Medieval Medicine Middle Ages

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How was Medicine Connected with Religion around Middle Ages

Rongke Zhang (Lily) G12


Medicine has long been developed for the sake of human health. From the beginning of human history with languages, the myths and legends about medicine have been told from mouth to mouth all over the world among all races and districts. All kinds of medical practices evolved around the world, treating patients in distinctive ways. Meanwhile, in many places, medical science had a long history combined with theology until very modern time. This essay will illustrate how medical science was connected with religion through analysis of medieval medicine study and history in medieval times, and how the current events affected their relationship.

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Ancient Greeks, Ancient Egyptians as well as Ancient Romans, made huge inputs into medicine and health. Most of their inputs were contributed to the public health schemes. Though most of these studies were not set in the field of pure medicine, the poorly conditioned citizen’s health and sanitation spread diseases among people, and constantly any subtle improvement in public health could have a major impact on society.

However, at this time, people strongly believed in the influence on human bodies by the gods and devils, for which the physicians and the doctors all tried to fix their theories and adjust them to the principles of churches. More importantly, the medieval churches had strong power over the whole society, and people lived under a full regulation under the church. In this situation, all sciences and literature all serve for the churches, including
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Medical science was in its most prosperous time, but also in its darkest time in European history. Throughout the radical changes of the government, religion, society and perceptions, medical study established itself as an independent branch of science.

A wide range of reasons account for the dependence and independence of this phenomenon. All the natural disasters, wars, and change in social structure led to the higher importance of health care, and better esteemed status of medical scientists. From these aspects, the medical study is more controlled by the church to rule the people; meanwhile, the lower level of authorities alleviated the level of control of the scientific studies by the church. In general, medical science was developing in a circular way, slowing towards its own era of
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