History of Medicine: Ancient Civilizations Through the Renaissance

  • Primitive Times 4000 BC – 3000 BC

    • Thought illness and disease a punishment from the Gods
    • Witch doctors used herbs and plants as medicines
  • Egyptians 3000 BC – 300 BC

    Egyptians 3000 BC – 300 BC
    • Physicians were priests
    • Treated illness with bloodletting and leeches
  • Ancient Chinese (1700 BC –AD220)

    Ancient Chinese (1700 BC –AD220)
    • Used acupuncture
    • Believed to cure the body you must nourish the spirit
  • Greeks (1200 BC – 200 BC)

    Greeks (1200 BC – 200 BC)
    • First to observe the human body and the effects of disease
    • Believed disease the result of natural causes
  • Romans (753 BC – AD410)

    Romans (753 BC – AD410)
    • Established the first hospitals by caring for soldiers in their homes.
    • Built sewers and aqueducts to create the first public health and sanitation systems.
  • Dark Ages (AD400 – AD 800)

    Dark Ages (AD400 – AD 800)
    • Emphasis on saving the soul – the study of medicine was prohibited
    • Monks and priests treated patients with prayer
  • Middle Ages (AD 800 – AD 1400)

    Middle Ages (AD 800 – AD 1400)
    • Renewed interest in the medical practices of the Greeks and Romans
    • Bubonic plague killed 75% of the people in Europe
  • Renaissance (AD 1350 – AD 1650)

    Renaissance (AD 1350 – AD 1650)
    • Dissection of the body led to understanding of anatomy and physiology
    • Invention of printing press allowed medical knowledge to be shared