The Hospital in History, c. 3500 BCE–c. 500 CE

  • Tiffany A. ZieglerEmail author
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


This chapter explores the history of the hospital, beginning with early man and ending with Late Antiquity, by providing a brief background as to how certain civilizations—the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Muslims, the Christians, and the Romans—dispensed early healthcare. Key to this chapter is the introduction of temples, the first pseudo hospital, where healing occurred through the supernatural powers of the gods, such as Imhotep and Apollo. “Temple incubation”—as it came to be known—set the stage for later hospital developments, while great medical advancements came with the works of Hippocrates, Galen, Avicenna, and Averroes. Finally, the chapter considers the important public role, or the lack thereof, that governments played in healthcare, as well as the introduction of Christianity .


Egypt Greece Rome Temple incubation Imhotep Apollo 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryMidwestern State UniversityWichita FallsUSA

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