The Renaissance

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  • Gets its name from the rebirth of interest in the ideas of the classical period.
  • Saw the emergence of science from from mysticism and magic.
  • The Royal Society was founded in 1660.
  • The beginning of the Renaissance is often dated from 1453 AD when Constantinople fell.
  • This drove scholars with knowledge of Greek and Roman learning westwards.
  • Universities began using scientific method.
  • The invention of the printing press helped new ideas spread.
  • Academics during the renaissance thought that a well-educated person should be proficient in science and art.
  • Great artists therefore attended dissections of human corpses and wrote on scientific subjects using images.
  • The return of the classical authors (Galen and Hippocrates) led to a renewed belief in the four humours.
  • Attempts to take religious thought back to classical time meant many broke away from the Roman Catholic Church.
  • The Roman Catholic Church had dominated European religion since paganism and the elimination of the Celtic Christians.
  • These changes were bound to produce reactionaries who were a threat to the thinkers of the renaissance.
  • Paracelsus began his lecturing career in 1527 by burning one of Galens books and calling him a liar and Avicenna (a kitchen master).
  • He rejected the idea of the four humours.
  • He gave his lectures in German instead of Latin and opened them to anyone that wanted to attend including barber-surgeons.

Public Health

  • Rats, lice + fleas were a part of every day lives.
  • It took the plague of 1665 to get the authorities to do anything.
  • Early modern towns were similar to medieval towns. Rubbish and human waste was thrown into the streets.
  • 'Surgeons' examined the dead to work out the extent of the plague.
  • If a member of a house had the plague they…


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