Causes of disease (1250-1500)

Explanations for the causes of disease in the Middle Ages.


Supernatural explanations

Astrology (planets & stars alignment)

Physicians (doctors) consulted star charts

Church did not like this.

Hippocrates- ideas were important

1 of 5

Religious explanations

People very religious
Followed teachings of Catholic Church
Most people- no education
Learnt from the Church’s teachings

Disease- punishment for sin, sent from God or devil
Sent to cleanse soul of sin
Very believable to people

2 of 5

Rational explanations #1


Black bile

Yellow bile

Humours needed to be balanced

If imbalanced- disease

Factors could cause imbalance


Family history

Personal circumstance

3 of 5

Rational explanation #2

Miasma- bad air.
Thought to cause disease.
Clean home- spiritual cleanliness.
Avoided bad smells.

4 of 5

Rational explanation #3

Urine charts
Physicians examined urine to make diagnosis.
Tested it.

5 of 5


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