The ancient Greek who helped coin the phrase: "Desperate times call for desperate measures" was Hippocrates. He was a Greek physician and in his work "Amorphisms", he wrote: “For extreme diseases, extreme methods of cure, as to restriction, are most suitable.”

Thus, all throughout history, when people have used the phrase "Desperate times call for desperate measures’ they have meant that actions which seem extreme under normal circumstances are appropriate during times of adversity. To put it in different words, another variation of the idiom is that in extreme and undesirable situations, it is sometimes necessary to take extreme actions.

Regarding Hippocrates, (460 BC—375 BC), he was born on the Island of Cos, Greece and died in Larissa, Thessaly. He was a Greek who lived during Greece's Classical period and is traditionally regarded as the 'Father of Medicine'. Today, he has at least 60 medical writings which have survived through history and bear his name. He was the first to teach that illness had a natural cause rather than the wrath of the gods.

Also, Hippocrates believed that physicians should study anatomy, in particular, that of the spine and its relationship to the nervous system, which controls all functions of the body. In addition, he was the first to believe that a physician's personal observations helped him to recognize the symptoms of diseases that patients ended up getting. He took the practice of medicine from superstition to reality.

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