Medical History


Medical Events

Trepanning found in France

6500 B.C.E.

approximately 1/3 of all skulls dating to around 6500BCE are found with trepanning holes in them. Later Incan (500BCE) and Egyptian (1500BCE) bodies are found with the same markings. (McMillan)

Edwin Smith Papyrus

1900 B.C.E. - 1600 B.C.E.

Earliest known medical literature consisting of 48 case histories, describing condition, diagnosis, and treatment in a rational and systematic way. (Atlas of the Human Body, B McMillan)

Saffron used in Greek ointments

1600 B.C.E. - 1500 BCE

Shown in a fresco, Greeks used Saffron to cure injuries when mixed with oils.

Chinese acupuncture

1000 B.C.E.

Chinese doctors use herbal remedies, massage, and acupuncture as well as rudimentary vaccination against smallpox with cowpox scabs crushed and blown up the nasal passage.

Significant Medical Physicians/Scientists

Imhotep is born

2650 BCE

the first physicians known by that name and "father of Egyptian medicine" although there were much earlier origins of medical knowledge found on surviving papyri.


1050 BCE

Esagil of Borsippa wrote a book listing a wide range of symptoms, his observations of related factors, and recommended techniques for diagnosing ailments.

Hippocrates is born

460 BCE

Renowned Greek physician Hippocrates is born. He advanced a rational system of medical thought that ascribed illness to natural causes rather than supernatural forces.

Greek Physician Galen

129 BCE

Galen used animal dissection as the basis for detailed writing on human anatomy. physicians referenced his work for 1,400 years.

Significant Scientists in History

Antoine Levoisier

1743 - 1794

Father of modern chemistry, found oxygen and hydrogen as the principal parts of combustion (with oxygen and water with hydrogen) in the atmosphere. He also created the form of chemical nomenclature, which we still use today.

Significant Conflicts and Wars

Significant Writers of History

Five writers or authors from five different time periods, broken into colors: green, yellow, orange, red, and purple, indicating the following (in the same order): Early Middle Ages, Renaissance-Reformation, 17th Century, Late 17th-18th Century, and the 18th-20th Century.


800 BCE - 700 BCE

Famous for writing the Greek Epics The Iliad and The Oddysey, displaying polytheism and the enduring spirit of Greek citizens. When he lived is less than accurately known, however Herodotus placed his life around 850 BCE, 400 years before his own, and modern scholars also state 8th or 7th century BCE as the probable time. He is known as the great epic poet and his works canonized modern poetry and literature.

Niccolo Machiavelli

3 May 1469 - 21 June 1527

Famous for writing "The Prince" and advocating a system of government which regarded success as paramount to ethics. He was a philosopher and author, but mostly attributed with assisting in the modern creation of government for the western world.

Miguel de Cervantes

September 1547 - April 1616

He was abducted at age 5 and ransomed until being released and returning to his family in Madrid. He was the author of Novellas as well as a few less than popular writings, however in 1605 the first installment of Don Quixote became popular (while he was in jail for incongruities in his tax collecting books). (same celebrated death date as Shakespeare, but different based on Gregorian/Julian calendars Shakespeare's May 3, 1616)

William Wordsworth

1770 - 1850

An English Romantic Poet, Wordsworth was instrumental in launching the Romantic Age in English literature in the late 18th century with Lyrical Ballads. His magnum opus was likely "The Prelude". Although not close with his father, he was allowed to use his father's library and became acquainted/influenced by: Milton, Shakespeare, and Spenser. Was the Poet Laureate of England from 1838-1850 (his death). Typically wrote about: loss, death, abandonment, separation, and endurance.

Charles Dickens

February 7, 1812 - June 9, 1870

One of the most acclaimed writers of fiction and a well known social critic, Charles Dickens was a child of poverty (father thrown into debtors prison) and sprang into the spotlight with The Pickwick Papers. He was a strong observer of character, social critic, and campaigned for childrens rights as well as other social reforms.