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Arch Hellen Med, 27(6), November-December 2010, 984-991


The beliefs, myths and reality surrounding the word hema (blood),
from Homer tο the present time

First Department of Internal Medicine, "Laiko" General Hospital, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

All ancient peoples hinged their beliefs about hema (blood) on their religious dogmas as related to mythology or the origins of their religion. The Hellenes (Greeks) especially have always recognized hema as the well-known red fluid of the human body. Greek scientific considerations about blood date from Homeric times. The ancient Greeks considered hema as synonymous with life. In the Greek myths and historical works are found the first references to the uninterrupted vascular circulation of blood, the differences between venous and arterial blood, and the bone marrow as the site of blood production. The ancient Greeks also speculated about mechanisms of blood coagulation and the use of blood transfusion to save life.

Key words: Haema, Hema, Hematology, History, Mythology.

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