Medical Antiquarian and Rare Medial Books

History of Medicine

 History of medicine in effect is a record of man’s intentional efforts to avoid disease and survive. In the beginning he feared the adverse effects of nature and designated gods to protect him. The Aryans as early as 4000 years ago worshipped fire (Agni), wind (Indra) and the sun (Surya) to safe guard them. Going further back in time as much as 8000 years  ago the stone age man had started to perform surgery. He bored holes in the skulls (trephining) to let sprits out the head. The remnants of these skulls today show evidence of healing to indicate that the man survived the procedure.

Priests and sorcerers were probably the first use medicine for their personal gain by using fears and myths. They were probably the first doctors. Ancient medicine from the Chinese dealt much on remedies from nature such as plants and animals. Shen Nung or the Red Emperor who lived around 2800 BC experimented on plants and discovered their medicinal value. The Ebers papyrus (1500 BC) contains details of Egyptian medicine dating back to 3300 BC and was the first papyrus with descriptions of medical practices, herbal medicines, demonology and mineral medicines. By 400 BC, Susruta, the Brahmin physician described over 1000 diseases and 700 medicinal herbs in the Susruta Samitha. He also described  over 120 surgical instruments and wrote on operations such as amputation, cesarean section, rhinoplasty, lithotomy, excision of tumors and cataract extraction.  

The practice of medicine shifted from God and myth for the first time when Hippocrates around 400 BC proposed the origin of disease from the human body itself: the theory of four humours. Until this time external forces were attributed to disease. Nearly 2000 years later Giroland Fracastoro of Verona in 1546 proposed for the first time the contagion theory of infection. It took another three centuries before the germ theory of disease was proved by Louis Pasteur in 1865.  The impetus to the progress of medicine came with the Zacharias Jansen and the first compound microscope in 1490. Few years later Paracelsus the founded the field of chemical therapeutics with  mercurials as treatment for syphilis. It is mainly in the 19th century that relentless search for causes of diseases began. The advent of 20thcentury saw leap in medical therapeutics, the ground-breaking discovery of Penicillin.

Antiquarian & Rare Medical Book collection from Anton Sebastian Private Collection presented for sale by Antiques International I Books dating from the 16th centuryI History of MedicineI Anton Sebastian Private CollectionAntiquarian and Rare Books in Medicine and Science I History of Medicine I Antiquarian and rare Books in Science I Antiquarian Medical Books I History of Science I Rare Books in Medicine and Science I Rare and Antiquarian Medical Instruments I Rare and Antiquarian Science Instruments



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