Terms in this set (23)
The period of European history between around 1400 and 1600. It is famous for discoveries in science, geography and art. There were also breakthroughs in medicine, but, by 1700, people were no healthier than in the Middle Ages.
Leonardo da Vinci
This famous artist helped to revolutionise Renaissance paintings, making them much more realistic. He argued that artists should perform dissections in order to understand anatomy in order to paint the human body accurately. This emphasis on accuracy had a knock-on effect on medicine. The same man had wide ranging interest, dabbling in science and engineering as well as art.
This invention was first developed in Europe by Johann Gutenburg in 1454. It made it possible to produce books much more quickly and cheaply than ever before. This meant that new ideas could spread rapidly. These new ideas stimulated other new ideas, vastly increasing the pace of innovation.
This was invented in China and transmitted to Europe during the Mongol invasions. It revolutionised warfare, making it much more destructive. This led to a need for new medical techniques.
This disaster helped to spark the Renaissance because it led to a surplus of land and a shortage of labour. This meant higher wages for everyone, which allowed more people to earn enough money to educate their children.
Wealth and Education
These helped to trigger the Renaissance because more people had the education and the leisure to take an interest in new ideas. They also identified more with the Greeks and Romans because they had more in common with the Greek and Roman upper classes. This led some of them to adopt the inquiring attitudes of the Greeks instead of just regurgitating church teaching.
New Trade Routes
During the Renaissance, Europeans began to explore the world, finding new trade routes to India and discovering whole new continents. For example, Columbus reached the Americas in 1492. The increase in trade led to increased wealth in Europe, which meant more money for education and scientific study. Also, encountering new societies caused many Europeans to question their own society's rules, customs and habits of thought.
New Translations of Galen and other Greeks
The increase in education, combined with the stimulation provided by the printing press caused people in the Renaissance to make new translations of the works of these important thinkers. In the process they realized that the ancient thinkers had questioned everything, not just accepting what they read. They began to question whether Galen was always right about medicine.
(1514-1564) This was a Belgian doctor who worked as a professor of surgery in Italy. He wrote 'The Fabric of the Human Body' in 1543. This was a detailed and illustrated description of human anatomy. In this book, he explained how his dissections proved that Galen had made some mistakes - the jaw bone is one bone, not two, the breastbone has three parts, not seven and blood doesn't flow into the heart through invisible holes in the septum. His work encouraged others to question Galen and perform their own dissections. Also, his books, which were printed on the new printing press, improved everyone's knowledge of anatomy, which was very important for future developments in medicine. On the other hand, his work on its own didn't improve human health.
(1578-1657) This British Doctor published 'An anatomical Account of the Motion of the Heart and Blood' in 1628. He figured out that the heart pumps blood through the body, that blood flows out of the heart through the arteries and in through the veins. This laid the groundwork for further research, especially after the invention of the microscope. It also helped to make advances in surgery possible and proved the importance of dissection. On the other hand, it didn't improve human health in the short term.
In 1517 this man nailed 95 theses, or criticisms of the Catholic Church, onto the door of a church in Germany. It marked the start of the Reformation which questioned the power of the Catholic Church and its control over knowledge. It also led to many years of religious warfare in Europe.
(1510-1590) This was a French Surgeon who published many books on surgery including 'Works on Surgery' in 1575. He replaced the use of boiling oil to clean gunshot wounds with an ointment made of egg yolk, turpentine and oil of roses and pioneered the use of ligatures to deal with bleeding. He also designed and created false limbs for amputees.
These were fully qualified doctors who had studied for fourteen years at university. They were only men and followed the advice of Hippocrates, Galen and Avicenna, as well as contemporary writers such as Vesalius. They charged large fees which meant only the rich could afford them.
These people mixed and sold medicines that had been prescribed by physicians. They were not supposed to treat the sick or prescribe medicines themselves, but many did so- especially for the poor.
These could be men or women and trained through apprenticeship. They were given licenses by the local bishop, allowing them to treat patients and charge fees. They would carry out external operations, amputations, dentistry and treatments such as bloodletting. Although many could read, they were looked down upon by physicians as second class doctors.
Every village or town had these kinds of healers. They mainly used herbal remedies and other, more supernatural treatments. They treated the poor but could be accused of witchcraft if treatments went wrong.
These were women who were licensed by the local bishop to supervise the last week of pregnancy and help deliver babies. However, if there were complications with a birth then a physician would take over.
These were the first people to treat a patient, usually wives and mothers who passed down knowledge of herbal remedies from generation to generation.
(1493-1541) This Swiss doctor criticised the ancient writers such as Galen and Avicenna and even publicly burned their books. He suggested that illness was caused by chemicals in the body and experimented with salt, sulphur and mercury. Although his ideas were on the right track, he believed that God had sent 'signatures' to indicate possible cures to illnesses within nature. Even though some individual doctors read his work, his ideas were not taught in universities and he remained ignored by mainstream medicine.
The Bezoar Stone
This was found in the stomach of goats in the Middle East. It was believed to be a 'panacea', or a magic cure for all illness. In 1566, Ambroise Pare disproved the effectiveness of this object through an experiment at the court of King Charles of France.
Great Plague of London
This outbreak of disease occurred in 1665 and killed 100,000 people in the city. It spread to other towns in England despite the government's best attempts to quarantine victims, regulate the keeping of animals and clean up the city.
Ladies of the Manor
These were girls from wealthy families who were expected to learn how to treat common illnesses and injuries. Books such as Nicholas Culpepper's 'A Complete Herbal' were published to give advice on these subjects and many of these girls also read medical textbooks. These women treated people in their local villages and farms, as well as their own servants and family members. They would often provide treatments for the local poor.
These healers would be found at every market and fair. They were tooth-pullers and herb sellers as well as offering a variety of strange supernatural cures. Some of their treatments may have done some good but many simply wanted to take the patients' money and run!