Medicine Before 1800
Main Page
Definition of Medicine
Thesis on Medicine
Historical Time Line
Literature About Medicine
Annotated Bibliography
Other Group Work

8000 B.C. - Shamen – first doctor with first medicine
-Drinking blood of wild animal would give hunter special powers
-This might have been beneficial

2000 B.C. – Trepanners – first attempt at surgery
-Brain surgery while person was still alive to keep away evil spirits

2000 B.C. - The goddess Sekhmet was believed to cause or cure diseases and 
priests played a large part in Egyptian medicine.
-Egyptians first to use compression on a wound to stop bleeding
-First pharmacists started in Egypt

450 B.C. to 300 A.D. – Hippocrates most famous doctor in Greek history
-Saw body as having a balance between four humours

-phlegm - Phlegm caused a person to have little energy.
-black bile - Excessive black bile was thought to cause depression.
-yellow bile - Yellow bile gave a person an excessively fiery temperament.

-If person was sick, there was an imbalance of the four humours – therefore, try and balance it.
-Greeks first to keep records of medical history of patients.
-Records also show that they were able to treat bladder stones, hernias, and cataracts.
-First to make clean drinking water and sewers to remove wastes.

700 A.D. to 1500 A.D. – Arabian pharmacists made several improvements towards the medical field
-used alcohol to clean wounds
-treated rich and poor alike
-first to introduce hospitals
-first to use anaesthesia

500 A.D. to 1400 A.D. – Middle Ages, healing battle wounds
-amputations used quite often
-first to encourage training for doctors
-superstitious remedies, prayer, herbal medicines and recipes for clearing the air of the Bubonic Plague…..nothing worked

1400 A.D. to 1700 A.D. – The Renaissance
-Leonardo da Vinci made the first anatomical drawings
-Dissection of human bodies – (only for criminals, and sometimes for punishment when they were dissected alive)
-1628, William Harvey discovered that the heart was a blood-pumping vessel
-In 1661 the Italian scientist Marcello Malpighi identified capillaries
-1683 Bacteria discovered

1700 A.D. to 1800 A.D.
-1780 A.D. Edwerd Jenner found vaccination for smallpox


style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb(204, 255, 255);">Medical history can be stretched back as far as 8000 B.C. where the most important medical treatment was drinking animal blood.  As time went on, the introduction of many new medical techniques and innovations helped structure the society itself.  For example, when the Greeks saw dirt and muck in the water supply correlating to sickness, they quickly worked out the problem by filtering the water and providing an efficient sewage system. The significance of one’s own hygiene became important in the way people lived and how one viewed the general public. Arabian pharmacists introduced books with detailed prescriptions which led to new techniques in pharmacy and the integration of hospitals into society.During the same time period, Eastern Europe had a noticeable decline in medical developments with the existence of the Bubonic Plague and the introduction of amputations.Thankfully, the Renaissance provided a boost of new inventions and ideas.  Several intellectuals led by Leonardo da Vinci studied the human body and progressively learned how it worked.  By 1800 A.D., medical discoveries were far-reaching all across the globe, but as many would soon find out, there was still much to be learned.