How Much Did Medicine and Treatment Progress (Change and Continuity) Between 1350 and 1750?

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How much did medicine and treatment progress (change and continuity) between 1350 and 1750?

In medicine there were many things that changed and some that stayed the same between 1350 and 1750. Initially I will be looking at medicine and treatment in the Ancient World as a prelude to its importance during the Renaissance period, and also the influence it may have had in the Middle Ages.

During Ancient times, cure and prevention of illness and disease were not very well developed – people would blame their ill health on Gods, witches, demons or other supernatural causes. They had many theories, such as God punishing them for their sins.
The Ancient Greeks began to believe that illnesses had a natural cause – in about 400 BCE, a doctor
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After 300 CE, Romans officially converted to Christianity, and this thoroughly encouraged people to think illness and disease had natural rather than supernatural causes. Roman doctors were encouraged to expand their knowledge of the human anatomy, which also helped medical understanding progress – however, they still could not carry out dissections.

Claudius Galen was an Ancient Roman born in about 129 CE in Greece. He believed the theory of the Four Humours and wrote many books based on this theory, which were to be used by generations to come. He developed the Theory of Opposites – when the four humours became unbalanced, he would give something opposite to the humour that was in excess. An example of this is that if a patient had phlegm (which he associated which hot and dry), they would eat cold food – such as cucumber – drink lots of water and stand out in the rain.

Unlike previous and future periods in time, the Ancient Romans believed strongly in personal hygiene. They had public baths in every town and city, and would conduct business there, sending up to two hours a day in them. Canals and aqueducts were designed to carry water to the people in towns, as well as having fresh water and drains. Sewers were cleaned by rainwater, which prevented them for blocking up. All this made a massive change to people’s health as they were much more hygienic
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