Summary: History

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  • 1 Health and the People

  • 1.1 Medicine stands still

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  • What were 4 supernatural beliefs about disease?

    • Disease was a punishment from God for peoples sins
    • The cure was prayer and repentance
    • It was caused by demons and witches
    • Caused by evil spirits inside people and cured by exorcisms
  • What 3 influences did the church have on medieval medicine?

    • Encouraged the idea that disease is a punishment from God preventing people from trying to find cures 
    • Scholars had to study from the incorrect work of Galen as it fit with religious beliefs
    • Church outlawed dissection so doctors couldn't learn about human anatomy
  • What 3 ways was astrology used to diagnose disease?

    • Doctors owned an almanac calendar which included information about planets used to predict how there health was affected
    • Different star signs were thought to affect different parts of the body.
  • What was the Four Humours theory?

    • Hippocraties believed the body was made up if four fluids- blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile.
    • These were linked to the four seasons and four elements
    • Galen believed diseases could be treated using opposites to throw the humours back into balanced 
  • What was the miasma theory?

    • Bad air (human waste and dead bodies) causes disease when someone breathes it in.
    • It originated in Greece and Rome and was incorporated by Galen into the Four humour theory
    • It lasted until 1860 when it was replaced by the Germ Theory.
  • How were Hippocrates and Galen influential?

    • The church regarded their work as the absolute truth
    • They were taught for centuries after their death, but Galen only dissected animals so ideas about anatomy were very wrong
    • The hippocratic oath is still used today and it is the belief that doctors should observe patients as they treat them 
  • What 11 ways did people use to treat disease?

    • Praying
    • Pilgrimages 
    • Flagellants (public self-whipping)
    • astrology
    • bloodletting - leeches
    • purging - laxatives 
    • purifying air- posies and oranges
    • remedies from apothecaries 
    • physicians 
    • public hospitals 
    • barber surgeons 
  • What progress was made in surgery?

    • Hugh of Luca and his son began dressing wounds with bandages soaked in wine to clean and prevent infection 
    • They realised pus wasn't a healthy sign 
    • John Ardene developed a deadly anaesthetic which could be used in controlled dosages
  • What was health like in towns?

    • Houses were made of wood and crammed together- overcrowding and fires
    • No clean water supplies or sewage systems
    • Toxic waste thrown into drinking rivers
    • In the 13th century a clean water channel was built
    • In 1388 the government ordered town authorities to keep the streets free of waster
  • What was health like in monasteries?

    • Wealthy so could afford to build infrastructure and waterways to keep water clean 
    • populations were small with one leader who had the power to enforce rules

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