Key Players in the Ancient Period

Aeschines 380-322 BC Aeschines was a Greek statesman and orator in Ancient Greece. He was designated as one of the 10 greatest Attic orators of his time. He is best known as the arch-enemy of Demosthenes.
Aesop 6th C BC The presumed creator of fables, depicted as deformed and with a speech problem
Alcmaeon 500 BC A Greek medical writer and philosopher who proposed that pneuma or a kind of life spirit is contained in the arteries. He saw the brain as the seat of intelligence.
Anaxagoras 500-428 BC A Greek natural scientist and philosopher. He proposed that the brain was the organ of the mind.
Antyllus 150 AD A Greek surgeon, known for developing a surgery for aneurysms that involved tying the artery on each side and excising the aneurysm. His surgery method became a standard procedure and remained so until the 19th century.
Aphthonius of Antioch 4th C AD A Greek philosopher, orator, and teacher of rhetoric who created an instructional handbook for teaching rhetoric. It was called Progymnasmata.
Apollonius Molon 70 BC A teacher of oratory who, most famously, taught Cicero.
Aretaeus of Cappadocia 30-90 AD A well-regarded Greek physician, living in Turkey whose writings on diseases offered detailed examples of symptoms of many diseases that are recognizable today. For example he gave descriptions of diabetes, pneumonia, pleurisy, tuberculosis, tetanus, diphtheria and paralysis.
Aristotle 384-322 BC A famous Greek philosopher who wrote over 150 books that are now classics. He argued that thinking takes place in the heart. He wrote about oratory and about speech disorders.
Asclepiades of Bithynia 124-40 BC A Greek physician who practiced in Rome at the end of the 2nd century BC. He developed and subscribed a theory that disease resulted from an irregular or inharmonious motion of the corpuscles of the body.
Asclepios C 8th C BC A renowned Greek physician who became elevated to the status of a god. He was worshipped at temples dedicated to him throughout Greece by those who were searching for cures to their illnesses.
Caelius Aurelianus 5TH C AD A Roman physician and author who separated problems of voice from those of speech.
Aurelius Cornelius Celsus 25 BC-60 AD A Roman encyclopedist who wrote a detailed account of medical practice. He is considered to be one of the most important contributors to medicine and science during in the Roman empire.
Cicero 106-40 BC A Greek orator and politician who wrote among many other things, treatises on oratory.
Claudius 10 BC-54 AD A Roman emperor who may have had cerebral palsy. He ruled aptly, creating many long-lasting public works.
Dedimus 313-398 AD A monk and Alexandrian philosoher, blinded in childhood. Developed a system to teach the blind to read.
Democritus 460-370 BC A Greek physician who proposed that matter was made up minute units called “atoms.” He (and Plato) believed in a tripartite soul located in the head, heart, and liver.
Demosthenes 384-322 BC An influential Greek orator and statesman whose modern-day claim to fame is that he overcame his speech disorder.
Diocles 375-300 BC A Greek physician who believed the heart was the source of sensation and intelligence.
Dioscorides 1st century AD A medical botanist who wrote a five-volume treatise on the preparation, properties, and testing of drugs, called De Materia Medica. His book served as a basis for pharmaceutical and herbal use for 1500 years.
Edwin Smith Papyrus 1700 BC A medical treatise written by three Egyptian physicians around 1700 BC. It contains a description of 48 medical cases including a description of the type of injury involved in each case, its location in the body, and the examination and treatment required. Edwin Smith was an American antique collector who purchased the papyrus in 1862.
Empedocles 492-432 BC A Sicilian philosopher, poet and physician. He had different reputations among contemporaries ranging from being a mystic, a scientist, a healer, a living god, and a charlatan. He postulated that the world was made up of four elements, and the body made up of humors.
En-hedu-ana 2300-2225 BC A Sumerian priestess and important religious figure.
Erasistratus 330-255 BC A Greek anatomist, living in Alexandria Egypt. He was the first brain localizationist and was famous for his studies of brain anatomy. He also subscribed to a theory of pneuma (vital and psychic).
Esagil-kin-apli C1069 A Babylonian physician who pioneered methods of diagnosis and prognosis based on observable symptoms.
Galen 131-200 AD A very significant Greek anatomist who practiced during Roman times. His profound influence lasted 1500 years! Galen adapted and refined humor theory.
Gorgias 485-380 BC A 4th century BC Sicilian philosopher and rhetorician, known for his powers of persuasion. He was itinerant teacher who also performed publicly as an orator in major cities of Greece.
Haly Abbas 930-994 AD A Persian physician and psychologist who wrote an influential text on medical theories and practices.
Hermogenes of Tarsus 2nd century AD A Greek orator who wrote an influential book on rhetorical style.
Herophilus 335-280 BC A Greek anatomist and physician who started the Alexandrian school of medicine in Egypt. He systematically studied the nervous system and brain through anatomical dissections.
Hippocrates 460-370 BC A Greek physician who elaborated on the humor theory, originated by Empedocles. Hippocrates wrote Hippocratic oath that is still used today, in a different version. He and his followers wrote a highly influential corpus that was followed for centuries. He saw disease as physically caused rather than caused by gods.
Hygiea Greek Goddess of health, cleanliness and sanitation.
Imhotep 2640 BC An Egyptian physician and vizier to a pharaoh. He hypothesized that the soul is located in the heart.
Isocrates 436-338 BC Isocrates was a philosopher, educator, and speech writer. He began his professional career as a courtroom speech writer and after a decade of working in this capacity he set up his own school to teach rhetoric and provide a civic education to upper-class boys.
Plato 427-347 BC A famous Greek philosopher who hypothesized, along with others, that thinking is located in the brain, not the heart. He subscribed to pneuma theory.
Pliny the Elder 23-79 AD A Roman author, naturalist, archivist, and naval and military commander. He wrote a 37 volume book on natural history. In his book he outlined, among other things, herbal remedies for medical problems. He also indicated the possibility of selective loss of memory with head injury offering an example of a man who, when struck by a stone, forgot how to read.
Praxagoras 340 BC A Greek natural scientist who subscribed to pneuma theory. He distinguished between arteries and veins and portrayed arteries seen being like air tubes carrying the breath of life (pneuma)
Pythagoras 580-489 BC A mathematician and philosopher who forwarded the theory that the world was made up of four basic elements: air, water, earth and fire.
Quintilian 35-100 AD Quintilian was a Roman rhetorician, writer, and teacher in the first century AD whose educational methods for teaching rhetoric were used throughout the middle ages and well into modern times.
Quintas Pedius ?? to 43 BC A Roman painter who was deaf
Rufus of Ephesus 1st century AD A Greek physician who wrote at least 96 different treatises on a variety of subjects, including dietetics, pathology, anatomy, and patient care. He also wrote about social aspects of medicine, including the treatment of slaves and the elderly.
Seneca 1 BC – 65 AD Lucius Annaeus Seneca was a politician, philosopher, playwright, and student of rhetoric. Seneca was trained as an orator.
Sextus Empiricus 160-210 AD A Greek physician and philosopher. He was an proponent of philosophical skepticism, in which the philosopher withholds judgment about whether an external reality exists.
Soranus of Ephesus 98-138 AD A Greek physician who practiced in Rome. He was best known for his contributions to gynecology. He was also the chief of the Methodical school of medicine—a school that focused more on treatment than diagnoses or etiologies. He differentiated between speech disorders caused by tongue paralysis and other causes.
Theophrastus 372-287 BC A Greek philosopher who wrote on the classification of plants. He became the head of Aristotle’s Peripatetic School in Athens after Aristotle’s death.
Valerius Maximus 30 AD Created the earliest known report of a person with alexia.