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The body, as a reflection of natural forces, contained four elemental properties expressed to the Greeks as the four humors.The humors represented fire, air, earth and water through the properties of hot, cold, dry and moist, respectively.The heavens influenced every person in different ways by influencing elements connected to certain humors, important information in reaching a diagnosis.

The practice of medicine in the early Middle Ages was in fact empirical and pragmatic.It focused mainly on curing disease rather than discovering the cause of diseases.The written treatises within the Corpus are varied, incorporating medical doctrine from any source the Greeks came into contact with.At Alexandria in Egypt, the Greeks learned the art of surgery and dissection,; the Egyptian skill in these arenas far surpassed those of Greeks and Romans due to social taboos on the treatment of the dead.An initial examination took place as standard for a physician to properly evaluate the patient.

The patient's home climate, their normal diet, and astrological charts were regarded during consultation.Diet not only included food to eat or avoid but also an exercise regimen and medication.Hippocratic medicine represented learned medical practice beginning with the Hippocratic Corpus having been written down, therefore requiring practitioners to be literate.Medicine in the Middle Ages had its roots in pagan and folk practices.This influence was highlighted by the interplay between Christian theologians who adopted aspects of pagan and folk practices and chronicled them in their own works.The Western medical tradition often traces roots directly to the early Greek civilization, much like the foundation of all of Western society.