Hospitals were not the offspring of Christianity, but were founded in India among the Buddhists several hundred years before Christ. Cut in the rocks can still be seen the edicts of Aosta, more than two thousand years old, concerning the hospitals.
The origin of our word ''hospital'' is derived from the name of the guest-rooms in ancient Rome—hospitalia. Our first hospitals originated from the spirit of charity taught by Christ, and were stimulated by the necessities of the pilgrims and the Eastern caravansaries.
The history of hospitals does not extend, like that of medicine, far back into antiquity. No information has come from the Greeks or Romans of buildings for hospital purposes only. The sick could obtain the advice of physicians in the antechambers of the Temple of Esculapius or upon the street, but not in special buildings. We only know that on one of the islands public buildings
J. R. McDILL. HOSPITALS.THEIR CONSTRUCTION, ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT.. JAMA. 1899;XXXII(3):99–108. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.92450300001001