The word hospital originates from the Latin hospes,(not really) meaning guest or stranger. It’s the root of words such as hospice, hostel, hotel, and hospitality. The word patient comes from patior, which is to suffer. Hence a hospital can be interpreted etymologically as a place where strangers who suffer come to be cared for.

Tiber IslandYes, there were  Temples in Ancient Times that ministered to the sick and infirmed, there were even asylums for the insane. Some of these Temples included medical Training as well.  Some as far back as the Temple of Saturn  These temples were scattered throughout Ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece, and used likely up until 600 AD.  Their PRIMARY function was that of a Spiritual TEMPLE.  They were Spiritual centers visited by the sick on pilgrimages of wellness. They operated as places of healing that was centered on the Spiritual. You would be greeted by priests in robes, with candles lit, sacrifices offered. Since you traveled for miles, you were sheltered and fed, and if well enough, enjoyed music nearby, theater, the salubrious air, and the springs. The priest helped prepare you for sleep, where the treatment for your illness would hopefully be revealed during your dreams. At the time, in the age of humoral medicine, it would be diet, exercise-heavy regimens, which would aid in balancing your state, and if followed correctly, cure your ailment. These Temples were clearly precursors to spas, but were they the first hospitals? They From may not resemble today’s monuments to healing, but they appear to reflect a distant echo of today’s centers for healing.    From


“Our results at the Johns Hopkins Hospital were most gratifying. Faith in Saint Johns Hopkins, as we used to call him, an atmosphere of optimism, and cheerful nurses, worked just the same sort of cures as did Aesculpaius at Epidaurus”– William Osler, 1910, in “The Faith That Heals”