Ailments and Cures
     Healing and Hospitals
     Surgery and Dissection

Social Aspects


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A Medieval Scholar

The history of medicine, perhaps more than that of any other discipline or skilled occupation, illuminates broad social and cultural patterns of the period.

To a medieval mind, the distinction between natural and supernatural was not always very clear. This shows in the perception of the causes of ailments, and the obscure treatments thought to help sick patients. The Catholic Church played a large role in development as well as management of medieval medicine. It contained it within bounds of one religion, disallowing most pagan healing practices. more

The underlying principle of medieval medicine were four humors - black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood. The balance of these four allowed for the well-being of a person. more

Medicine in itself developed. Based on some Greek and Near Eastern principles and embellished with the discoveries of the Middle Ages, it set the foundation for contemporary medicine. more

Medieval medicine, for most part, was very forgiving about who practiced and who healed. Clergy and laymen, men and women, were allowed to practice medicine. The extent of this practice was not limited all throughout the Middle Ages. The final unification came with the Black Death, when the need for doctors to heal the sick was stronger than any prejudice against their origin. more

The education system has developed in order to teach law and medicine to the willing. Guilds were created to allow crafts to prosper. The middle class of the society was in the making. more