This article retraces the history of ankylosing spondylitis. While the first part takes into consideration the paleopathological aspects of illness, the second part retains the main stages of the research on the subject from the 16th to the 19th century. This part refers to B.O. Connor, who in 1694 was the first to give a complete description of a characteristic skeleton. This part also mentions Benjamin Brodie who in 1850 wrote the first complete clinical description and Charles Fagge who in his work was the first to combine clinical and anatomical elements. The scientific discussion at the end of the 19th century between Adolf Strümpell. Wladimir von Bechterew and Pierre Marie is also part of this paragraph. The last part shows the important discoveries of the 20th century, specially useful for a better understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease.