Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hepatoscopy, Colonoscopy & You

The Famous Bronze Sheep Liver of Piacenza
"Hepatoscopy, which predicted by examining the sacrificed liver of an animal, was one of the earliest popular techniques of prophecy among the Assyro-Babylonians.  It seems to have been used in China in the Bronze Age.  Then the Romans and many others continued the practice.  The liver impressed the diviners by its large size, its interesting shape, and its heavy burden of blood.  An elaborate bronze model of a sheep's liver, which survives from Piacenza, Italy, is covered with inscriptions indicating what was to be foretold by the condition of each part.  Every conceivable human activity - from the knotting of strings to the interpretation of dreams - has become an oracle, witnessing man's desperate eagerness for clues to his future."  (The Discoverers by Daniel J. Boorstin)  Yeah, but hepatoscopy?  So is there a bronze model of a sheep's colon out there somewhere too?  And if so, is that the original "colonoscopy"?  There is a parallel there, I suppose, in that your physician is trying to divine the likelihood of colon cancer.  My point?  Colonoscopy saves lives, have you had one recently?

The Good News:  Congrats K&T!