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

Plague and Medicine in the Renaissance

Extracts from this document...


The Plague and Medicine Richard M´┐Żekallas In the Renaissance, life was much shorter than today, you were lucky if you lived to be more than 30 years old. The main reasons for deaths were war, starvation and disease. The plague was one of the most feared diseases of all. This struck Italian cities about in the middle of the 14 century at the time of the Black Death. The Black Death probably consisted of two main diseases: one which was carried by the fleas on rats and the other one from human contact. But medicine wasn't vey improved by that time and people had many reasons for why they thought so many people were dying of it. Some thought it was a punishment from God, in which people whipped themselves, cleaned up cities etc to ask forgiveness from God. ...read more.


The poor couldn't visit a doctor anyway, because they obviously couldn't afford it. In the 15th and 16th century, hospitals were built in Florence. In the Middle Ages, the most important medical book was a text written by Claudius Galen in the second century AD. Galen was a Greek doctor who had treated the Roman Emperor successfully and had become very famous due to that. He got his research of the anatomy by dissecting animals and trying to relate them to humans, because dissecting human beings was forbidden for religious reasons. Galen's works were the main textbooks in medical schools throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance. His observations of the anatomy and his theories on how the body worked were fairly accurate. For example, the doctors who treated Lorenzo de Medici, had learned from Galen's theories that spa waters could be used to treat Lorenzo's kidney and liver problems. ...read more.


Even though the church still disliked the dissection of bodies, Andreas ignored them and dissected executed criminals. He published a book called: "The Fabric of the Human Body" in 1543 and the book became widely spread. He was one of the many doctors who said that many of Galen's theories were wrong, but he was the only one who had evidence from his own dissections. There was a lot of criticism concerning Andreas' new ideas, he was bitterly attacked and in many universities, his works were banned for about fifty years. It was clear that the new ideas from Renaissance doctors came as a big shock to people who had been taught not to question traditional knowledge. Soon on, college professors started teaching their students from Vesalius' book and over the next century, many more discoveries were made concerning the human anatomy and especially the human heart. Dissection, observation and experimentation became an accepter way of improving medical knowledge. Renaissance doctor and a patient . "The Fabric of the Human Body" by Andreas Vesalius ...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)

    Public health had also regressed following the collapse of the Roman Empire. The Romans had built sewers and aqueducts throughout Britain but these fell into disrepair and eventually out of use. Public health wasn't seen as a priority by subsequent rulers and the streets of Britain were filled with filth and refuse.

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

    Ages, where there was quite a lot of competition between European and Arab doctors as to who was the better doctor. All this was big progress in the Renaissance. A new invention during the end of the Middle Ages was the printing press.

  1. The Cool Doctor

    The money question may be another reason to secure the tambalan's help. The medicine used by him is cheap and often no charge at all is made, since the healing power is a supernatural gift which might be lost if money is taken for the services.

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

    This surprised people, as it meant that Galen could also be wrong about many of his other theories too. Vesalius encouraged his students to dissect too; he thought people should not be afraid to prove any classical theories wrong. William Harvey, another person who worked and disproved Galen's theories, is

  1. Development of Medicine

    Some causes of age-old illnesses such as anthrax, diphtheria, tuberculosis, leprosy, and plague were soon isolated after the germ theory was acknowledged. In 1885, Pasteur developed a way to prevent rabies using a vaccine. Techniques for immunizing against diphtheria, which is a highly infectious disease affecting children particularly, characterized by

  2. Was Oystermouth Castle typical of the castles built in Wales during the middle Ages?

    Other Castles? Yet, Oystermouth Castle was not the only castle in Wales built at this time. There are infact many other castles with many great similarities as there are differences. We begin with Penard Castle. Similar to Oystermouth, as it was built on high ground to defend the Gower coastline.

  1. History of Medicine Revision Notes.

    Bad air= people used flowers and perfume to stop bad air 1. Contagion= people would not come into contact with an infected person 1. Poisoning wells= People believed that the Jews had poisoned the wells ? Many Jews were burnt alive 1.

  2. Research into the major figures in the Renaissance.

    Vesalius believed the skeletal system to be the framework of the human body. It was in this opening chapter, or book, of De fabrica that Vesalius made several of his strongest claims against Galen's theories and writings which he had put in his anatomy books.

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