Paulus of Aegina and the historical origins of spine surgery

Kevin Jang, Jeffrey V. Rosenfeld, Antonio Di Ieva*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Paulus of Aegina (625–690 AD) was the last of the prolific Byzantine physicians. His works consolidated and extended the knowledge of his predecessors, with pioneering efforts to improve the surgical management of spinal injuries. In this article, we review the literature to present an overview of the remarkable evolution of spine surgery throughout classical antiquity. In particular, we discuss the contributions of Paulus to this corpus and explore his classic 7-book anthology, Epitomoe Medicae Libri Septem (Medical Compendium in Seven Books). In reviewing Paulus' legacy, we show the significant milestones in the early development of anatomic and functional knowledge of the spine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-301
Number of pages11
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Early online date15 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Anatomy
  • History
  • Paulus of Aegina
  • Spinal injuries
  • Spine surgery
  • Spine trauma

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