Foolish Remedies: Plague doctors
Originally posted on Wellcome Collection blog:A few months ago, we asked for your best tips for curing a cold on Twitter. The answers were brilliantly illustrated by our very own Rob Bidder as part of our Curious Conversations. April Fools’ Day kicked off our Foolish Remedies series as Muriel Bailly explores other unusual cures for illnesses inspired by Henry Wellcome’s collection.
“Epilepsy was one of the first brain disorders to be described. It was mentioned in ancient Babylon more than 3,000 years ago… The term epilepsy is derived from the Greek word epilam-banein, meaning to attack or seize. People once thought that epileptic individuals were being visited by demons or gods. However, in 400 b.c., the early physician Hippocrates suggested that epilepsy was a disorder of the brain …”Source: From a review by Goldenberg (via cfsfmmcsandrelatedstudies)
Andreas Vesalius, De Humani Corporis Fabricus. Plate 49, brain with seven cranial nerves. 1543.
The legislation and the texts of the most important medical writers of Byzantine times have been studied with reference to abortions, the ethical aspect of this social and medico-legal problem, the theological and the scientific approach. The theoretical basis of the permanent and absolute condemnation of all kinds of abortions except those permitted for medical reasons, is greatly influenced by the spirit of Christianity. In fact, religion supported the view that the reception of the seed in the uterus and the conception of the embryo means the beginning of life and accepted that the foetus is already a living creature. All legislation of Byzantium from the earliest times also condemned abortions. Consequently, foeticide was considered equal to murder and infanticide and the result was severe punishments for all persons who participated in an abortive technique reliant on drugs or other methods. The punishments could extend to exile, confiscation of property and death.
The physicians followed the tradition of Ancient Greece, incorporated in the Hippocratic Oath, representative of the ideas of previous philosophers. According to this famous document, it is forbidden them to give a woman “an abortive suppository”. The Orthodox faith reinforced this attitude, protective of every human life. On the other hand, the Church and the State accepted selective abortion based on medical data, such as prevention of dangerous conditions in pregnancy or anatomical difficulties involved.
In conclusion, science, church and legislation had a common attitude to matters concerning abortion and this fact reveals an effort to apply a fair policy for the rights of the embryo and the protection of human life in Byzantine society.
Your temperament is choleric. The choleric temperament is fundamentally ambitious and leader-like. They have a lot of aggression, energy, and/or passion, and try to instill it in others. They can dominate people of other temperaments, especially phlegmatic types. Many great charismatic military…
Choleric! Pleased with this, describes me perfectly at the moment.
When we think of brain surgery, we think of a sterile environment where everyone is in little blue suites and lots of bright lights shining down on the patient. But it hasn’t always been that way.
currently reading articles on neuroscience whilst surrounded by biomed students. help.
Richard I Leaving England for the Crusades, 1189
By Glyn Warren Philpot
Oil on canvas, 1925 - 1927
Hypnotic Seance by Richard Bergh, 1887