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

    During block 4, the fireplace is very high up, to suggest accommodation rooms above, which were probably of great taste to accommodate royalty such as the king. This king was the English King, Edward 1st who came to Oystermouth castle on a royal visit.

  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. Behavioural Theories.

    "When I first bought the place from Tommy," she said, "these old guys would come in and, within ten minutes, they'd all be speakn' German." The shop's present look portrays Gael's "alternative lifestyle" (for months, she lived in a tee-pee while building a bungalow-type house in the hills.)

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

    One man in particular, Versalius, even broke the rules of dissection once by letting his medical students get close to the body and they could see for themselves how it compared to the drawings, but they were also learning about what the different organs did; and what their roles were in the anatomy.

  1. The Cool Doctor

    In explaining why traditional practices in Samar remain strong, Gloria Hocsen concludes that the lack of proper religious training is one of the key reasons traditional beliefs still abound. Other reasons for the continuance of these folk beliefs include lack of health facilities, a poor economy, and inadequate transportation (Johnson 2000).

  2. Development of Medicine

    The doctors were not as concerned with protection from infection, and whether or not the patient was in a clean environment. Surgeons wore a coat of black cloth, stiff with blood and filth of years of operations past. The more soaked with fluid this garment was, the more forcibly it conveyed evidence of the surgeon's skill and background.

  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. Research into the major figures in the Renaissance.

    Columbus persuaded King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain to give him money. In return he promised to give them spices, new lands, money and people to become Christian. After the king and queen agreed Columbus had three ships.

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