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Medieval Medicine | by James J. Walsh









"Medieval Medicine" is the story of the medical sciences in the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages are usually assumed to begin with the deposition of Romulus Augustulus, 476, and end with the fall of Constantinople, 1453. In this little volume, then, we have to outline the history of human efforts to prevent and treat the ills of mankind for nearly one thousand years. Until recently, it has been the custom to believe that there was so little of genuine interest in anything like the scientific care of ailing human beings during these centuries, that even a volume of this kind might seem large for the tale of it. Now we know how, much these men of the Middle Ages, for so long called the 4i Dark Ages," were interested in every phase of human progress. They created a great art and literature, and above all a magnificent architecture. We have been cultivating the knowledge of these for several generations, and it would indeed be a surprise to find that the men who made such surpassing achievements in all the other lines of human effort should have failed only in medicine.

TitleMedieval Medicine
AuthorJames J. Walsh
PublisherA & C Black, Ltd
Year1920
Copyright1920, A & C Black, Ltd
AmazonMedieval Medicine.
Medical History Manuals.

By James J. Walsh, Kc.St.G., M.D., Ph.D., Sc.D., Litt.D., Medical director, sociological department fordham university, and professor physiological psychology cathedral college, New York. Fellow A.M.A., A.A.A.S., member of the french, german, and italian societies for the history of medicine, etc. Author of "makers of modern medicine," and other volumes on medical history.

"Multuvi egerunt qui ante nos fuemnt sed non ftcregervnf, Suspicitndi tamen sìtnt et ritu Deorum colendi".

"When we think of all the work, big with promise of the future, that went on in those centuries which modern writers in their ignorance used once to set apart and stigmatize as the ' Dark Ages1; when we consider how the seeds of what is noblest in modern life were then painfully sown upon the soil which Imperial Rome had prepared ; when we think of the various work of a Gregory, a Benedict, a Boniface, an Alfred, a Charlemagne, we feel that there is a sense in which the most brilliant achievements of pagan antiquity are dwarfed in comparison with these." — Fiske : The Beginnings of New England, or the Puritan Theocracy in its Relations to Civil and Religious Liberty.

To Most Reverend P. J. Hayes, Archbishop Of New York. As a slight token of gratitude for the privilege of co-operating in the educational foundation that is a monument to his prudent wisdom.

-Preface
As a matter of fact, we have found that the history of medicine and surgery, and of the medical education of the Middle Ages, are quite as interesting as all the other phases of their accomplishments....
-Chapter I. Introductory
To understand the story of Medieval Medicine, the reader must recall briefly the course of Roman history. Rome, founded some eight centuries before Christ, was at first the home of a group of adventur...
-Introductory. Part 2
Fortunately for us, he committed his knowledge and his experience to writing, which has come down to us. A third of these greater writers on medicine in the early Middle Ages was Paul of ^Egina— JE...
-Introductory. Part 3
It is thus easy to see how the two periods of historical import in medicine at the beginning and end of the Middle Ages may be placed in their intimate relation to Greek influences. At the beginning, ...
-Introductory. Part 4
Roger Bacon actually wanted the Pope to forbid the study of Aristotle because his works were leading men astray from the true study of science — his authority being looked upon as so great that men di...
-Chapter II. Early Medieval Medicine
There are two distinct periods in the history of Medieval Medicine. The first concerns the early centuries, from the sixth to the ninth, and is occupied mainly with the contributions to medicine made ...
-Early Medieval Medicine. Part 2
The monasteries are thus seen to have been in touch with Greek medicine from the earliest medieval time. The other important historical documents relating to Medieval Medicine which we possess concern...
-Early Medieval Medicine. Part 3
He particularly emphasized that trust should not be placed in any single method of treatment. Every available means of bringing relief to the patient should be tried. The duty of the physician is to...
-Chapter III. Salerno And The Beginnings Of Modern Medical Education
The first medical school of modern history, and the institution which more than any other has helped us to understand the Middle Ages, is that of Salerno. Indeed, the accumulation of information with ...
-Salerno And The Beginnings Of Modern Medical Education. Part 2
There was a hospital at Salerno that was some what famous as early as the first quarter of the ninth century. This was placed under the control of the Benedictines; and other infirmaries and charitabl...
-Salerno And The Beginnings Of Modern Medical Education. Part 3
After Constantine's time the principal textbooks of the school became, according to De Renzi, Hippocrates, Galen, and Avicenna. To these ! were added the Antidotarium of Mesue, and there were various ...
-Salerno And The Beginnings Of Modern Medical Education. Part 4
They believed in light suppers— Great suppers will the stomach's peace impair ; Wouldst lightly rest, curtail thine evening fare. With regard to the interval between meals, the Salernitan rule w...
-Salerno And The Beginnings Of Modern Medical Education. Part 5
Salerno impressed itself much more deeply on surgery than on medicine, for the magnificent development of medieval surgery, the knowledge of which has proved so surprising in our day, began down at Sa...
-Chapter IV. Montpellier And Medical Education In The West
After Salerno the next great medical school was that of Montpellier in the South of France. The conditions which brought about its original establishment are very like those which occasioned the found...
-Montpellier And Medical Education In The West. Continued
In spite of the fact that books were only written by hand, the teaching of distinguished professors had a wide diffusion, and students were quite ready to go through the drudgery of making these handw...
-Chapter V. Later Medieval Medicine
Medicine in the later Middle Ages, that is, from the tenth to the middle of the fifteenth centuries, was greatly influenced by the medical schools which arose in Italy and the West of Europe during th...
-Later Medieval Medicine. Part 2
Maimonides (1135-1204) was one of these wise old Jews who quotes with approval from a Rabbi of old who had counselled his students : Teach thy tongue to say, I do not know. Knowing thus the limitat...
-Later Medieval Medicine. Part 3
Venesection was succeeded by large doses of calomel, and the calomel era continued on almost to our own generation. As a rule, however, the medieval physicians trusted nature much more than did the...
-Chapter VI. Medieval Surgeons. Italy
Strange as it may seem, and quite contrary to the usual impressions in the matter, the most interesting department of the history of the medical science during the Middle Ages is that of surgery. Beca...
-Medieval Surgeons. Italy. Part 2
There are many interesting things said with regard to depressed fractures and the necessity for elevating the bone. If the depressed portion is wedged, then an opening should be made with the trephine...
-Medieval Surgeons. Italy. Part 3
While the old textbooks had emphasized the necessity for not allowing the circulation in the head to be disturbed by the cold, and insisted on the taking of special precautions in this matter, Bruno i...
-Medieval Surgeons. Italy. Part 4
Professor Clifford Allbutt, reviewing the practice of these North Italian surgeons of the thirteenth century, says :* They washed the wound with wine, scrupulously removing every foreign particle...
-Chapter VII. Surgeons Outside Of Italy. Surgeons Of The West Of Europe
Sciences are made by addition, and it is not possible that the same man should begin and finish them. . . We are like infants at the neck of a giant, for we can see all that the giant sees and som...
-Surgeons Outside Of Italy. Surgeons Of The West Of Europe. Part 2
After Lanfranc at Paris came Hern^jle Mondeville, whom Latin writers usually quote as Henricus. At least a dozen variants of the second portion of his name are found in literature, from Armondeville t...
-Surgeons Outside Of Italy. Surgeons Of The West Of Europe. Part 3
Surgicatv Instruments Ok Guy De Chauijac, Nos. I, 2, 3, And 4 ('Kourtkrnth Century) ; And Surgical. Apparatus Of Hans Von Gerssdorff, Nos. 5,6 And 7 (Fifteenth Century). Afterplates in Gurlt...
-Surgeons Outside Of Italy. Surgeons Of The West Of Europe. Part 4
Probably what ought to be considered the most important work of the French surgeons of the Middle Ages has been quite misunderstood until recent years. In his paper on '4 The Origin of Syphilis, at t...
-Surgeons Outside Of Italy. Surgeons Of The West Of Europe. Part 5
And note diligently that in the sqwynancy [quinsy] and in all the swellynges of the throte and the nekke and in all the lettynges and swolowynge as whanne the pacient thereof is oftetymys dysposyd t...
-Surgeons Outside Of Italy. Surgeons Of The West Of Europe. Part 6
There is not much to be said of the surgery of Germany during the Middle Ages, though toward the end of this period a series of important documents for the history of surgery were written which serve ...
-Chapter VIII. Oral Surgery And The Minor Surgical Specialities
The surgical specialities, as they are called—that is, the surgery of the mouth, throat, and nose, and of the eye and ear, as well of course as of certain other portions of the body—have developed to ...
-Oral Surgery And The Minor Surgical Specialities. Part 2
Chauliac is particularly emphatic in his insistence on not permitting alimentary materials to remain in the cavities, and suggests that if cavities between the teeth tend to retain food material they ...
-Oral Surgery And The Minor Surgical Specialities. Part 3
Shortly after Arculanus, when the Middle Ages are over—if they end with the middle of the fifteenth century, though perhaps not if the later date of the discovery of America is to be taken as the medi...
-Oral Surgery And The Minor Surgical Specialities. Part 4
The application of a cauterizing solution by means of a cotton swab wrapped round the end of a sound may be of service in patients who refuse the actual cautery. To be successful, he insists that the ...
-Chapter IX. Medical Education For Women
Among the rather startling surprises that have developed, as the growth of our knowledge of medieval history, through consultation of the documents in recent years, is constantly contradicting traditi...
-Medical Education For Women. Part 2
In these Benedictine convents for women, as they spread throughout Italy—and afterwards throughout Germany, and France, and England, though the fact is often ignored—the intellectual life was pursued ...
-Medical Education For Women. Part 3
She became most valuable to Mondino because she would cleanse most skilfully the smallest vein, the arteries, all ramifications of the vessels, without lacerating or dividing them, and to prepare th...
-Chapter X. Medieval Hospitals
Our recent experience makes it easy to understand that such magnificent advance in surgery as has been described in the preceding chapters would have been quite impossible unless there were excellent ...
-Medieval Hospitals. Part 2
Then, as now, Bishops made regular visits at intervals ad limina—that is, to the Pope as Chief Bishop of the Church; and according to tradition Pope Innocent called their attention particularly to thi...
-Medieval Hospitals. Part 3
The older portion of the Hospital of St. Jean at Bruges also gives an excellent idea of a later medieval hospital as it was constructed in a populous commercial town. Bruges, almost needless to say, w...
-Chapter XI. Medieval Care Of The Insane
Quite contrary to the usual impression, rather extensive and well-managed institutions for the care of the insane came into existence during the Middle Ages, and continued to fulfil a very necessary s...
-Medieval Care Of The Insane. Part 2
There is a rather well-grounded tradition that Sigibaldus, the thirty-sixth bishop of Metz during the papacy of Leo IV., about a.d. 850, erected two monasteries and paid special attention to the sick ...
-Medieval Care Of The Insane. Part 3
Bartholomew himself was only a compiler of information—a very learned man, it is true, but a clergyman-teacher, not a physician. Translations of his book were probably more widely read in England, in ...
-Medieval Care Of The Insane. Part 4
In the meantime it must not be forgotten that the people of the Middle Ages, even when they thought of insane and psychoneurotic persons as the subjects of diabolic possession, felt themselves under t...
-Medieval Care Of The Insane. Part 5
Another very interesting development of care for the mentally afflicted was the organization of institutions like the village of Gheel in Belgium, in which particularly children who were of low-grade ...
-Appendix I. Law Of The Emperor Frederick II (1194-1250). Regulating The Practice Of Medicine
While we are bent on making regulations for the common weal of our loyal subjects we keep ever under our observation the health of the individual. In consideration of the serious damage and the irre...
-Appendix II. Bull Of Pope John XXII
Bull Of Pope John XXII., Issued February 18, 1321, As A Charter For The Medical Department Of The University Of Perugia.* While with deep feelings of solicitous consideration we mentally revolve ho...
-Other Medical Books
Tbe lEbinburgb flletical Series. Text-Books For Students And Practitioners. Diseases And Injuries Of The Eye By William George Sym, M.D., F.R.C.S.E. Crown 8vo, cloth, containing 25 fu...








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