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[19 marks, 16 + 3 for SPAG]
In some ways the progress made in medicine by the Romans was successfully continued in the middle Ages in England. Galen’s theories and teachings, hospitals and learning remained the same and slowly advanced through the middle ages. Claudius Galen was a physician, teacher, pharmacist and leading scientist of his day. He produced five hundred books and treatises on all aspects of medical science and philosophical subjects. His works were the foundation of medical studies during the Middle Ages and roman times. Galen proposed the theory that illness was caused due to an imbalance of the four humors: blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. This theory was a systematic way about the inside of the body.
He would recommend specific diets to help cleanse the body and such methods such as purging and bloodletting would be used. Bloodletting is the withdrawal of blood from a patient to cure or prevent illness and disease. Purging is the process of making yourself vomit. Furthermore, Galen’s four humors linked with the urine charts. A urine chart would be used to determine what illness you would have by comparing the colour, taste and smell of the urine to the chart. Galen also proposed the theory of opposites but throughout the years was slowly improved and proven wrong eventually.
In the Roman times, there were roman army hospitals to treat those injured in the war and chaos. These hospitals were fairly advanced because there were separate rooms for specific things such as medicine, baths, dead bodies and kitchens to prevent spread of the illnesses reaching other patients. These hospitals continued in the middle ages and to some extend helped the sick more because there was more hospitals for the poor to go to. However, only 22% of the hospitals gave medical care. These hospitals were the ones that cared for the sick and gave shelter to the poor travelers and pilgrims. Leper hospitals and poor and elderly hospitals housed the sick however did not help them get better physically.
In the middle ages in England the progress made in medicine by the Romans was not continued because the Church took control of medical teachings so that the Church hindered learning. After the Romans left, after Norman invasion in 1066, Christianity became increasingly important in society internationally all across Europe. Most priests could read and write; senior churchmen often included among the king’s advisors. They hindered the teachings of medicine as the church preached that illness was a sign of a sin, a punishment, or a test sent by God. Treatments generally continued to be a mix of tried and tested herbal remedies, bleeding and purging and supernatural ideas. People would say prayers and make offerings to saints and might go on pilgrimage in the hope that God would cure them. Furthermore, many people could carry lucky charms or carry out a superstitious ritual, such as rubbing snail juice on their eyes to cure blindness. The churches influenced medicine and treatment in the late middle ages by the running the hospitals. Nuns and monks ran hospitals where they cared for the sick. They had images around the hospital so the sick people could see them to focus their prayers on getting better and for forgiveness for their sins. Leper hospitals were another form of hospital where nuns…