Ground Floor: The roots of western medicine
The museum tour begins with an explicit reference to Hippocrates, the real founding father of western medicine. His thinking still forms the ethical basis of the medical profession and is illustrated here through excerpts from his collection of aphorisms. Some of his maxims – which are just as relevant today as they ever have been – are captured on transparent cubes displayed as "philosophical cargo" on a metaphorical sailing ship. This abstract portrayal of a sailing ship not only represents the lifelong travels of the itinerant doctor Hippocrates, but also symbolises the dissemination of his teaching throughout the western world and ultimately across the globe.
A multi-vision presentation illustrates the life of this important physician of antiquity and is in tune with the museum's overall theme. This glimpse into the early days of medicine is continued in the next exhibition room, where the emergence of the Aesculap trade mark and its intrinsic link to antique mythology – from the Greek god of healing Asclepius to the Roman Aesculap – is represented.