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  • Created by: rach
  • Created on: 07-06-12 13:55


               MEDIEVAL MEDICINE (476 – 1453)

               Medieval civilisation

·         Medical knowledge lost when the Roman Empire collapsed.

·         Lack of resources to build public health systems.

·         People encouraged to rely on prayer and superstitions to cure them = prevented medical exploration.

·         Europe developed into small fiefdoms, each governed by local lord.

·         Division = knowledge spread slowly; extremely difficult/dangerous to share knowledge with so many fights between fiefdoms.


Medieval Medical knowledge


·         Greek and Roman books of knowledge were lost.

·         Universities = lectures were rudimentary (undeveloped), involved a butcher pointing to parts of the body, and reading a passage from books written by famous doctors e.g. Galen.

·         Church forbid dissection of human bodies = couldn’t explore and misunderstood anatomy, e.g. Italian doctor Alderotti claimed ‘combing the hair comforted the brain’.

·         Believed that disease was caused by:

1) Four Humours.

2) Demons.

3) Sin (flagellants whipped themselves to punish)

4) Bad smells.

5) Stagnant water (water that doesn’t flow/move)

6) Jews.

7) Miasma (bad air).


Medieval Surgery


·         Surgery left to barbers-surgeons (NOT trained



sorry guys! The strange 'a' with an accent above it is not supposed to be there, it is supposed to be an arrow, but is probably not compatible with the arrow symbol, enjoy!! :D  


THANK YOU!!!! these notes are amazing! I know you made these notes from bitesize but those ones are way too long! these are really simplified! sooooooooooooooooooo glad I found them just as you posted them cos i was gonna go buy some THICK textbooks today from Letts :) I'm only using these notes to revise for my medicine through time and my surgery exams and they are really helpful, thanks a lot dude :D

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