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Changes In Medicine

Changes In Medicine


In source A we are looking at a private picture from a 14th century manuscript. First of all we notice that this is a wealthy man being treated because you had to pay for treatment, hospitals were scarce and uncleanly, so he would have been treated in his home. The treatment by two lat sisters (nuns of study); the invalid could have had lay brothers (monks of study) Source A shows the nuns were sought after.

The picture describes the types of medical instruments and practises used by women. Firstly the two lay sisters who are treating him are clean, with their hair tied back with one sister holding a sterilised basin. I can tell this as the artist has over exaggerated the basin’s shininess. One sister can read as she has a book of remedies. She must have seen the man and diagnosed his illness, showing her knowledge of symptoms. The sister must also have knowledge of herbs and drugs. In the picture it looks to me as there is one sister with doctrine knowledge, (the one reading), and one with nursing knowledge (the one with the bowl). This shows women had experience of both medical sides in the 14th century.

There is not much written about the role of women in that period, but we do know that women were important in local areas. There is also some evidence of a woman doctor in the Middle Ages known as Trotula of Salerno. Not only did Trotula study, she taught medicine in the Salerno University and wrote a book called ‘Diseases of women’. Trotula was not alone. There was a women named Calenda Constanza who was noted in 1423 for lecturing in medicine. This was good, but women doctors tended to come from very eastern European cities where the Renaissance started, like Venice and Rome. Very few women were allowed to study doctrine in England and France. Many women could not read so this was a problem. In the...

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Category:   Medicine

Length:   18 pages (4,011 words)

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