history medieval medicine

  • Created by: Dawn21
  • Created on: 14-01-20 16:11
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  • medieval medicine
    • background
      • Wars destroyed the Roman public health systems and medical libraries.
      • ? The rulers of the small kingdoms built up armies rather than improving medical skills or public health.
      • ? War disrupted trade so countries became poorer.
      • ? Travel became more dangerous, reducing the communication between doctors.
      • ? Training of doctors was abandoned. Copies of Galen’s books were either lost, or hidden away for safety.
    • Influence of the Christian Church
      • ? The Christian Church grew stronger in the Middle Ages.
      • Monasteries controlled education, priests and monks were the only people who could read. The Church opened medical schools where the ideas of Galen were taught.
      • ? The only libraries were in monasteries, church sometimes banned books they did not want people to read.
      • ? The only libraries were in monasteries, church sometimes banned books they did not want people to read.
      • ? Monasteries made an effort to provide clean running water and toilets.
    • The Return of Hippocrates and Galen
      • Galen’s ideas were rediscovered. Church leaders looked carefully at Galen’s works and decided that they fitted in with Christian ideas because he referred to “the creator” in his works.
      • ? Doctors in the believed his ideas were correct and it was nearly impossible to improve his work.
      • ? Galen had great influence on the doctors in the Arabic world and in medieval Christian Europe
      • Medical schools began to appear in Western Europe, starting with the one in Salerno, Italy. Translations of Galen’s and Hippocrates’ work were accepted as absolute truth in medical schools
    • The Four Humours Theory
      • ? Medieval doctors believed illness was caused by an imbalance of the four humours.
      • ? The theory developed into a more complex system, based on the position of the stars.
      • Although human dissection was carried out in medical schools, findings were interpreted as the theory of the four humours – although some later doctors began to challenge traditional understandings.
    • Developments in Surgery
      • ? In the Middle Ages, there was great demand for surgery because of warfare.
      • ? Surgery was held in such low regard that many procedures were often left to untrained barber-surgeons.
      • ? Wine was first used as an antiseptic.
      • ? Surgical treatments were still simple, as major surgery was risky.
    • The Black Death – 1348
      • ? Spread by coughs and sneezes or by black rat flea bites – black rats were carried overseas by ships.
      • ? Arrived in Britain in 1348. Its victims were struck down suddenly and most died.
      • ? Symptoms included exhaustion, high temperatures, swellings and difficulty breathing.
      • ? Ships were made to wait 40 days before landing – they were quarantined.


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