Timeline of Medicine and Medical Technology
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Timeline of Medicine and Medical Technology
Timeline of the
history of medicine and medical technology. [a]
Antiquity 3300 BC - During the
Stone Age, early doctors used very primitive forms of herbal medicine.  3000 BC -
Ayurveda The origins of Ayurveda have been traced back to around 4,000 BCE.  c. 2600 BC -
Imhotep the priest-physician who was later deified as the Egyptian god of medicine.   2500 BC -
Iry Egyptian inscription speaks of Iry as [eye-doctor of the palace,] [palace physician of the belly,] [guardian of the royal bowels,] and [he who prepares the important medicine (name cannot be translated) and knows the inner juices of the body.]  1900 BC - 1600 BC
Akkadian clay tablets on medicine survive primarily as copies from Ashurbanipal's library at Nineveh.  1800 BC -
Code of Hammurabi sets out fees for surgeons and punishments for malpractice  1800 BC -
Kahun Gynecological Papyrus 1600 BC -
Hearst papyrus, coprotherapy and magic  1551 BC -
Ebers Papyrus, coprotherapy and magic  1500 BC -
Saffron used as a medicine on the Aegean island of Thera in ancient Greece 1500 BC -
Edwin Smith Papyrus, an Egyptian medical text and the oldest known surgical treatise (no true surgery) no magic  1300 BC -
Brugsch Papyrus and London Medical Papyrus 1250 BC -
Asklepios  9th century -
Hesiod reports an ontological conception of disease via the Pandora myth. Disease has a "life" of its own but is of divine origin.  8th century -
Homer tells that Polydamna supplied the Greek forces besieging Troy with healing drugs Homer also tells about battlefield surgery Idomeneus tells Nestor after Machaon had fallen: A surgeon who can cut out an arrow and heal the wound with his ointments is worth a regiment.  700 BC -
Cnidos medical school; also one at Cos 500 BC -
Darius I orders the restoration of the House of Life (First record of a (much older) medical school)  : 47 500 BC -
Bian Que becomes the earliest physician known to use acupuncture and pulse diagnosis 500 BC - the
Sushruta Samhita is published, laying the framework for Ayurvedic medicine c. 490 - c. 430 -
Empedocles four elements  510-430 BC -
Alcmaeon of Croton scientific anatomic dissections. He studied the optic nerves and the brain, arguing that the brain was the seat of the senses and intelligence. He distinguished veins from the arteries and had at least vague understanding of the circulation of the blood. Variously described by modern scholars as  Father of Anatomy; Father of Physiology; Father of Embryology; Father of Psychology; Creator of Psychiatry; Founder of Gynecology; and as the Father of Medicine itself. There is little evidence to support the claims but he is, nonetheless, important.    fl. 425 BC -
Diogenes of Apollonia  c. 484 - 425 BC -
Herodotus tells us Egyptian doctors were specialists: Medicine is practiced among them on a plan of separation; each physician treats a single disorder, and no more. Thus the country swarms with medical practitioners, some undertaking to cure diseases of the eye, others of the head, others again of the teeth, others of the intestines,and some those which are not local.  496-405 BC -
Sophocles "It is not a learned physician who sings incantations over pains which should be cured by cutting."  420 BC - Hippocrates of Cos maintains that diseases have natural causes and puts forth the Hippocratic Oath. Origin of rational medicine.
Medicine after Hippocrates
After Galen 200 AD d. 260 -
Gargilius Martialis, short Latin handbook on Medicines from Vegetables and Fruits  4th century
Magnus of Nisibis, Alexandrian doctor and professor book on urine  325-400 -
Oribasius 70 volume encyclopedia  362 -
Julian orders xenones built, imitating Christian charity (proto hospitals)  369 -
Basil of Caesarea founded at Caesarea in Cappadocia an institution (hospital) called Basilias, with several buildings for patients, nurses, physicians, workshops, and schools  375 -
Ephrem the Syrian opened a hospital at Edessa They spread out and specialized nosocomia for the sick, brephotrophia for foundlings, orphanotrophia for orphans, ptochia for the poor, xenodochia for poor or infirm pilgrims, and gerontochia for the old.   400 - The first hospital in Latin Christendom was founded by
Fabiola at Rome  420 -
Caelius Aurelianus a doctor from Sicca Veneria (El-Kef, Tunisia) handbook On Acute and Chronic Diseases in Latin.  447 -
Cassius Felix of Cirta (Constantine, Ksantina, Algeria), medical handbook drew on Greek sources, Methodist and Galenist in Latin  480-547
Benedict of Nursia founder of "monastic medicine"  484-590 - Flavius Magnus Aurelius
Cassiodorus  fl. 511-534 -
Anthimus Greek  536 -
Sergius of Reshaina (died 536) - A Christian theologian-physician who translated thirty-two of Galen's works into Syriac and wrote medical treatises of his own  525-605 -
Alexander of Tralles Alexander Trallianus  500-550 -
Aetius of Amida Encyclopedia 4 books each divided into 4 sections    second half of 6th century building of xenodocheions/bim?rest?ns by the
Nestorians under the Sasanians, would evolve into the complex secular "Islamic hospital", which combined lay practice and Galenic teaching  550-630
Stephanus of Athens   560-636 -
Isidore of Seville c. 620
Aaron of Alexandria Syriac . He wrote 30 books on medicine, the "Pandects". He was the first author in antiquity who mentioned the diseases of smallpox and measles translated by  M?sarjawaih a Syrian Jew and Physician, into Arabic about A. D. 683 c. 630 -
Paul of Aegina Encyclopedia in 7 books very detailed surgery used by Albucasis    790-869 -
Leo Itrosophist also Mathematician or Philosopher wrote "Epitome of Medicine" c. 800-873 -
Al-Kindi (Alkindus) De Gradibus 820 -
Benedictine hospital founded, School of Salerno would grow around it  857d -
Mesue the elder (Yann? ibn M?sawayh) Syriac Christian  c. 830-870 -
Hunayn ibn Ishaq (Johannitius) Syriac-speaking Christian also knew Greek and Arabic. Translator and author of several medical tracts.  c. 838-870 -
Ali ibn Sahl Rabban al-Tabari, writes an encyclopedia of medicine in Arabic.  c. 910d -
Ishaq ibn Hunayn 9th century -
Yahya ibn Sarafyun a Syriac physician Johannes Serapion, Serapion the Elder  c. 865-925 -
Rhazes pediatrics,  and makes the first clear distinction between  smallpox and measles in his al-Hawi. d. 955 -
Isaac Judaeus Isq ibn Sulaym?n al-Isrl? Egyptian born Jewish physician  913-982 -
Shabbethai Donnolo alleged founding father of School of Salerno wrote in Hebrew  d. 982-994 -
'Ali ibn al-'Abbas al-Majusi Haly Abbas  1000 -
Albucasis (936-1018) surgery Kitab , al-Tasrif surgical instruments.  1020 -
Ammar ibn `Ali al-Mawsili performed the first successful eye surgery. Using a needle and removing a cataract.  d. 1075 -
Ibn Butlan Christian physician of Baghdad Tacuinum sanitatis the Arabic original and most of the Latin copies, are in tabular format  1018-1087 -
Michael Psellos or Psellus a Byzantine monk, writer, philosopher, politician and historian. several books on medicine  c. 1030 -
Avicenna The The Canon of Medicine Canon remains a standard textbook in Muslim and European universities until the 18th century. c. 1071-1078 -
Simeon Seth or Symeon Seth an 11th-century Jewish Byzantine translated Arabic works into Greek  1084 - First documented hospital in England Canterbury
 1087d -
Constantine the African  1083-1153 -
Anna Komnene, Latinized as Comnena 1095 - Congregation of the Antonines, was founded to treat victims of "
St. Anthony's fire" a skin disease.  late 11th early 12th century -
Trotula  1123 -
St Bartholomew's Hospital founded by the court jester Rahere Augustine nuns originally cared for the patients. Mental patients were accepted along with others  1127 -
Stephen of Antioch translated the work of Haly Abbas 1100-1161 -
Avenzoar Teacher of Averroes  1170 -
Rogerius Salernitanus composed his Chirurgia also known as The Surgery of Roger 1126-1198 -
Averroes  c. 1161d - Matthaeus Platearius
1500-1799 early 16th century:
Pierre Franco    
Ambroise Paré (1510-1590) pioneered the treatment of gunshot wounds.    Bartholomeo Maggi at Bologna, Felix Wurtz of Zurich, Léonard Botal in Paris, and the Englishman Thomas Gale (surgeon), (the diversity of their geographical origins attests to the widespread interest of surgeons in the problem), all published works urging similar treatment to Paré's. But it was Paré's writings which were the most influential.  1518 - College of Physicians founded now known as
Royal College of Physicians of London is a British professional body of doctors of general medicine and its subspecialties. It received the royal charter in 1518  1510-1590 -
Ambroise Paré surgeon  1540-1604 -
William Clowes   - Surgical chest for military surgeons    1543 -
Andreas Vesalius publishes De Fabrica Corporis Humani which corrects Greek medical errors and revolutionizes European medicine   1546 -
Girolamo Fracastoro proposes that epidemic diseases are caused by transferable seedlike entities 1550-1612 - Peter Lowe
   1553 -
Miguel Serveto describes the circulation of blood through the lungs. He is accused of heresy and burned at the stake 1556 -
Amato Lusitano describes venous valves in the Ázigos vein 1559 -
Realdo Colombo describes the circulation of blood through the lungs in detail 1563 -
Garcia de Orta founds tropical medicine with his treatise on Indian diseases and treatments 1570-1643 -
John Woodall Ship surgeons used lemon juice to treat scurvy wrote "The Surgions Mate"   1590 -
Microscope was invented, which played a huge part in medical advancement 1596 -
Li Shizhen publishes B?nc?o G?ngmù or Compendium of Materia Medica 1603 -
Girolamo Fabrici studies leg veins and notices that they have valves which allow blood to flow only toward the heart 1621-1676 -
Richard Wiseman      1628 -
William Harvey explains the circulatory system in Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus 1683-1758 -
Lorenz Heister    1688-1752 -
William Cheselden      1701 -
Giacomo Pylarini gives the first smallpox inoculations in Europe. They were widely practised in the East before then. 1714-1789 -
Percivall Pott      1720 -
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu 1728-1793 -
John Hunter     1736 -
Claudius Aymand performs the first successful appendectomy 1744-1795 -
Pierre-Joseph Desault   First surgical periodical   1747 -
James Lind discovers that citrus fruits prevent scurvy 1749-1806 -
Benjamin Bell - Leading surgeon of his time and father of a surgical dynasty system of surgery   1752-1832 -
Antonio Scarpa     1763-1820 -
John Bell     1766-1842 -
Dominique Jean Larrey Surgeon to Napoleon        1768-1843 -
Astley Cooper surgeon   lectures  principles and practice   1774-1842 -
Charles Bell, surgeon     1774 -
Joseph Priestley discovers nitrous oxide, nitric oxide, ammonia, hydrogen chloride and oxygen 1777-1835 -
Baron Guillaume Dupuytren - Head surgeon at  Hôtel-Dieu de Paris,  The age Dupuytren   1785 -
William Withering publishes "An Account of the Foxglove" the first systematic description of digitalis in treating dropsy 1790 -
Samuel Hahnemann rages against the prevalent practice of bloodletting as a universal cure and founds homeopathy 1796 -
Edward Jenner develops a smallpox vaccination method 1799 - Humphry Davy discovers the anesthetic properties of nitrous oxide
2000 - present
^ The dates given for these medical works are uncertain.
A Tribute to Hinduism suggests that Sushruta lived in the 5th century BC.
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Benivieni, Antonio; Polybus; Guinterius, Joannes (1529). . apud Andream Cratandrum De abditis nonnullis ac mirandis morborum & sanationum causis . Retrieved 2012.
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