Essay History..: Humorism and People

Submitted By CourtneyyySnell
Words: 1208
Pages: 5

Medieval towns and public places may not have been clean by modern standards, but Medieval people understood the connection between clean living and good health. Occasionally, they took a bath about once a year. Medieval towns did not have systems of sewers or water pipes like Rome had but they did have the river flowing in channels under the Fountains Abbey. Medieval towns were filthy. Garbage and human waste was thrown into the streets. However for most people sanitation was non-existent. . Despite the lack of public health many towns had public bath-houses where you could pay to have a bath. In source A it shows toilets and washrooms. This contributes to a better public health system because then there is no human waste in the streets attracting rats, mice and lice which contain a variety of diseases and fleas. Also the washrooms help towards personal hygiene. Personal hygiene is important because it exposes you to diseases, infections and bad odours.

Most people in Medieval times never saw a doctor. They were treated by the local wise-woman who was skilled in the use of herbs, or by the priest, who pulled out teeth, set broken bones and performed other operations. Their cures were a mixture of superstition (magic stones and charms ), religion (for example driving out evil spirits from people who were mentally ill). This is also known as trephining and herbal remedies . In souce B it says ' ... The pain will stop at once as I have often seen.' If a medevial doctor has found a cure/charm that has worked more then once they will use it. People in the Middle Ages believed that plants had magical powers, so therefore by using the 'magical plants' the person who is unwell or injuired will be healthy again. Plants were used for medical purposes as well as for spells. Alot of people in the middles ages thought that it actually worked, however, there is no scienctific proof that it is wasn't just mind over matter. In the source it also says ' In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, Amen...' This is refering to Christianity and God. People using this method of treatment obviously thought that God was curing them.
Sources C and E are similar as they both show natural methods of curing disease but source D shows a supernatural method. In source D Edward the Confessor was a important figure who was believed to have the power to heal. He began the royal custom of touching ill people to cure them. In source D the doctor is making the patient vomit to restore the balance of the four humours and in source C they are using no supernatural methods just the taste, smell and heat of a smaple of blood from patients to find what is wrong and cures.
It is a suprise to see Hippocrates as a medieval doctor because he was a greek physician. Medieval doctors tended to be uncritical in their acceptance of Greek and Roman ideas and not very innovative. They believed that there was little new to discover. The Theory of the Four Humors did force Medieval doctors to observe their patients carefully, using the Greek idea of Clinical Observation, (which is still used today) and it did lead them to diagnose and recommend treatments based on Hippocrates' and Galen's teachings. Patients with plenty of money could hope for a doctor who followed Hippocrates' discoveries, observed his/her symptoms to come to a diagnosis based on the theory of the Four Humors and prescribed treatments based on the idea of re-balancing the humors in order to restore health. Such treatments might take into account the season of the year, as each humor was held to be sensitive to its own season (yellow bile to summer, black bile to autumn, phlegm to winter, blood to spring). A patient might be prescribed more, or less, exercise, hot baths or certain foods
Source G it is talking about leprosy. The association of lepers with the unclean is seen in the popularity of baths as a treatment for leprosy, however in the medieval time baths were not very frequent. The…