Medicine Through Time - some key facts

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History Key Facts

Egyptian Empire 3000BC – 1000 BC

Greek Empire 1000BC – 250 BC

Roman Empire 250 BC – AD 500

Middle Ages AD 500 – 1400

Renaissance 1400 - 1650

- Tomb of Eagles at Isbister, 3000 BC

- Asclepeia built – 600 BC

- Hippocrates – Greek doctor, born in Cos around 460 BC. Wrote the ‘Hippocratic Collection’, created the Hippocratic oath, encouraged observation and recording, came up with the 4 humours.

- Galen – born in AD 129 in Greece. Linked 4 humours to treatments – opposites. Proved that the brain controls the body, not the heart. His ideas lasted for so long because he had the backing of the Christian church – he believed that the different parts of the body fitted together so well and worked so perfectly, that it must have been designed – God.

- Roman Empire disintegrated in Western Europe – AD 500

- The Black Deathlate 1340s – believed to be caused by:

- The body’s humours being out of balance

- The movement of the suns and planets

- God and the Devil

- Invisible fumes or poisons in the air

- Common-sense reasons e.g. foul smelling odours from waste.

- In AD 900 the first university medical school in Europe was set up

- Andreas Vesalius – born in 1514 in Brussels. Wrote The Fabric of the Human Body’ (published 1543) with detailed illustrations of the human anatomy. He showed that Galen was wrong about some details e.g.:

- The human jawbone is made up of one piece, not two

- Galen said that blood moves from one side of the heart to the other through holes in the septum, but Vesalius learnt that there aren’t holes so blood must move in another way.

- Ambroise Paré – Born in France in 1510. In 1536 he became an army surgeon and he published ‘Works on Surgery’ in 1575, encouraging people not to cauterise wounds or use boiling oil. He found, by chance (the oil he was using ran out), that using ointment such as his concoction of egg yolks, oil of roses and turpentine, and simple bandages, injured soldiers with gunshot wounds would heal easier.

- William Harvey – Born in Kent in 1578. Shows that blood flows around the body, is carried away from the heart by the arteries and returns to the heart in veins. He proved that the heart acts as a pump, recirculating the blood and that blood does not burn up so another organ isn’t needed to manufacture new blood.

However, because microscopes weren’t developed until 1600s, he couldn’t see the tiny blood vessels called capillaries that carry blood, though he


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