History of Pharmacology: Europe, Middle Ages

Early civilizations established a strong foundation for the field of pharmacy. Ancient Babylon and Egypt, classical Greece and Rome—all contributed to the field of medicine that the Arabs continued to build upon and bring to medieval Europe via Sicily and Spain. While much pharmaceutical knowledge had roots in classical Greek medicine, it primarily returned to European shores during the Middle Ages with the Muslim advance from the south.

The skills of the medieval apothecary included botanical knowledge, the ability to compound and dispense medicines, and the willingness to diagnose and treat all who came for assistance. The apothecary was also known to perform minor surgical procedures. The apothecary role was first filled by the monks who copied and preserved classical herbal texts. As monasteries served as ...

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