Since the dawn of time, man has sought to improve his health and that of his neighbour. The human race, around the world, has been on a long and complex journey, seeking to find out how our bodies work, and what heals them. Embarking on a four-thousand-year odyssey, science historian Allan Chapman brings to life the origin and development of medicine and surgery. Writing with pace and rigorous accuracy, he investigates how we have battled against injury and disease, and provides a gripping and highly readable account of the various victories and discoveries along the way. Drawing on sources from across Europe and beyond, Chapman discusses the huge contributions to medicine made by the Greeks, the Romans, the early medieval Arabs, and above all by Western Christendom, looking at how experiment, discovery, and improving technology impact upon one another to produce progress. This is a fascinating, insightful read, enlivened with many colourful characters and memorable stories of inspired experimenters, theatrical surgeons, student pranks, body-snatchers, 'mad-doctors', quacks, and charitable benefactors.