MEDICAL SCIENCE LANGUAGES ACROSS HUMAN HISTORY
The Edwin Smith Papyrus is written in ancient Egyptian language around 1,600 BC. The earliest foundations of Ayurveda medicine is written in Sanskrit dating from about 600 BC. The foundational text of Chinese medicine is the Huangdi neijing, (Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon), written 5th century to 3rd century BC. The oldest written sources of western medicine are the Hippocratic writings from the 5th and 4th centuries BC written in Greek. During the Middle Ages (800–1,500 AD), Arabic was the language of medicine in most parts of the world. Scholars from different parts of the world were gathered in ‘Bait ul Hikma’ at Baghdad. They translated scientific works from Greek, Syriac, Pahlavi, and Sanskrit into Arabic. After Renaissance (14th AD), in Europe, both Greek and Arabic works were translated into Latin. Latin supplanted Greek as the preeminent medical language and remained so until the early 1800s. Then followed the era of the national medical languages. Since the 1950s, English has been the principal language of the medical profession. The global language of medicine in the 21st century is English.
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