*SYMPTOMS: 120809 working notes

120809 research on – symptoms and meaning


Principle #10


There almost always was a time before the patient was sick. To get well, the physician enables the patient to retrace his steps back to that seminal event or decision which changed his life. The patient is made to understand that he is has the freedom of choice to decide differently as to how he will respond.

Copyright © 2009, Traditional Jewish Medicine and TCM


This was after spending most of my day online searching for some indication of where the concept of ‘symptom’ ever entered our medical model thinking in the first place.

Looking simply at the Webster definition of the word ‘symptom’ it is clear to me that it is primarily – and only – a subjective evidence of – SOMETHING.  All a symptom does is indicate “the existence of something else.”  It is a sign, only a sign, and nothing about a symptom tells anyone anything useful.

I feel as if I am left playing with a popped balloon!  Considering the massive numbers of Google results I just found, I would think that the word ‘symptom’ actually MEANT something.  It doesn’t.


As soon as I saw the etymology of this word, I understood in my image processing right brain that in the English language the IDEA of a symptom is nothing more than looking at a fallen feather either in the presence of the bird that feather came from or not, and apply effort to find the connection between that particular feather and the bird it came from.  If one had enough information to determine what kind of bird the feather came from one could always determine the origin of the feather and know what kind of bird the feather came from.

Yet where in our current medical model thinking did we assume we could simply look at any feather – any symptom – in anyone and determine without any doubt the ‘bird’ it ‘came from’?  I can understand how we could use this logic to say we can determine a species of plant or tree by examining one individual leaf, but all we are really accomplishing with this logic is identifying a matching patterns – leaf matches tree, feather matches bird.

So how does ‘symptom’ relate to any possible ‘illness’ or ‘sickness’ or ‘disease’?

‘Sym’ or ‘syn’ as a prefix:

Main Entry: syn-

Variant(s): or sym-

Function: prefix

Etymology: New Latin, from Greek, from syn with, together with

1 : with : along with : together <synclinal> <sympetalous>
2 : at the same time <synesthesia>


Main Entry: symptom

Function: noun

Etymology: Late Latin symptomat-, symptoma, from Greek symptōmat-, symptōma happening, attribute, symptom, from sympiptein to happen, from syn- + piptein to fall — more at feather

Date: 1541

1 a : subjective evidence of disease or physical disturbance; broadly : something that indicates the presence of bodily disorder b : an evident reaction by a plant to a pathogen
2 a : something that indicates the existence of something else <symptoms of an inner turmoil> b : a slight indication : trace

synonyms see sign



1. A characteristic sign or indication of the existence of something else.
2. A sign or an indication of disorder or disease, especially when experienced by an individual as a change from normal function, sensation, or appearance.
3. Etymology: from about 1541, earlier sinthoma (1398), from Medieval Latin (c.700-c.1500) sinthoma, “symptom of a disease”; from Late Latin (c.300-c.700) symptoma, from Greek symptoma (genitive symptomatos), “a happening, an accident, a disease”; from the stem of sympiptein, “to befall”; from syn-, “together” + piptein, “to fall”. Spelling was altered in English by Middle French (c.1400-c.1600) and Late Latin forms.


I was suspicious of the date of 1541 this word made its way into modern English.  Even looking at the earlier versions of the word as they trace back into Greek I felt suspicious because I can clearly see that the word and the meaning we place in it are firmly implanted singularly within a particular view of the world – a Western one.

Because we equate ‘symptom’ with ‘medicine’ I wanted a broader perspective on how the two might fit together for us NOW in our lives, especially for those of us who survived early infant-child Trauma Altered Development.  We are so often told we have a ‘diagnosis’ and therefore fit into label categories formed through groupings of ‘symptoms’.  To what ‘bird’ are our ‘symptoms’ attributed?


Not a good sign that the first place I go look for the connection between the word ‘symptom’ and the current handling survivors of severe infant-child abuse receive by our current medical model thinking is to the Inquisition.  The date 1541 fits into this picture:

The inquisition, orchestrated by the Catholic Church to suppress heretics began before the 12th century.

“In the 13th century, Pope Gregory IX (reigned 1227–1241) assigned the duty of carrying out inquisitions to the Dominican Order…. After the end of the twelfth century, a Grand Inquisitor headed each Inquisition. Inquisition in this way persisted until the 19th century.”

“…when the institutional Church felt itself threatened by what it perceived as the schism of the Protestant Reformation, it reacted. Paul III (Pope from 1534 to 1549) established a system of tribunals, administered by the “Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Universal Inquisition”, and staffed by cardinals and other Church officials. This system would later become known as the Roman Inquisition.”  (See full reference here)


Historians distinguish four different manifestations of the Inquisition:

  1. the Medieval Inquisition (1184–1230s)
  2. the Spanish Inquisition (1478–1834)
  3. the Portuguese Inquisition (1536–1821)
  4. the Roman Inquisition (1542 – c. 1860 )

Because of its objective — combating heresy — the Inquisition had jurisdiction only over baptised members of the Church (which, however, encompassed the vast majority of the population in Catholic countries). Secular courts could still try non-Christians for blasphemy. (Most witch trials went through secular courts.)


Thinking about the Inquisition is fresh in my mind having just finished watching (free) online the PBS documentaries on the work of Galileo and the resulting persecutions he endured at the hands of the Catholic Church.  Heresy!  The earth does not move!  It, not the sun is the center of the universe!  He was forced to recant his scientific findings to avoid being killed, and in 1634 entered into house arrest and was banned from ever studying astronomy again (though he laid the groundwork in the physics of motion for all who followed him).

How clear thinking and free of Church influence were the powers that controlled Western thought in this era?  Humm….  1634 – nearly 100 years AFTER the word ‘symptom’ entered modern English.


Ayurvedic medicine: meaning “science of life” in Sanskrit, this 5,000-year-old healing system is right in sync with our growing awareness of the mind-body connection Natural Health, June, 2004 by Jill Neimark

Ayurvedic medicine first came to this country three decades ago in the work of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. In 1991, it entered mass consciousness through Deepak Chopra’s Perfect Health.


Sanskrit Application in Modern Medicine

“Hindu medicine, called ayurveda in Sanskrit, was extremely advanced in ancient times, and much of the knowledge gained thousands of years ago continues to influence many fields of medicine today. Ayurveda, translated as “the science of life,” is currently recognized by the World Health Organization as a highly sophisticated system of natural health, with extensive systems of empiric scientific literature and advanced clinical procedures stemming from the Vedic discipline, the oldest continuing system of knowledge in the world…The ancient Hindus developed advanced medical techniques without the influence of other major civilizations in existence at the time, such as the Greek civilization….


Traditional Chinese medicine

“Much of the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine derives from the same philosophy that inform Taoist and Buddhist thought, and reflects the classical Chinese belief that the life and activity of individual human beings have an intimate relationship with the environment on all levels.”  First supposed Chinese book of medicine written by the Yellow Emperor (2698 – 2596 BCE)


Jewish Traditional Medicine

Ancient Hebrew Medicine


We do not know about the influence that ancient Egyptian medical practices had on the development of the Early Greek ones.  Whatever the crossover might have been, certainly in its early eras Egyptian medicine was profoundly affected by religious beliefs about the nature of illness.

Ancient Egypt: Ancient Egyptian Medicine

The True Fathers Of Medicine Were Egyptian, Not Greek

May 15, 2007 – from Medical News Today

“Scientists examining documents dating back 3,500 years say they have found proof that the origins of modern medicine lie in ancient Egypt and not with Hippocrates and the Greeks.

The research team from the KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology at The University of Manchester discovered the evidence in medical papyri written in 1,500BC – 1,000 years before Hippocrates was born.”  Rest of article HERE

Compare and contrast Greek and Egyptian medicine In 3500Bc Egypt

The Transitions from ancient Egyptian to Greek medicine

About.com on Greco-Roman Medicine

Ancient Greek Medicine

Ancient Roman Medicine

Oriental and Islamic Medicine – “The Islamic Authorities placed a lot of value in medicine. Baghdad had a hospital by AD 850 and doctors had to pass medical examinations by AD 931 in order to practice. Hospitals were later developed throughout the Islamic world, with the most famous being those in Damascus and Cairo. “

Medicine in Medieval and Early Modern Europe


The search for and recovery of ancient texts fed the Italian Renaissance through a revival of the ‘Latin West” –once the printing press had been invented these ancient texts could be printed and disseminated, leading to the advancement of science, etc.  – see:

“The appetite of European scholars for the recovery of ancient wisdom was far from satiated, and in the fifteenth century the search for long-lost texts was pursued with ardour. Remote monasteries were visited in the hope of unearthing some forgotten classical manuscript, and textual analysis developed with the aim of removing the accretions introduced by Arabic intermediaries, thereby displaying the shining purity of the classical originals.”


Ancient Greek medicine

“The first known Greek medical school opened in Cnidus in 700 BC. Alcmaeon, author of the first anatomical work, worked at this school, and it was here that the practice of observing patients was established. Hippocrates established his own medical school at Cos.[1] Despite their known respect for Egyptian medicine, attempts to discern any particular influence on Greek practice at this early time have not been dramatically successful because of the lack of sources and the challenge of understanding ancient medical terminology. It is clear, however, that the Greeks imported Egyptian substances into their pharmacopoeia, and the influence becomes more pronounced after the establishment of a school of Greek medicine in Alexandria.[2]

The Hippocratic Corpus contains the core medical texts of this school.”


The Arab Influence on the Italian Renaissance

Jeff Matthews

After Islam’s rapid spread from Spain to India, Muslims founded the city of Baghdad in 800, and it is here that the Muslim quest for knowledge begins, the manifestation of an insatiable curiosity  (to use Einstein’s choice phrase from many centuries later) “to figure out how the Old Man runs the universe.” It is in Baghdad  that the Muslims founded their great school of translation, the incredible ambition of which was to translate as much as they could find of science, astronomy, mathematics, music, geography and philosophywhatever remained of Classical Greek knowledge. It meant going even further afieldto Indiato study the mathematics and philosophy of those who had written in classical Sanskrit centuries earlier.

In 800 this was by no means an easy task. Much classical Greek writing had not survived the centuries of neglect by Christians inimical to “pagan” thought. As early as the year 500, the great library at Alexandria was a ruin and, a few years later, Justinian closed Plato’s Academy in Athens because it was a hotbed of pagan (non-Christian) philosophy. Arab scholars, then, translated into Arabic the few Greek texts that remained, or translated from languages into which the Greek originals had previously been translated by scholars who had left Greece for parts east. These were mainly exiled Nestorian Christians from Greece, and Classical Greek scholars from Plato’s academy who had fled to Persia, where they founded a great center of learning at Jundishapur (before the coming of Islam) and translated much of their material into Aramaic, the lingua franca of the Middle East at the time. After Baghdad, the Arabs later started equally fine centers of scholarship in Spain at Cordoba and Toledo.

Transmission of this glorious knowledge from The Muslim world into Italy happened primarily through Spain and Sicily; that is, the great courts of learning in Cordoba and the pre-Crusades court of Norman Sicily in the 12th century. It is in Sicily, particularly, that Norman tolerance provided for the coexistence of Byzantine Greek, Italian Christian, and Arab scholars. It was, perhaps, the last great period of human tolerance in European history.

“One of the great medical translators from Arabic into Latin was Constantine of Carthage [Sicily] (known as “The African”). In the middle of the 11th century, he came to teach at the medical school in Salerno , the first of its kind in Europe, bringing with him his vast library of Arabic medical works, including, no doubt, Avicenna’s Canon of Medicine.”


Constantine the African (Latin: Constantinus Africanus) (c. 1020 – 1087) was an eleventh-century translator of Greek and Islamic medical texts

Born in Carthage or Sicily, Constantine was a native of Carthage, then under Arab rule. As a Christian he had a good knowledge of Latin, enabling him to translate medical works into that language from Arabic. He was invited to join the Schola Medica Salernitana by Alfano I, Archbishop of Salerno c.1065 in order to aid in the translation of various Arabic manuscripts. His translations of helped reintroduce Greek medicine to Western Europe. He also adapted popular Arabic handbooks for travellers in his book Viaticum. The twentieth chapter of the first book of that work deals with the subject of love.

Constantine knew Greek, Latin, Arabic, and several other Oriental languages, acquired during his extensive travels in Syria, India, Ethiopia, Egypt, and Persia. Constantine studied at the University of Salerno, which was Western Europe’s first organized medical school. Later, he entered the Monte Cassino, the monastery founded by St. Benedict in 529 near Cassino, Principality of Benevento.[1] He died there in 1087.


Greek Medicine


Greek Medicine | Hippocrates | The Oath


“In Greek mythology, the centaur, Chiron, was wounded by Hercules. Though he was immortal, it is said that he invented medicine in order to heal himself. He taught Asclepius the art of healing, which became the source of all divine medical knowledge among the Greeks. Chiron was also the teacher of the hero, Achilles, who was thought to have had some special medical knowledge.”


“…But save me. Take me to the ship, cut this arrow out of my leg, wash the blood from it with warm water and put the right things on it – the plants they say you have learned about from Achilles who learned them from Chiron, the best of the Centaurs.”-The Iliad of Homer, Book XI

Chiron sacrificed his life, allowing mankind to obtain the use of fire.”

(New research shows that it was the Egyptians, and not the Greeks who ‘invented’ medicine – how old is the Chiron mythology?  All cultures first transmitted their stories through their oral renditions and only much later found any way to record them.  Often only ‘mundane’ matters related to Greek economic matters were recorded on stone tablets while more ‘literary’ works might have been written on parchment, which did not survive.)


Asclepius Main Article
Also see Asclepius Basics

While Asclepius the healing god is not a major player in Greek mythology, he is a pivotal one. Since he is numbered among the Argonauts, Asclepius came into contact with many of the major Greek heroes. Asclepius was also a causal figure in the drama played out between Apollo, Death, Zeus and the Cyclops, known to us through Alcestis, by Euripides.

See more here


Classical antiquity (also the classical era or classical period) is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, collectively known as the Greco-Roman world. It is the period in which Greek and Roman literature (such as Aeschylus, Ovid, Homer and others) flourished.[1]

It is conventionally taken to begin with the earliest-recorded Greek poetry of Homer (8th7th century BC), and continues through the rise of Christianity and the decline of the Roman Empire (5th century AD). It ends with the dissolution of classical culture at the close of Late Antiquity (AD 300-600), blending into the Early Middle Ages (AD 600-1000).”

FROM About.com on Chiron and the Birth of Medicine


“Born in 384 B.C.E. the son of a physician at Stageira in Macedonia, Aristotle was one of the most noted philosophers and scientists of the ancient world. Once a student of Plato at his Academy in Athens, Aristotle adopted his own methods of inquiry different from that of his teacher. Unlike Plato, Aristotle felt that one could, and in fact must, trust one’s senses in the investigation of knowledge and reality.”


The Renaissance of the 12th century was a period of many changes during the High Middle Ages. It included social, political and economic transformations, and an intellectual revitalization of Europe with strong philosophical and scientific roots. For some historians these changes paved the way to later achievements such as the literary and artistic movement of the Italian Renaissance in the 15th century and the scientific developments of the 17th century.

The Renaissance of the 12th century saw a major search by European scholars for new learning, which led them to the areas of Europe that once been under Muslim rule and still had substantial Arabic-speaking populations, but that had recently been reconquered by Christians. This meant central Spain and Sicily, both of which had come under Christian rule in the eleventh century. The combination of a substantial numbers of Arabic-speaking scholars and Christian rulers made these areas intellectually attractive yet culturally and politically accessible to Latin scholars.


“As the populations of medieval towns and cities increased, hygienic conditions worsened, leading to a vast array of health problems. Medical knowledge was limited and, despite the efforts of medical practitioners and public and religious institutions to institute regulations, medieval Europe did not have an adequate health care system. Antibiotics weren’t invented until the 1800s and it was almost impossible to cure diseases without them.

There were many myths and superstitions about health and hygiene as there still are today. People believed, for example, that disease was spread by bad odors. It was also assumed that diseases of the body resulted from sins of the soul. Many people sought relief from their ills through meditation, prayer, pilgrimages, and other nonmedical methods.

The body was viewed as a part of the universe, a concept derived from the Greeks and Romans. Four humors, or body fluids, were directly related to the four elements: fire=yellow bile or choler; water=phlegm; earth=black bile; air=blood. These four humors had to be balanced. Too much of one was thought to cause a change in personality–for example, too much black bile could create melancholy.”

“It was also assumed that diseases of the body resulted from sins of the soul.”


What are the four humors?

The four humors are bodily fluids: blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile. The concept dates to the ancient Greeks and the Greek philosopher-physician Hippocrates (c. 460–377 B.C.), to whom the treatise (a formal writing) Nature of Man has been attributed. In this work, the author asserted that illness is caused by an imbalance of the four humors. Blood was thought to come from the heart, phlegm from the brain, yellow bile from the liver, and black bile from the spleen. The Greeks believed that a person would be healthy if these humors were in balance. Although modern medicine eventually proved this idea to be false, it lasted for many centuries. During the Middle Ages (A.D. c. 450–c. 1500), each humor came to have different characteristics


Medieval Medicine

Medieval Europe holds many of its foundations in the classical world of Ancient Greece and Rome. Just the same, “the theory of the four humours (bodily fluids) arose out of Hellenic philosophy in an attempt to relate all things to universal laws” (Cameron 159). And so we have parallels drawn between particular aspects of the surrounding world. The humors were oftentimes attributed to appropriate seasons, properties such as hot, cold, dry, and wet, signs of Zodiac in groups of three, four ages of mankind – infancy, adolescence, adulthood, and old age, and even sometimes to the four Evangelists – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, as well as the compass directions. (Even now, we still use words “choleric”, “sanguine”, “phlegmatic” and “melancholy” to describe personalities.)


The Dark Ages is a term referring to the perceived period of cultural decline or societal collapse that took place in Western Europe between the fall of Rome and the eventual recovery of learning.[1][2][3] As originally applied, the term designated the bulk of the Middle Ages, conceived of as a period of intellectual darkness between the collapse of Rome and the “Renaissance” or rebirth in the 13th through the 15th centuries.[4] Increased understanding of the accomplishments of the Middle Ages in the 19th century challenged the characterization of the entire period as one of darkness.[3] Thus the term is often restricted to periods within the Middle Ages, namely the Early Middle Ages, though this usage is also disputed by most modern scholars, who tend to avoid using the phrase.[1][5]

The concept of a Dark Age originated with the Italian scholar Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca) in the 1330s, and was originally intended as a sweeping criticism of the character of Late Latin literature.[4][6] Petrarch regarded the centuries since the fall of Rome as “dark” compared to the light of classical antiquity. Later historians expanded the term to refer to the transitional period between Roman times and the High Middle Ages, including not only the lack of Latin literature, but also a lack of contemporary written history, general demographic decline, limited building activity and material cultural achievements in general. Popular culture has further expanded on the term as a vehicle to depict the Middle Ages as a time of backwardness, extending its pejorative use and expanding its scope.[7]


Medical Renaissance is the term often applied to the period, around 1400 to 1750, of major progress in medical knowledge and a renewed interest in the ancient ideas of the Greeks and Romans.[1] This movement was made possible by the Reformation of the Church, a decline in Conservatism, the work of individuals such as Andreas Vesalius & William Harvey and technological advances. All of these took place during the Renaissance period. [2]


around 1440

A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a medium (such as paper or cloth), thereby transferring an image. The mechanical systems involved were first assembled in Germany by the goldsmith Johannes Gutenberg around 1440, based on existing screw-presses used to press cloth, grapes, etc. and possibly prints.[1] Gutenberg was the first in Western Europe to develop a printing press.

During the Renaissance era, printing methods based on Gutenberg’s printing press spread rapidly throughout first Europe and then the rest of the world. It eventually replaced most versions of block printing, making it the most used format of modern movable type, until being superseded by the advent of offset printing.


One of the most important inventions of the Renaissance was the Printing Press, it was a major part of this era;[6] in the Middle Ages books were written by hand, by monks and scholars, and therefore were few in number and very precious, very few left the monasteries where they were kept. The Printing Press lead to the creation of thousands of copies of books, containing no mistakes, and had a dramatic impact on Medicine during this time.[7] This meant that the books containing these new ideas could be spread quickly, and would not contain any mistakes. They also were able to contain detailed drawings made by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, which helped to accompany the text and for the first time doctors had detailed, accurate drawings of the human body.


The Microscope was another very important invention which occurred during the Renaissance and would continue to be improved upon until modern times, though the writings of Seneca and Pliny the Elder mention ‘magnifying glasses’ as far back as the first century A.D.[8].

An early microscope was made in 1590 in Middelburg, The Netherlands.[1] Three eyeglass makers are variously given credit: Hans Lippershey (who developed an early telescope); Zacharias Jansen, with the help of his father, Hans Janssen. Giovanni Faber coined the name for Galileo Galilei‘s compound microscope in 1625.[2] (Galileo had called it the “occhiolino” or “little eye“.)

The first detailed account of the interior construction of living tissue based on the use of a microscope did not appear until 1644, in Giambattista Odierna’s L’ochio della mosca, or The Fly’s Eye. [3]

It was not until the 1660s and 1670s that the microscope was used seriously in Italy, Holland and England. Marcelo Malpighi in Italy began the analysis of biological structures beginning with the lungs. Robert Hooke‘s Micrographia had a huge impact, largely because of its impressive illustrations. The greatest contribution came from Antoni van Leeuwenhoek who discovered red blood cells and spermatozoa. On 9 October 1676, Leeuwenhoek reported the discovery of micro-organisms.[4]


About 1450, European scholars became more interested in studying the world around them. Their art became more true to life. They began to explore new lands. The new age in Europe was eventually called “the Renaissance.” Renaissance is a French word that means “rebirth.” Historians consider the Renaissance to be the beginning of modern history.


Renaissance Medicine

In the sixteenth century, Greek medicine was reborn yet again but with a difference. The upside of the fall of Constantinople was an influx of Greek scholars and manuscripts into Italy. A scholarly industry soon developed for the study of ancient Greece and for the publication of the works forming the basis of Western civilization, including medicine. In 1525 the Aldine Press in Venice published Galen’s complete works in Greek. (In the sixteenth century 590 different editions of Galen were published.) The next year Aldine also published the Hippocratic corpus. New Latin translations soon appeared for the Greekless.

The new anatomy.

Historians agree on the main developments in Renaissance medicine: first, the revival of a modestly revised Galenism; second, the related renewal of anatomy, which was linked to the flourishing artistic culture in Italy. Artists used the knowledge from dissection as the conceptual foundation of the new art. Anatomical texts illustrated by artists displayed a representational, natural body rather than the pedagogical schematic model of medieval texts. Michelangelo collaborated with Realdo Colombo (1516?–?1559), who in 1548 became professor of anatomy at the Papal University in Rome.


1400 – 1700: The Renaissance

The Renaissance was a period in European history during which there was a revival in the ideas of ancient Rome and Greece. Culture, art, science and medicine were studied by aristocrats and scholars who prized themselves on their education. Ideas flourished and the newly invented printing press allowed books to be produced quickly. Before this, books were slowly and painstakingly copied by hand. Although very few people could read and write, the printing press was a revolution in information technology and resulted in ideas spreading around Europe like never before

Medical research

Medicine remained dominated by the teachings of the church but physicians began to learn more about the human body. They read books translated from Arabic medical texts and began to study anatomy in a scientific and systematic way. Andreas Vesalius and Leonardo Da Vinci dissected human bodies and made the first anatomical drawings. These helped in understanding the organs and systems of the human body. The church did not permit the dissection of ‘God fearing bodies’ so it was often the bodies of criminals or ‘sinners’ that were used. Doctors learned about anatomy from watching these dissections. Sometimes the criminal was alive at the start of proceedings as part of their punishment!

During the Renaissance, the human body was regarded as a creation of God and the ancient Greek view of the four humors prevailed. Sickness was due to an imbalance in these humors and treatments, such as bleeding the patient or inducing vomiting, were aimed at restoring the balance of these four humors.

Circulation: a major breakthrough

In 1628, William Harvey published his new theory that the heart acts as a muscular pump which circulates blood around the body in the blood vessels. Discoveries during the Renaissance laid the foundations for a change in thinking leading to the view that the body is made up of specialized systems that work together; the basis of medical knowledge that we still see today.

Video results for Renaissance medicine

Image results for Renaissance medicine


the discovery of the New World in 1492


Renaissance Period

“The renaissance period started in northern Italy during the 14th century in northern Italy and spread to Europe in the late 15th century. It starts from the date of discovery of America by Columbus .The renaissance period of new thinking changed the culture of the English people.”


Medieval Europe 400 – 1500

Early Modern Europe 1500-1789


Born out of the Renaissance’s critical thinking, Papal luxury and over a hundred years of festering religious argument, the Reformation shattered the ideals of Christian unity. The Protestant Reformation began in 1517 [October 1517, the German monk named Martin Luther posted his 95 theses to the door of a Catholic Church in Wittenberg] as a reaction to perceived abuses in the Catholic Church, while a Catholic Counter-Reformation emerged in the mid 16th century. Bitter division and war followed.

The emergence of modern Europe, 1500–1648

Economy and society

The 16th century was a period of vigorous economic expansion. This expansion in turn played a major role in the many other transformations—social, political, and cultural—of the early modern age.

May 8, 1541

De Soto reaches the Mississippi

On May 8, 1541, south of present-day Memphis, Tennessee, Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto reaches the Mississippi River, one of the first European explorers to ever do so. After building flatboats, de Soto and his 400 ragged troops crossed the great river under the cover of night, in order to avoid the armed Native Americans who patrolled the river daily in war canoes. From there the conquistadors headed into present-day Arkansas, continuing their fruitless two-year-old search for gold and silver in the American wilderness.


In 1533, when Henry 8th tried to marry Anne Boleyn, the Roman Catholic church forbade him from doing so because he was already married. Henry found no way to get around this other than removing the right of the church to prevent him. So he declared that the Pope was no longer head of the Church of England, and made himself head instead. This meant that it was he, not the Pope, that had the final word on church matters in England.


Main Entry: 1fall

Function: verb

Inflected Form(s): fell \ˈfel\; fall·en \ˈfȯ-lən\; fall·ing

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English feallan; akin to Old High German fallan to fall and perhaps to Lithuanian pulti

Date: before 12th century

intransitive verb 1 a : to descend freely by the force of gravity b : to hang freely c : to drop oneself to a lower position d : to come or go as if by falling
2 : to become born —usually used of lambs
3 a : to become lower in degree or level


Main Entry: 1feath·er

Function: noun

Etymology: Middle English fether, from Old English; akin to Old High German federa wing, Latin petere to go to, seek, Greek petesthai to fly, piptein to fall, pteron wing

Date: before 12th century

1 a : any of the light horny epidermal outgrowths that form the external covering of the body of birds and that consist of a shaft bearing on each side a series of barbs which bear barbules which in turn bear barbicels commonly ending in hooked hamuli and interlocking with the barbules of an adjacent barb to link the barbs into a continuous vane b archaic : plume 2a c : the vane of an arrow
2 a : plumage b : kind, nature <birds of a feather flock together> c : attire, dress d : condition, mood <woke up in fine feather> e plural : composure


Greek piptein, “to fall”.

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