Medicine in the Medieval Period Essay

Medicine in the Medieval Period Essay

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Medicine in the Medieval Period

In the 14th Century, trade around Europe was increasing ships
regularly and travelled from the Mediterranean to other parts of
Europe. In 1348 one ship brought a devastating plague to England.

Source 1-Written by a monk from Malmesbury in Wiltshire, in the

"In 1348, at about the feast of the Translation of St Thomas the
Martyr (7 July) the cruel pestilence, hateful to all future ages,
arrived from the countries across the sea on the South coast of
England at the Port called Melcombe in Dorset. Travelling all over the
South country it wretchedly killed innumerable people in Dorset, Devon
and Somerset…next it came to Bristol, where very few were left alive,
and then travelled Northwards, leaving not a city, a town, a village,
or even, except rarely, a house, without killing most or all of the
people there so that over England as a whole a fifth of the men, women
and children were carried to burial. As a result there was such a
shortage of people that hardly enough living to look after the sick
and bury the dead."

According to modern historians Source 1 underestimates the effects of
the BLACK DEATH. It is now estimated that over 40% of the people in
England died. Towns and Ports were hardest hit. Villages and farms in
the hills were the safest. Further outbreaks of the plague came in
1361, 1369, 1374 and 1390. It killed quickly and painfully.

The Black Death included two kinds of pestilence:

· Bubonic plague made people suddenly feel cold and tired. Painful
swellings (buboes) appeared in their armpits and groin and small
blisters all over their bodies. This was followed by hi...

... middle of paper ...

duty to care for the sick, but it was not until the 1100's that it
actually took many practical measures to encourage this teaching. In
the eleventh century the church started to open up medical schools
where the ideas of Galen were taught. It also set up hospitals run by
nuns and monks.

These were not hospitals as we understand them today. Out of the 1200
medieval hospitals identified in England and Wales, only around 10% of
the, actually cared for the sick. The others were called hospitals
because they provided 'hospitality' for visitors.

Most of the hospitals in England and Wales, which did care for the
sick, were founded in the 1100's and 1200's.

Some hospitals specialised in certain kinds of patients. Such as 'un
married pregnant women', 'poor and silly persons' and 'the blind, deaf
and mute'.

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