History of Medicine: Ancient City of Knidos


7 Minute

For centuries, medicine has been one of the most vital professions. Doctors are an integral part of societies today, just as physicians were in the ancient world. How did the people of the past treat illness, injury and disease? Our History of Medicine video series explores how the ancient cities of Anatolia approached human health.

First up is the Ancient City of Knidos. Established in the gorgeous seaside of the Datça district in Mu─čla Province at the Aegean and Mediterranean intersection, archaeologists date the city back to the first half of 2.000 BC.

Knidos was home to a respected medical school and physicians whose fame had spread throughout the ancient world. Let’s explore this history together:

A Short History of Knidos

Knidos, one of the important centers of ancient times, is located on the Tekir Peninsula where the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas meet. Being a Carian city, Knidos was built on land formed by joining the mainland with the rocky island in front of it. As a result of this, a port was built in each of the two coves, which were used by warships in the west and merchant ships in the east.

Knidos was built by creating terraces due to its topographic formation. The first of these terraces is the Dionysos Terrace at the intersection of the western and eastern ports of the city, where the Temple of Dionysus is located. The Round Temple Terrace is another significant location of the city, which dominates both ports. Located at the top, this terrace offers its visitors a landscape of extraordinary shades of blue and green.

Knidos was a city that attached great importance to art and culture in ancient times. Because of this, there are two theaters in the city, one big and the other small. In the east side of the city, there is a well-preserved Hellenistic fresco villa. There are also many must-see archaeological remains in Knidos; a street extending in the east-west direction and public buildings on both sides of this street, the Demeter Sanctuary, the odeon (concert hall), the Corinthian Temple, the agora, the Byzantine Church, and the Roman Period Bouleuterion (council building). 

Knidos, one of the important art, science and trade centers in antiquity, awaits its visitors with its deep blue location where the Aegean and the Mediterranean Seas meet. Although it is possible to reach Knidos by car, you can also visit this impressive city by boat. When you reach the ancient city of Knidos, do not forget to watch the sunset and visit Deveboynu Lighthouse.