The breast: From Ancient Greek myths to Hippocrates and Galen Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Breast
  • Mythology


  • This is a historical article about Ancient Greek literature from mythological times until the first centuries AD with regard to the female breast. We endeavoured to collect several elegant narratives on the topic as well as to explore the knowledge of Ancient Greek doctors on the role, physiology and pathology of breast and the treatment of its diseases. We identified such descriptions in myths regarding Amazons, Hercules, Zeus, Hera and Amaltheia. Furthermore, descriptions on the topic were also found in the work of Hippocrates, Aristoteles, Soranos, Alexander of Aphrodisias, Celsus, Archigenis, Leonides, Galen and Oribasius. We may conclude that some of today's medical knowledge or practice regarding the breast was also known in the historical period.

publication date

  • January 2009



  • Academic Article



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/S1472-6483(10)60277-5

PubMed ID

  • 19891848

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 51

end page

  • 4


  • 19


  • SUPPL. 2