Medicine Stands Still


Who treated the sick?

  • Barber Surgeons
  • Wise Women
  • Monks in monastries
  • Trained doctors
1 of 21

Types of treatments.

  • Clinical observation
  • Balancing the four humours
  • Checking the position of stars 
  • Praying
2 of 21


  • Lacking scientific knowledge
  • Medical training involved reading Church approved texts
3 of 21

Influence of Hippocratates.

  • Emphasisis the importance of clinical observation
  • Therory of the Four Humours and the need to balance them.
  • Bleeding was a popular treatment.
4 of 21

The Four Humours.

  • Blood
  • Phlegm 
  • Yellow Bile
  • Black Bile
5 of 21

Influence of Galen

  • Dissected animals
  • Believed in design theory
  • Church banned people from questioning his work
  • Gladiator School allowed him to develop his techniques
  • He stressed the importance of of listening to a patients pulse
6 of 21

Influence of the Church.

  • Taught that illness was sent as a punishment from God
  • Controlled universities
  • Banned human dissection
  • Recommended pilgramages
  • Arrested monk Roger Bacon for suggesting that doctors should do orignial research and not trust old books
  • Set up over 700 hospitals
7 of 21

Function of Hospitals.

  • Mainly a place for people to rest and recover
  • Linked to monastries
  • Monks provided nursing care
  • Offered herbal treatments
  • Had phsyic gardens
8 of 21

How Islamic medicine was more advanced than the We

  • Islamic doctors wrote medical texts- spread to Britain via crusaders and trade
  • Avicenna wrote the Canon of Medicine which remained as an important text
  • It listed the medical properties of 760 differnt drugs
  • Hospitals treated patients and trained doctors
9 of 21

Medieval surgical procedures.

  • Bloodletting
  • Amputation
  • Trepanning
  • Cauterisation
  • Anasthetics included: mandrake root, opium and hemlock. Too much could kill
10 of 21

John of Arderene

  • Famous surgeon
  • Surgical manual was based on Greek and Arab knowlege and his experience of warfare.
  • Specialised in anal absesses
  • Developed a painkilling ointment made from opium and hemlock- helped healing and stopped the need for cauterisation. 
  • Urged doctors to trust their own judement not rely on texts
11 of 21

How warfare helped surgeons.

  • Enanled surgeons to seal wounds more effectively
  • Carry out quicker amputations
  • New tools. Arrow cup- remove an arrow head without further damage
  • Improved ointments like John of Arderne's painkiller
12 of 21

Main public health problems.

  • Poor sanitation
  • Regulations tended to be very ineffective- not the job of the monarch
  • Streets were very dirty
  • Sesspits could overflow into the road and the rivers
  • Butchers dumped chemicals and wate blood into the rivers
13 of 21

Signs of Progress.

  • Coventry became proactive in cleaning up their streets
  • Waste disposal sites were established outside of towns
  • Latrines were moved away from streams
  • Bath houses were introduced
14 of 21

Why did monasteries have superior public health sy

  • Fresh water supplies were considered a priority when deciding the sites of monasteries
  • Fresh water was piped to wash rooms and sewers took away dirty water
  • Kitchens were built away from toilets
  • Monks had to bathe every month
15 of 21

What caused the black death?

  • Began in Asia- travelled aloung trade routs reaching England in 1348
  • Combination of bubonic (spread by fleas and ratsa) and pneumonic plague ( spread by coughing and close contact)
16 of 21

Believes of what caused the black death.

  • Miasma
  • Punishment from God
  • Caused by the alignments of the planets
  • Blamed on Jewish people poisoining the wells
17 of 21

Why did the Black Death spread so quickly?

  • Dirty streats encouraged rats
  • Insufficent wate disposal
  • Very few regualtions and ignorance of germs
18 of 21

Prevention methods of the black death

  • Flagellants whipped themselves
  • Church organised special services to ask for God's forgiveness
  • Normal people prayed
19 of 21

Treatments for the black death

  • Cleaned up the streets
  • Quarantine was attempted 
  • Bleeding was used to treat victims
  • Some drank mercury which was poisonous
20 of 21

Impact of the Black Death.

  • In Britain 1.5m died between 1348-1350
  • Thosw who did survive demanded higher wages and better treatments for their lords
21 of 21


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all Medicine through time (OCR History A) resources »