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Medieval medicine 1250-1500
Terms in this set (25)
Two supernatural explanations for the cause of disease?
• God's punishment for sin
• Alignment of the stars and planets
Two rational explanations for the cause of disease?
• Four Humours Theory - an imbalance of the humours in the body (blood, phlegm, yellow bile, black bile)
Who created the Four Humours Theory?
Hippocrates, an Ancient Greek doctor
How did the Roman doctor called Galen develop the Four Humours Theory?
He devised the Theory of Opposites to balance out the humours
Three reasons why the medical ideas of Galen and Hippocrates were still popular between 1250-1500?
• Latin translations of their texts were copied by monks and passed to the new medical universities for training physicians (doctors)
• The Christian Church supported Galen because he believed the body was perfectly designed for a purpose which fitted in with their idea of God as a creator.
• No alternative theories were developed because human dissections were mostly illegal, and any occasional dissections were carried out to confirm rather than challenge Galen
How did doctors diagnose an imbalance of the humours?
By studying the colour of urine using urine charts
Two religious treatments for disease
• Pilgrimages to the tombs of people known for their healing powers
Two uses of astrology for treating disease
• Star charts were consulted when deciding upon a course of treatment
• A patient's horoscope was consulted to make sure treatments were carried out at the right time.
Five rational treatments for restoring the balance of the humours?
• Purging (by vomiting or going to the toilet)
• Bathing (to draw heat into the body to dissolve blockages of the humours)
• Eating blanc mangier (a chicken and almond dish to balance the humours)
• Using herbal remedies like theriaca (a spice-based mixture of 70 ingredients)
Three facts about physicians
• Trained at university for 7-10 years
• Diagnosed and recommended treatments
Three facts about apothecaries
• Mixed herbal remedies prescribed by physicians
• Some dabbled in supernatural treatments like charms
Two facts about surgeons
• Some were highly qualified and skilled eg. removing cataracts from eyes
• Others were barber surgeons - barbers who performed small surgeries like pulling teeth and bleeding
Who treated most of the sick between 1250-1500?
Women in the home
Three facts about medieval hospitals
• Most were run by the Church and staffed by nuns and monks
• Seen as places to rest and recover as patients were cleaned and fed
• Focused upon spiritual welfare of the patient rather providing any medical treatment.
How many hospitals in England by 1500?
Two religious methods for preventing disease
• Lead a life free of sin
• Regular confessions
Two rational methods for preventing disease
• Follow the Regimen Sanitatis (a set of instructions for keeping good health and maintaining the balance of the humours)
• Purify the air (eg. using sweet herbs like lavender)
Date of the Black Death?
How much of the population of England died during the Black Death?
Medieval explanations for the cause of the Black Death?
• Supernatural - God's punishment for sins/ Unusual positioning of the planets
• Rational - Miasma/ Imbalance of the humours
Two supernatural treatments for the Black Death?
Two rational treatments for the Black Death?
• Strong smelling herbs, lighting a fire and boiling vinegar to cleanse the air
• Lancing the buboes (boils)
Two supernatural methods for preventing the Black Death?
• Self-flagellation (whipping yourself)
• Prayer and fasting
Four rational treatments for preventing the Black Death?
• Avoid foul air
• Carry a posy of flowers/herbs
• Avoid bathing as it opened the pores to miasma
• Avoid people with the plague
Two examples of government action to prevent the spread of the Black Death?
• Quarantine laws to separate the sick from the healthy (people new to an area had to be kept away from others for 40 days/people were not allowed to leave houses where the plague had broken out)
• Ban preaching and religious processions to avoid the gathering of large groups of people
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