causes and the Eastern Orthodox Faith. Carrying on the work of Mr Behrakis, the Foundation seeks to help the community to prepare for its new economic opportunities, and its new national and international leadership roles. For more information, please contact Stephanie Behrakis-Liakos at sliakos[at]behrprivfdn.com or 781-861-9114.

George and Margo Behrakis at the Boston Museum of Modern Art

The Behrakis Foundation proudly supports:

Browse below a series of articles related to The Foundation and its mission:

National Hellenic Society Honors George D. Behrakis
The National Hellenic Society, a prominent non-profit organization sending dozens of Greek-American students to Greece every year, honored business leader and philanthropist George Behrakis during its heritage weekend in Las Vegas, Oct 8 2016.

University of Athens Honors Entrepreneur & Philanthropist George D. Behrakis
During a special ceremony at the University of Athens on December 11th, Greek-American entrepreneur and philanthropist George D. Behrakis was named honorary doctor by the School of Medicine.

Leadership 100 Partners Establish Day of Service Donate Health Kits
Drake and Maria Behrakis led the L100 Partners Day of Service at their home parish of Saint Nicholas Church in Lexington, MA resulting in 224 IOCC emergency health kits donated to impoverished areas outside the United States.

The Hellenic Initiative Announces 2nd Annual Banquet to Honor George D. Behrakis
The event will honor George D. Behrakis, among two other Greek Americans, recognizing his passion for Philanthropy and Hellenism.

Anti-smoking Campaign: HEART Saves Hearts in Greece
Harvard University in collaboration with Panayiotis Behrakis of the University of Athens, School of Medicine with the support of The Behrakis Foundation, have implemented a program to change the mentality of Greeks towards their favorite lethal habit, smoking.

Juno Statue Finds a Home at MFA’s Behrakis Wing
In March, the the George D. and Margo Behrakis Gallery, a wing at the the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) welcomed a 13-foot marble sculpture of the goddess Juno. Due to its enormous size, the sculpture was airlifted into the gallery through an opening made in the roof.

“Portraits of Prominent Greeks in the U.S.A”
Portraits of Prominent Greeks in the U.S.A. is a unique record of 63 famous individuals, each one in his/her field, who share not only a Greek heritage, but also the same passion to fulfill their ambitions.

Giving from the Heart: The Philanthropy of George D. Behrakis
The feeling stuck with him over an illustrious 40-year career in the pharmaceutical industry (from his early days at Johnson & Johnson to the start of several companies of his own), and when he retired officially from business at 60 (he’s now 76), he began an exhaustive career of philanthropy that has enriched many fields.

Watch the video: : Ο 10χρονος που την είπε στον Τανιμανίδη