Church, Religion, and Learning in the Middle Ages In medieval times, individuals could study in small communities from other doctors of the period, but such education was limited and usually inaccurate. To determine what was wrong with a patient, doctors would focus mostly on the bodily fluids, called "humors.
Hippocratic medicine[ edit ] The Western medical tradition often traces roots directly to the early Greek civilizationmuch like the foundation of all of Western society. The Greeks certainly laid the foundation for Western medical practice but much more of Western medicine can be traced to the Middle EastGermanicand Celtic cultures.
The Greek medical foundation comes from a collection of writings known today as the Hippocratic Corpus. Greek philosophers viewed the human Diseases and medicine during the medieval as a system that reflects the workings of nature and Hippocrates applied this belief to medicine.
The body, as a reflection of natural forces, contained four elemental properties expressed to the Greeks as the four humors. The humors represented fire, air, earth and water through the properties of hot, cold, dry and moist, respectively.
Maintaining the balance of humors within a patient occurred in several ways. An initial examination took place as standard for a physician to properly evaluate the patient. The heavens influenced every person in different ways by influencing elements connected to certain humors, important information in reaching a diagnosis.
The physician could determine which humor was unbalanced in the patient and prescribe a new diet to restore that balance. Hippocratic medicine represented learned medical practice beginning with the Hippocratic Corpus having been written down, therefore requiring practitioners to be literate.
At Alexandria in Egypt, the Greeks learned the art of surgery and dissection,; the Egyptian skill in these arenas far surpassed those of Greeks and Romans due to social taboos on the treatment of the dead. The combination of knowledge in diet, surgery, and medication formed the foundation of medical learning upon which Galen would later greatly contribute.
Temple healing[ edit ] The Greeks had been influenced by their Egyptian neighbors, in terms of medical practice in surgery and medication, but the Greeks also absorbed many folk healing practices, including incantations and dream healing. This religious side of healing clearly manifested in the cult of Asclepiuswhom Homer regarded as the great physician, and was deified in the third and fourth century BC.
Healing visions and dreams formed the foundation for the curing process as the person seeking treatment from Asclepius slept in a special dormitory.
Afterwards the visitor to the temple bathed, offered prayers and sacrifice, and received other forms of treatment like medication, dietary restrictions, and an exercise regiment, keeping with the Hippocratic tradition. This influence was highlighted by the interplay between Christian theologians who adopted aspects of pagan and folk practices and chronicled them in their own works[ citation needed ].
The practices adopted by Christian medical practitioners around the 2nd century, and their attitudes toward pagan and folk traditions, reflected an understanding of these practices, especially humoralism and herbalism. The practice of medicine in the early Middle Ages was empirical and pragmatic.
It focused mainly on curing disease rather than discovering the cause of diseases.
Nevertheless, approaches to curing disease existed. People in the Middle Ages considered medicine through an understanding of the humors. Since it was clear that the fertility of the earth depended on the proper balance of the elements, it followed that the same was true for the body, within which the various humors had to be in balance.
Folk medicine of the Middle Ages dealt with the use of herbal remedies for ailments. The practice of keeping physic gardens teeming with various herbs with medicinal properties was influenced by the gardens of Roman antiquity.
These texts, such as the Pseudo-Apuleiusincluded illustrations of various plants that would have been easily identifiable and familiar to Europeans at the time.
These gardens became specialized and capable of maintaining plants from Southern Hemisphere as well as maintaining plants during winter. However, Hildegard maintained the belief that the root of disease was a compromised relationship between a person and God.
They believed faith supported by sound philosophy was superior to simple faith. The metaphor was not lost on Christians who viewed Christ as the ultimate physician. Similarly, Christians felt that, while caring for the body was important, it was second to spiritual pursuits.
Locations of the monasteries were secluded and designed to be self-sufficient, which required the monastic inhabitants to produce their own food and also care for their sick. Prior to the development of hospitals, people from the surrounding towns looked to the monasteries for help with their sick.
A combination of both spiritual and natural healing was used to treat the sick. Herbal remedies, known as Herbalsalong with prayer and other religious rituals were used in treatment by the monks and nuns of the monasteries. An herbal textual tradition also developed in the medieval monasteries.
The monks and nuns reorganized older texts so that they could be utilized more efficiently, adding a table of contents for example to help find information quickly. Not only did they reorganize existing texts, but they also added or eliminated information.
New herbs that were discovered to be useful or specific herbs that were known in a particular geographic area were added. Herbs that proved to be ineffective were eliminated.
Drawings were also added or modified in order for the reader to effectively identify the herb. The Herbals that were being translated and modified in the monasteries were some of the first medical texts produced and used in medical practice in the Middle Ages.
Hildegard of Bingena well known abbess, wrote about Hippocratic Medicine using humoral theory and how balance and imbalance of the elements affected the health of an individual, along with other known sicknesses of the time, and ways in which to combine both prayer and herbs to help the individual become well.
She discusses different symptoms that were common to see and the known remedies for them.As Islamic medical knowledge and methods began to filter into Western medieval medicine during the 12th century, so did their treatments for specific diseases.
New healing substances were added to Western apothecaries while certain Western medicines, such as theriac, moved into Arab countries due to the growing Arab-European trade. Diseases and Medicine during the Medieval Ages During the Medieval time period, deaths from diseases were common and widespread.
The impact throughout Europe Impacted the economy and family matters. Some took the Annihilative to find cures and care for the sick. New advances In medicine was common but still unable to cure all of the sick Many. Beliefs About Medicine and Healing in the Later Medieval Period The Four Humours - One of the prevailing theories about disease in medieval medicine was that of the four grupobittia.com idea was that the body had four bodily fluids, yellow bile, black bile, blood and phlegm, and these were used to analyse the state of a person’s health.
Medieval diseases were mainly cured by balancing the four humors – mucus, blood, black bile and yellow bile.
As there was no major development in the field of medicine during medieval times hence most diseases were cured by herbs and plants. Home» A History of Medicine» Medicine in the Middle Ages. Medicine in the Middle Ages of this refusal to take what Galen and Hippocrates had stated at face value some progress was made in the medical world during this time.
However, medicine became steeped in superstition and the Roman Catholic Church effectively dominated what.
Medicine, diagnosis and treatment in the Middle Ages Article created by: Alixe Bovey; Published: 30 Apr In medieval Europe, medicine generally operated within the context of the Christian Church.
Hospitals which cared for the elderly and the ill were often run by religious orders, which could maintain infirmaries for their own members.