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‘Ambroise Paré and the examination of a patient’ by James Bertrand. Source: Ji-Elle/ CC BY SA 3.0

9 Ancient Physicians and Legendary Healers that Changed Medicine Forever

Most people have heard of the eminent physician Hippocrates and his famous oath. But far fewer know of Shennong, Avicenna, and Andreas Vesalius – some of the lesser-known figures to have transformed...
The conservation of papyrus requires above all craftsmanship, expertise and time. A specialized papyrus conservator was brought to Basel to make this 2000-year-old document legible again.

Experts Finally Decode 2000-year-old ‘Mirror Writing’ Papyrus

Since the 16th century, Basel has been home to a mysterious papyrus. With mirror writing on both sides, it has puzzled generations of researchers. A research team from the University of Basel has now...
Relief of a seated poet (Menander) with masks of New Comedy, 1st century B.C. – early 1st century AD.

Decapitation? No Problem. The Magic of Restoration: Ancient Myths and Practices of Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery, not just a modern practice, has always existed and was shrouded in mystery, magic, and eroticism. An Indian physician named Sushruta, who was widely regarded in India as the “father...
The Extraction of the Stone of Madness by Hieronymus Bosch

Forget Folk Remedies, Medieval Europe Spawned a Golden Age of Medical Theory

It’s often said that there was no tradition of scientific medicine in medieval times. According to the usual narrative of the history of progress, medicine in the European Middle Ages – from around...
Andreas Vesalius: The Medieval Physician Who Loved Dissecting Humans

Andreas Vesalius: The Medieval Physician Who Loved Dissecting Humans

Andreas Vesalius was a physician and anatomist who lived during the 16th century AD. Up until this point of time, the standard authority on anatomy was the work of Galen, a 2nd / 3rd century Greek...
Galen of Pergamon (Claudius Galenus, or in French, Claude Galien) (Paris: Lithograph by Gregoire et Deneux, ca. 1865).

Galen: A Famous Medical Researcher of Classical Antiquity

Galen of Pergamum was one of the most renowned physicians that the Roman Empire had ever produced. In addition to being a celebrated physician, Galen is said to have also been a philosopher. Unlike...
1,400-year-old medicinal treatise of Galen found hidden under hymns in ancient manuscript

1,400-year-old medicinal treatise of Galen found hidden under hymns in ancient manuscript

A 6th century translation of a work of one of the most important ancient Greek doctors has been discovered in an animal-hide manuscript, hidden underneath text of 1,000-year-old hymns. A researcher...