Medicine in middle ages
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MEDICINE IN MIDDLE AGES. Assist.Prof.Dr. Mehmet KARATAŞ Department of History of Medicine and Ethics. Medicine In Middle Ages. 500 AD-1500 AD First period Second period : Mostly philosophica , Under influence of ancient medicine ( Greek -Roma cultures )

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Medicine in middle ages


Assist.Prof.Dr. Mehmet KARATAŞ

Department of History of Medicine and Ethics

Medicine in middle ages1

Medicine In Middle Ages

500 AD-1500 AD

  • Firstperiod

  • Secondperiod: Mostlyphilosophica,

    Underinfluence of ancientmedicine

    (Greek-Roma cultures)

    Christianity appeared as a monotheistic religion in Roman Empire and in 4rd century became a state religion.

Jesus plague

Jesus / Plague

Religion disease


  • Jewish

  • Christian

  • Muslim



Medicine in middle ages2

Medicine In Middle Ages

  • Caring for the sick people began as a charity in the early Christian world and nuns began to care for the sick in medieval ages. Medicinal plants exist in herb gardens in the monasteries. They were called hortuli.

  • Early hospitals: After 335 AD.

  • 1145 Montpellier–Holy Ghost Hospital

Medicine in middle ages

  • St Helena hospital (330 AD) Rome

  • Fabiola (343-420 AD) The first Christian community hospital

Emperor constantine


Medicine in middle ages3

Medicine In Middle Ages

Schools of medicine in theMiddleAgesItaly (9th century)

  • Milano

  • Salerno

  • Padova

  • Bologna

  • Napoli

    Montpellier (France)

    Whilereligionwasveryinfluential at first on theseschools,

    itsinfluencestartedtodecrease in time and in 1130 practice

    of medicinewasprohibitedforclergymen.

Medicine in middle ages

  • Thereareimportantdifferencesbetweenthestatus of priestsandPhysician

  • Saint Benedict

Physician saint humilitas

Physician / Saint Humilitas

Padua university




The four elements


Famous physicians

Famous physicians

  • Luca

  • Pantaleon

  • Cosmas & Damian

Cosmas damian

cosmas & damian

Cosmas and damian murder


Miraculous healings

Miraculous Healings

  • Christ performed some miraculous healings, and this is depicted in the iconography of western art. It was believed that cure of the disease was only possible through praying. So patients expected miraculous healings from Christ. In the Christian west in middle ages, they emphasized the salvation of the soul rather than the body.

  • People believed that Saints had an ability to heal patients and they expected health from different Saints. People who had toothache had to pray Saint Apolanaire, St. Antony was responsibly for curing fevers, St.Roch for plague etc.

Saint lucy

Saint Lucy

Saint mary

Saint Mary

Miraculous healings1

Miraculous Healings

Evil could be everywhere and could challenge human beings. Psychiatric patients were believed to be in cooperation with evil and they were burned in public in town centers. Sometimes priests tried to take devil from their body. This called was exorcism and in fact, they applied serious torture procedures to those poor patients.

Woman devil

Woman / Devil

Medicine in middle ages4

Medicine In Middle Ages


Monasticism was a part of the Middle Age culture. Following the hermitic tradition of separation from worldly society, monks lived in monasteries.

Examination and dissection


Student dissection

Student / Dissection

Epidemics in the middle age

Epidemics in the Middle Age

Diseases prevalent

Through the Middle Ages leprosy and plague were important diseases. Leprosy people were stigmatized in western world and separated from the society. In fact, a variety of skin diseases were also identified as leprosy. Epidemics of typhus, smallpox, and other diseases spread with crusaders through the continent. Plague was the most horrible disease and was called as Black Death. Especially plague epidemics influenced societies so deeply. Many people died with this epidemic and those scenes were described place in the Western art later on.



Konuyla lgili soru cevap

Konuyla İlgili SORU/CEVAP

Soru 1:

Ortaçağ döneminde İtalya’da bulunan üç ünlü tıp okulu hangileriydi?

Cevap 1: Milano, Salerno, Padova

Soru 2:

Orataçağ döneminde dünyada özellikle etkili olan hastalıklar nelerdi?

Cevap 2: Veba, lepra, çiçek, tifüs



  • A. Selim ATAY, İnönü Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, translation

  • Tolga GÜVEN, Marmara Üniversitesi Tıp Tarihi ve Etik AD ders notları

  • Ali Haydar BAYAT, Tıp Tarihi

  • Emine ATABEK, Şefik GÖRKEY, Başlangıcından Rönesansa Kadar Tıp Tarihi

  • Çağlar Boyu Tıp, Roche Yayınları


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