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By Gerald Gruman MD PhD

Textual content examines attitudes towards toughness and demise in Islamic and chinese language societies in addition to in Western civilizations. presents an knowing of the origins of medication, own hygiene and public healthiness, and the underlying mental and social matters surrounding getting older. Softcover.

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Extra resources for A History of Ideas About the Prolongation of Life

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40 Such an apologist Apologism 19 point of view led to ready acceptance of oíd age and death, and, at the same time, it made the prolongation of life seem undesirable. Indeed were any god to grant that from my present age I might go back to boyhood, or become a crying child in the eradle, I should steadfastly refuse; ñor would I be willing, as from a finished race, to be summoned back from the goal to the starting-point. 42 From the middle of the first century after Christ until far into the second half of the second century, Stoicism was virtually the official philosophy of the Román Empire.

The story (and we shall present it "straight," as though it were unfamiliar) may be reviewed briefly as follows:25 After God had created Adam out of dust and water and divine breath, he placed him in the garden of Edén where there were two special trees—the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God warned Adam, under penalty of death, that he must not eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. However, he was free to eat the fruit of all other trees, including the tree of life, the fruit of which conferred eternal life.

53 The spies showed disbelief when the Ethiopian king claimed for his people a life expectancy of one hundred twenty years. To overeóme their doubts, the king led them to a spring with waters of a strangely oily and fragrant quality. 38 History of Ideas About Life Prolongaron So frail, the spies said, was the water, that nothing would float on it. Neither wood ñor anything lighter than wood, but all sank to the bottom. 54 This passage recalls the cold-dry theory of aging discussed in the previous chapter, according to which senility was caused by the loss of "vital" moisture.

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