Sunday, 14 February 2016

₪ The Golden Section of Aesthetics and a Plastic Bliss

Warning: This article might contain strong, coarse, and foul language among other profanities and politically incorrect remarks. 
If you are easily offended, you should drink some vinegar and bite your thumb better click away on the Bright Side of the Internet.

Codex Windsor
Leonardo Da Vinci
When my son asked for the very first time where do we come from; I told him about a mountainous land where man becomes harmoniously one with nature. An idyllic vision of unspoiled wilderness, a land so mystically pacifying and tranquil, that awakened the senses as a lost paradise. Arcadia has always run through my veins in every way, nevertheless; my heart ever had another say. For deep inside me, heart and soul, I've always felt an Athenian.

   Having been raised in Athens, I grew up in her very centre and savored her standing marks through history, sensing the same marbles that once Pericles and Socrates did. Acropolis, is far more than a monument. It symbolises democracy, logic, and perfection; in its literal and philosophical meaning. The Parthenon is not the oldest, nor the biggest man-made construction, but it is in my opinion the most emblematic in mankind. There's no other construction in human history, that has influenced us so much in so many scientific aspects as the Parthenon. Its greatness hides behind its architectural perfection; the Golden Section.

Hellenic Words
The Geometry of Parthenon
 The Parthenon is designed not just after an idea or creation of mind, but by following a perfect numerical sequence, and its application in architecture: (a+b)/a = a/b ≝ φ = (1+√5)/2 = 1.618...
The Parthenon; is conceived, designed and built, to immortalise perfection. Should we seek the above onto humans, could a person be perfect in the same manner (?) personificating the Golden Ratio, and if yes, whom that person might be? Three and a half thousand years ago in Egypt, queen Nefertiti was regarded at her time as the most beautiful woman in the world. To today's plastic surgeons and aestheticians though; she is considered the most beautiful woman who ever lived. The reason to that, is that her facial characteristics justify what is considered to be the perfect face; not just from a subjective point of view, but from a mathematical aspect, given the busts that have forever immortalised her features.

❖ Aesthetic 

a.1 ∴ Esthétique ‣ French ∴ or
a.1 ∵ Ästhetisch ‣ German ∵
a.2 ∵ Æsthetic ‣ Latin ∵
a.3 ∵ Aisthtikí ‣ Euboean Hellenic ∵
a.4 ≝ Αισθητική  ΑΙΣΘΗΤΙΚΗ /esthitike/ ‣ Hellenic Koine ∵ As the ability to Sense and Perceive 

❖ from the prefix AWIΣ 

a.5 ∵  Awις ‣ Mycenaean Proto-Hellenic  ∵ To feel, perceive, sense 

 Tip: From the same root Awis / Au we get the term Audio for sound as a sense.

Queen Nefertiti
Neues Museum, Berlin
   Beauty has always reflected power. Ancient Egyptians, wanted to look good, and put a lot of effort into keeping themselves beautiful: eyeliners, mascaras, makeup, lipsticks and toupées were ordinary products that both men and women would use to look better; but what do you do when it comes to aging? All the above can be used for highlighting their best features -or to cover imperfections- but skin is something far more complex that should have been impossible to interfere three and a half millennia ago. Question is; how possible is it that ancient Egyptians had something more than just a lotion or face cream?
The idea of a cosmetic surgery -in a place that had only sand, cats and crocodiles- walked limping through our minds, until the discovery of a sarcophagus in the Necropolis of Saqqara just a few years ago. That tomb is very special in regards with medicine, because it is the last resort of the royal physician Qar; who was accompanied by his four and a half thousand years old surgical tools.
That's right. When most humans around the globe, were picking fleas for dinner from each other's heads, the ancient Egyptians were doing surgical operations. Where the hell is Tsoukalos when you need him?

   Ramesses the second -perhaps the greatest Pharaoh that ever ruled Egypt- was particularly famous for his big nose and even inexpert eyes can notice that his mummy is the only one without having its nose decayed. The reason to this; is that his surgeons transplanted human bones and actually reconstructed his nose for his after death journey, while other royals like queen Nodjmet had her cheeks and tammy, filled. The proof for all the above, was eventually found in the Edwin Smith Papyrus, the first medical document with detailed instructions that included tumour treatments; muscle and skin, stitching with acacia horns; and cauterizations.

   Half a millennia later, and five thousand kilometers eastern of Saqqara; the first facial plastic surgery would become praxis; where according to the legend, an Indian princess had her nose reconstructed after having it cut off as a punishment for being adulterous. About another thousand years later from that, the Indian physician Sushruta would write the phenomenal Suśrutasaṃhitā; the first Hindu text on medicine and surgery, which was a manuscript of enormous historical importance because it included historically unique chapters describing surgical training, instruments, and procedures; including haemorrhoidectomy; amputations; and rhinoplastic, ophthalmic, lithotomic and obstetrical operations.

Document from the Suśrutasaṃhitā

❖ Surgery

b.1 ∴ Surgerie ‣ Old French ∴ 
b.2 ∵ Cirurgie ‣ Frankish ∵
b.3 ∵ Chirurgia ‣ Latin ∵
b.4 ∵ Kheirourgia ‣ Euboean Hellenic ∵ ☛ Operations
b.5 ∵ Kheirourgós ‣ Euboean Hellenic ∵ ☛ Surgeon
b.6  Χειρουργός  ΧΕΙΡΟΥΡΓΟΣ /hirurgós/ ‣ Hellenic Koine ∵ ☛ Man working / done by hand

 EtymologyFrom Kheira (hand) + Ergon (work/creation/doing) 

 Tip: The term "hand" is also of greek etymology: 

c.1 ∴ Hönd ‣ Norse ∴
c.2 ∵ Mund ‣ Old Norse ∵ 
c.3 ∵ Manus ‣ Latin ∵ ☛ Hand, strength, power over, protection, guardian
c.4 ∵ Mane ‣ Euboean Hellenic ∵
c.5  Μανή  ΜΑΝΗ /maní/ ‣ Hellenic Koine ∵ ☛ Hand (of) protection, strength, guardian

God Asclepius
  Moving back to the west, and two hundred years after; the father of modern medicine; Hippocrates was the first to actually draw the line between biology and supernatural, explaining medically the reasons for people getting sick. The Greeks were convinced, and soon began having absurd ideas about fever being the result if a virus instead  Zeus's fury. It all came together after Alexander conquered everything within a decade and for the first time; West, East and South would united in the biggest empire the world had seen thus far. Soon, all information and knowledge from Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and India; would gather in a single pot and the Greeks quickly became the most advanced civilization in the known world.

  If necessity is the mother of invention, war definitely fathers the child; and Alexander knew this well. One of the reasons for his remarkable achievements was that he first conceived the military technology of field surgery. Alexander knew well that trained hoplites and elite veterans were not an easy thing to get, and keeping them alive was his best investment for his campaigns.
His physicians and surgeons had the freedom by all means to go a step further, and got to experiment with a very large number of wounded men that would die otherwise. The investment quickly paid off after the Siege of Multan in Pakistan, where Alexander got an arrow next to the heart that pierced his lungs. His physician Kritovoulos (or Kritodemos according to Arrian) removed the shaft and the arrowhead with his tools; stitched the muscles and the skin and cauterised the wound to trigger hemostasis. Alexander lived for a little while longer until he committed seppuku after merciless bed nagging from his wife an unknown illness introduced him to the Pantheon of history.

Da Vinci
 After Alexander's death and the splitting of the empire amongst the Successors; the Hellenistic world flourished in every aspect and Alexandria was now the very centre of sciences. Ptolemy who received the Egyptian part of the empire, was very liberal and very keen to transform Alexandria into a cultural center of knowledge. He sent emissaries all over the world with the task of acquiring texts, and all foreign commercial ships were obliged to leave all their documents for copying.
Soon the Great Library of Alexandria would be build to house this enormous amount of information; an astonishing number of c.800.000 volumes about the history of the world thus far.
Alexandria became the cradle of civilisation in the whole ancient cosmos; and scientists, intellectuals, and academics from all over the world would travel there to teach and be tought. The open minded Ptolemaic dynasty allowed for doctors to proceed into operations such as vivisections and dissections, that raised medicine into a whole new level. Herophilos would be the first physician to anatomise a body, find the human nerves and the ventricles of the brain; do the distinction between arteries and veins, and luckily for us; to record them.

❖ Anatomy 

d.1 ∴ Anatomie ‣ Old French ∴ 
d.2 ∵ Anatomia ‣ Late Latin ∵ 
d.3 ∵ Anatomia ‣ Euboean Hellenic ∵
d.4 ∵ Anatome ‣ Euboean Hellenic ∵ 
d.5 ≝ Ανατομή  ΑΝΑΤΟΜΗ /anatomí/ ‣ Hellenic Koine ∵ ☛ Dissection

 Etymology: From Ana (up) + Temnein (cut) 

Iapyx removing arrowhead
from Aeneas
   After Rome's rise to power and the conquest of all of the Hellenistic world, the Romans would experience what Plautus quotes in his Casina; they conquered the Greeks only to be conquered by their culture. The world's transition from Hellenistic to Greco-Roman, only further expanded the Hellenic thinking; and now the Greek academics would be the most popular scholars from Portugal to India and from Germany to Africa. The world was changing, as medical intervention would cross from the battlefield surgeries into aesthetic operations; and men would be its first customers.

   Many low and middle class Roman citizens were very eager to get rid of the markings on their bodies, especially the ones on their back. By having a scar on the back at that time, meant that a man was either hit in the battlefield, therefore a coward deserter; or that he was whipped; ergo, a former slave. Neither of those would ever allow them to reach a decent level of respect and gravitas within the Roman society, and unfortunately for them; there was no way to hide this either, as they would have to attend the thermae and eventually show their scars in public. The appearance of this kind of aesthetic operations -for social or appearance reasons- would be the first of this kind in a mainstream appliance.

❖ Plastic 

e.1 ∴ Plasticus ‣ Latin ∴ 
e.2 ∵ Plastikos ‣ Euboean Hellenic ∵ ☛ Able to be molded / fit for molding
e.3 ∵ Plastos ‣ Euboean Hellenic ∵ ☛ Molded / formed
e.4  Plassein  ΠΛΑΣΣΕΙΝ /plásin/ ‣ Hellenic Koine ∵ ☛ To mold
e.5 ≝ Platho  ΠΛΑΘΩ /plátho/ ‣ Modern Hellenic ∵ 

Allegory of Vanity
Antonio de Pereda, c.1650 CE
   Today, things are advanced, and thanks to technology; we are able to transplant a heart, replace a lost limb, recreate vision and pretty much play God as much as we like, as long as the right amount of money is offered. In the United States of America solely, and just for 2015; we had c. 18.000.000 operations of cosmetic purposes only. People can now order the kind of breasts, glutes, hair or lips they would like to have; and we have reached a level where instead of changing style to follow the latest trends; we change our bottocs. Problem is; we can't fuck around with our bodies and change breast sizes in the same fashion we change our haircut; and despite the fact that many responsible professionals refuse to go further for some, these people who are now contaminated with irreversible narcissism and other psychological disorders; take matters into their hands, and inject themselves with everything available in their cabinets; from olive oil to cement. Our society seems to be like a truck going downhill, without brakes; and our vanity in combination with modern commercialism, and consumerism; looks anything but promising. Who is to blame for all this farce comedy? He who is without a sin of vanity, may cast the first stone. 

Codex Windsor
Leonardo Da Vinci
☛ Tip: All Hellenic terms that finish on the suffix  γος / ΓΟΣ /gos/ have actually double accents and stressing, depending the situation that word is being used. The terms that are being toned on the end of the epithem γος / ΓΟΣ /gos/ have a positive meaning; while those which are not stressed at the end of the epithem have a negative one.
Positive meaning examples: Hirurgós, agathoergós, panourgós.
Negative meaning examples: Panoúrgos, kakoúrgos, áergos. 
Even the Greeks themselves pronounce these words wrong, with most characteristic of all mistakes; the term Hirurgós as Hirúrgos, ergo; Evil Man working / evil done by hand".