• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How much progress had been made in medicine by the end of the renaissance?

Extracts from this document...


Charlotte Allen 24th October '07 How much progress had been made in medicine by the end of the Renaissance? The Renaissance was a time of profound change for the people of Western Europe. During the era from 1500 to 1750, great developments were taking place. There were new artists to show accurate representations of the body, new learning such as the rediscovery of old ideas, reformation and the church became less powerful, new inventions such as the printing press and what I think maybe is the most important of all is travel. The discovery of new lands and new ideas was vital, because doctors learnt new methods and techniques, but they also were able to get new herbs and foods, therefore enabling us to create more medicines and remedies. Although not all the ideas and thoughts were correct in the Renaissance, compared to the Middle Ages it was a real breakthrough. During the Middle Ages there was hardly any effective natural cures and the doctors etc. still believed and used Galen and Hippocrates' ideas about the four humours. They were getting nowhere with no new ideas. The Black Death just proves how little they actually knew about disease and how it's spread. ...read more.


Individuals Versalius: Versalius was a very important figure in history. He proved Galen wrong. Galen had said that there were two bones in the jaw, but Versalius proved that there was only one. This didn't go down very well because people had believed in Galen and his ideas for hundreds of years, and the church really like Galen as well, because he believed that it was God who created the body. But Versalius began doing lots of dissections and people eventually could see that he was telling the truth. Versalius also published books and with the printing press they were widely popular. Harvey: Harvey was also important. He discovered lots about the circulation of blood around the body. Harvey also proved Galen wrong. Galen had claimed that blood was burnt up in the muscles, but Harvey proved this was, in fact, impossible. He then discovered that blood only travelled around the body in one direction. He did experiments to prove this. He would insert a probe into the vein, and then slide it up and down. It would slide easily one way, but then it wouldn't the other way, so it would be the same with blood. Harvey then wrote a book called 'Anatomical Account of the Motion of the Heart and Blood'. ...read more.


It shows that they still don't really know what causes disease, but they knew (or guessed) that dirty streets didn't help and that if someone had the plague, they shouldn't go near anyone else. They sort of knew about germs. They said that there was nasty monsters, but they didn't know what they were or how the spread, but they knew a lot more than they did in the Black Death, where practically none of this measures were enforced, because they were not as well informed about it all. Conclusion The Renaissance was about changes in ideas and attitudes but this did not increase life expectancy because not all of the new ideas were correct, and therefore some people were still dying and also the streets were hardly any cleaner, and because they were so dirty, people were getting ill that way. Rats, lice and fleas were a part of everyday life for most people. Houses were made of wood, mud and horse dung. The Renaissance writer, Erasmus, gave a description of the floors in English houses as being full of '...spittle and vomit and urine of dogs and men, beer that has been thrown out, remnants of fishes and filth unnameable.' So quite a lot of progress had been made, but not all of it helped life expectancy very much, and the streets were all dirty. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE History Projects section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE History Projects essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Did Medicine Improve In the Middle Ages?

    4 star(s)

    There were few people who practised surgery exclusively and they had very little or no training and didn't attend university. They were usually summoned by doctors. They also had no consideration for hygiene and most of their patients died from blood-loss, shock or infection.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    How much progress was there between the Middle Ages (1350) and the renaissance period(1750)?

    3 star(s)

    Vesalius actually carried out experiments by dissecting humans; he stole corpses to his develop scientific knowledge on the body. He wrote the book "The Fabric of the Human Boy" which included detailed drawings of human bodies. He found out that Galen's theory, that animals are the same as humans, was wrong, humans are different from animals!

  1. Was 1750-1900 an era of progress?

    This meant that the farming system had to be changed so enough crops could be grown for the ever-growing population. The farming method used in 1750 was changed to a new method. This method was called the Enclosed-field system. This meant, because lots of different people owned land very close together, fences were built around each individuals piece of land.

  2. Was the Medical Renaissance an important period in medical history?

    on the wound, with help from cautery irons to seal it up. Par´┐Ż, once, run out of the boiling hot oil, and was very panicky. He devised his own substitute, comprising of turpentine (A Roman antiseptic), egg yolk and the oil of rose.

  1. Plague and Medicine in the Renaissance

    The only people who knew, how to please God were the religious leaders or the astronomers, who worked on how the movement of the planets influenced human events.

  2. Development of Medicine

    bacterial toxin causes sever muscle spasms leaving a serious infectious disease of the nervous system , also called lock jaw. Surgery was made much safer by these new understandings of infectious diseases. The late 19th century was the end of doctors operating in filthy clothes, using un-sterilized instruments, and patients dying of infections developing after the operation.

  1. History of Medicine Revision Notes.

    There were various Negative factors: 1. The universities were controlled by the Churches and they emphasised old ideas such as Galen and discouraged any new ideas 1. The Churches discouraged dissection 1. The Churches were emphasised supernatural ideas of medicine and disliked natural ideas HOWEVER (positive factors of medicine in the middle ages): 1.

  2. The Developments in Medicine in the Renaissance

    Although his discovery was chance, it was him that looked for another solution when the oil had run out. Without this discovery many people may have died, therefore Paré work is important in the history of surgery. 1.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work