Medicine in the Medieval Period Essay

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Medicine in the Medieval Period

In the 14th Century, trade around Europe was increasing ships regularly and travelled from the Mediterranean to other parts of Europe. In 1348 one ship brought a devastating plague to England.

Source 1-Written by a monk from Malmesbury in Wiltshire, in the 1350's:

"In 1348, at about the feast of the Translation of St Thomas the Martyr (7 July) the cruel pestilence, hateful to all future ages, arrived from the countries across the sea on the South coast of England at the Port called Melcombe in Dorset. Travelling all over the South country it wretchedly killed innumerable people in Dorset, Devon and Somerset…next it came to Bristol, where very few were
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· Pneumonic plague attacked the victim's lungs causing breathing problems. Victims began to cough up blood and died more rapidly than those who had bubonic plague. This form of Black Death was spread by people breathing or coughing germs onto one another.

The reaction of people was somewhat to be expected. Shock, horror, anger and panic were only a few of what these people must've been feeling. Most simply waited, hoping to God that themselves and their families would survive. However some people decided to take action.

The King and his Bishops sent out orders for churchmen to lead processions, pleading with God to end the pestilence. Some people made candles their own height and lit them in church as an offering to God. IN Barcelona the citizens tried to protect themselves by making a candle seven kilometres long- enough to encircle the whole city.

There were many different ways in which the people caused the BLACK DEATH:

· Common-sense reasons (smells in the air from toilets etc)

· The body's humours being out of balance.

· The movement of the sun and the planets.

· God and the Devil.

· Invisible fumes or poisons in the air.

For example:

Here are two sources in which separate people talk about the way in which they believe caused the Black Death:

A Swedish Bishop called John Jacobus, who believed that God was
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