Historians have long assumed the origin of modern medical practice occurred in the Fourth Century B.C. HIPPOCRATES is the accepted Father of Medicine. Students of medical history have been taught that competent medical procedures including anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, surgery, and gynecology are of comparatively recent development. History books disdainfully dismiss the ancient era prior to Hippocratic Greece. Certainly, every medical textbook describes it as a medically ignorant and obsolete age. This TRADITIONAL history of ancient medicine is in error! The widely-accepted theory developed from the Historical Hypothesis, which stated authoritatively: ANCIENT GREECE IS THE ORIGIN OF MODERN CIVILIZATION. All study was based on this premise; history was warped to cover this structure. The History of Medicine was written to conform to the fallacious theory!
Purpose of This Thesis
The average medical history book presents a hollow, empty description of ancient medicine. The reader is led to believe that the empty incantations of a primitive, superstitious priesthood were the sum total of medical aid there available. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Exhaustive research in this century has proved that a CAPABLE medical faculty was established in EGYPT over forty centuries ago! There is no longer any doubt that the Egyptians and other peoples studied medicine and surgery in medical colleges of the Middle East. A competent grasp of medical procedures was a universal phenomenon in that distant age! This Thesis is an attempt to put forth a more complete history of the Origin of Medicine. Not until this century has it been possible to ascertain the FACTS of medical history. Working from a faulty historical HYPOTHESIS, historians have drawn inaccurate conclusions concerning the level of advancement of ancient medicine. The result is no secular source has grasped the significance behind the highly developed practice of medicine in the early ages! This thesis recognizes that, from its origin, medicine was essentially supernaturally oriented as were all facets of ancient life. When properly understood, this ancient relationship between medicine and the supernatural was far removed from what, today, is derisively called witchcraft. Considering the supernatural element in the ancient origin of medicine, it is not surprising to find this subject rather thoroughly dealt with in the BIBLE. Therefore, the Specific Purposes of this thesis are to show the following points: 1. That advanced medical practice had its origin in ancient Egypt not Greece. 2. That the theory that medicine originated as an "empiric science" after 500 B.C. apart from earlier supernatural intervention is a modern stylization. 3. That modern disease was equally an ancient curse. 4. That medical practice was in fact a highly advanced art 2200 years B.C. 5. That all ancient history identifies one physician as the initiator of medicine in the post-diluvian era. 6. That the origin of medical practice occurred as a result of sudden necessity in that ancient time.
The development of medicine played a vital role in the establishment of civilization in the post-diluvian era. A survey of the available works on medical history showed that this important facet of history has been completely overlooked! As AMBASSADOR COLLEGE is actively interested in the proper restoration of history especially of those ages which tend to set the pattern for present civilization, a study of this subject was believed to be of importance! 1. Although modern research techniques have recently made available much additional information, it appears the discoveries have not been properly understood in relation to general history. Much new information in the form of medical artifacts has also been discovered! The question was, "Did the same fault appear in the treatment of medical history?" Is medical history out of date? If so, an entirely new approach to the History of Medicine must be expressed. 2. It became evident that modern research techniques have enabled researchers to make startling advances toward more complete, realistic comprehension of medical origins. Recent, accurate translations of the medical papyri have given Egyptologists a firm grasp on the meaning of the ancient medical textbooks for the first time. The work in paleopathology, pioneered by Sir Marc Armand Ruffer, has opened a new dimension in understanding the diseases of ancient peoples. Together with archaeological developments in India, China, and Latin America, a new, more correct explanation of ancient medicine must be written. 3. The modern treatment of medical history is an attempt to reconstruct the past apart form God and the supernatural. The result has been a m้lange of fact and fancy. To be able to understand the new picture of ancient medicine projected by modern research and its proper perspective in history, the Bible must be referred to as an authoritative record! A treatment of medical history which stresses the most up-to-date research, carefully considers the most ancient secular records, and appeals to the Bible as an authority, has not been attempted before. This thesis is an original work, which potentially may add understanding to the task of restoring man's history!
Definition of Terms
In the context of this paper, the following terms were used as defined: Hippocrates: though he appears as a semi-fictitious figure in history, his relationship to medicine is referred to as it is modernly expressed. Chronology: the dating of all eras discussed is based on The Compendium of History, by Dr. Herman Hoeh. Ancient History: that period of time beginning with the establishment of human government and civilization after the Deluge.
1. For the purpose of this work, the thesis was limited to the explanation of the advancement of medicine in the post-diluvian age. Therefore, the earliest records included, date to 2369 B.C. This study does not consider medical developments in the Old World. Numerous historians have written in support of speculation that medicine first originated in pre-flood times. For example: "Schulze, a German . . . traces the origin of Medicine to the period of the Fall . . . he also points out the strong probability that ADAM, yielding to the all-authoritative voice of necessity, [first] discharged the office of physician. "Le Clerc, a French writer . . . whose History of Medicine is a work of merit . . . traces the practice of Medicine in its various branches to the days of Adam, whom he shows to have been, of necessity, the first Physician, Surgeon, and Accoucheur in the world!
"Brambilla, head of the Academy of Surgery at Vienna in 1783 labours to trace the invention of surgical instruments to TUBAL CAIN [who was the pre-flood Dionysius] . . . as the 22nd verse of Genesis 4 informs us, 'an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron,' and hence not unlikely to have been . . . the first contriver of simple surgical instruments" (Hamilton, The History of Medicine, Surgery and Anatomy, pp. 2-4).
Such speculation is not within the scope of this study! 2. In addition, this thesis covers primarily the rise of medicine in Egypt and Mesopotamia. India, China, and Latin America were contemporary centers of civilization. History records, as discussed in Chapter V, that the earliest physicians in India, China, and Latin America were those of Egypt-Mesopotamia! For this reason the history of medical development in each of these three countries is not exhaustively covered.
Organization of the Remainder of the Study
The remainder of this thesis is divided into seven chapters as described below: Chapter I explains why Hippocrates is not the historical Father of Medicine. Chapter II presents the classical approach to medicine as opposed to its more modern view. Chapter III provides an analysis of disease in the ancient world. Chapter IV demonstrates that a competent medical faculty had been developed 1500 years before Hippocrates. Chapter V presents an identification of the earliest physicians in history. Chapter VI provides the explanation of why medical practice was necessary in the foundation of ancient civilizations. Chapter VII presents a general summary of the thesis.
Sherwin McMichael Bricket Wood, England, May, 1969