HUMS 150B1 Written Response 11

HUMS 150B1

Written Response 11: 


  • First, write 125+ words comparing the ancient and modern Hippocratic oaths. What are the major differences?
  • Second, write a short + word "oracle" of your own. Your oracle should be a prophetic answer to the question, "How will I fare at the end of this (HUMS 150B1) course?”
  • Third, write a brief analysis (125+) of how your "oracle" compares stylistically to those from the Pythia at Delphi. Basically, what stylistic and content-based choices did you make to make it look like an "oracle." In your analysis make sure to draw on specific comparisons between your oracle and those provided in the text.

  As a pre-med student I have heard many times of the Hippocratic Oath. This states that a person shall do their absolute best to save a human beings life, no matter the illness. When reading both the ancient and the modern oath, I instantly noticed several differences.  First off, the ancient Hippocratic oath is written in old English.  For someone like me, the language makes it difficult to understand the full content of it. The modern version, at least for me, was easier to read and understand. For example in the ancient text it states “I swear by Apollo the Healer, by Asclepius, by Hygieia, by Panacea, and by all  the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses,  that I will carry out, according to my ability and judgment, this oath and this indenture” (Hippocratic Oath, 1). The modern tests states “I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant” (Lasagna 1964: 1). As you can see, both texts are stating the same thing but in two different ,ancient and modern, ways. I also noticed that the ancient oath talks about religion while the modern version gives all credit to science. Hippocrates uses the word “him” multiple times.  In the modern world, this would be considered sexist and unacceptable. Other major differences I read deal with portions of the ancient oath which states; “Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion” (Hippocratic Oath, 3). The modern version claims to give all the freedom to the person receiving medical treatment.

No. 3 “Working Hard Pays off”

As of right now I am doing the best that I can within this course. It has turned out to intrigue me and will be helpful in my future. Currently I am doing better than expected in this class but I have also put in the time and the effort to receive the best grade I possibly can.

No. 2 “Learning about foreign substances will help me better understand modern drugs” Eventually i will be medical student here at the University of Arizona. Understanding how foreign substances came to be in our time will open doors for me down the road. I can now explain how the use of Cannabis evolved and how it was tested to become the helpful plant it is today. Many ill people today use Cannabis to help with pain and I can explain where it all started.

No. 1 “I will fare extremely well in this class”

From what I have achieved so far in this class I can say that I think I will succeed in earning an A in this class. I have been interested and dedicated from the start which is exactly the determination I need to achieve greatness. I can accomplish anything I put my mind to and my mind is set on a high grade for this class.         

  Within both oracles, there is an outcome that is predicted. If we think about what an oracle is in modern times, it is something predicting the future. The quote “You will go, return not die in the war” (Delphic Oath: 1, 5) in the ancient oracle explains what will happen in the future just as my quote of succeeding in this class does. I followed the same format at the Oracle of Delphi giving three different examples of what would happen after this class. I made it look like an oracle because I provide examples of why I would fare well and what would help me in the future. When I stated that working hard pays off, it implies that I am dedicated and ready to put fourth all of the effort possible for this class. It is something that hasn’t happened yet but I believe it to be true. Just like in the text the oracle states “After crossing the Halys, Croesus  will destroy a great empire” (Delphic Oath 3,3) it is implying that something will happen but it hasn’t yet.

In conclusion the Hippocratic oath along with the modern version are stating the same thing. They both say to try your best when saving a persons life and both pertain to the medical field. There are some differences but they were also written a couple thousand years apart. An oracle is something telling the future and writing my oracle was not an easy task. I still am not quite sure I did It correctly but the one I wrote compared to the Oracle of Delphi are seat up the same way. We will never know for sure what exactly will happen in the future until we get there.

Word Count P1: 272

Word Count P2: 225

Word Count P3: 186

Total Word Count: 791

Works Cited

Hippocratic Oath. (400 BC), and Dr. Louis (1964) Lasagna. “The Hippocratic Oaths.”

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Delphic Oracle. “Prophecies from the Oracle of Delphi.” Prophecies from the Oracle of Delphi  

Pythia, High Priestess of Apollo, 7th Century BC to 4th Century AD

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