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Flashcards in The Renaissance Deck (78)
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At the start of the Renaissance, how influential was the Church?

The Catholic Church still had huge power and influence.


Did the power of the Catholic Church change in the Renaissance?

Eventually, yes.


What were two things that decreased the influence of the Church in the Renaissance?

- It suffered a challenge from people called Protestants who were unsatisfied with its power and organisation.
- Meanwhile, as people gradually proved ideas they said were “unchallengeable” wrong, their authority was eroded.


Did rational ideas become more influential in the Renaissance?

Scientists + philosophers gradually came up with ideas that challenged the accepted old ideas (such as Galen’s incorrect writings on the structure of the human body/anatomy).


Who were particularly prone to rational thought in the Renaissance?

People, particularly intellectual people, by the middle of the 17th century were more happy to look for and accept rational and natural explanations for why things like disease happen.


What did Paracelsus theorise about the cause of disease?

In 1526, Paracelsus theorised that disease was caused by problems with chemicals inside the body.


What did Fracastoro theorise about the cause of disease?

In 1546, Fracastoro wrote On Contagion, which suggested disease was caused by seeds in the air.


What did Thomas Sydenham theorise about the cause of disease?

In 1676, he published Observations Medicae which theorised disease was separate from the patient.


Details about contents of Observations Medicae

- Diseases belonged to families.
- The nature of the patient had little to do with disease that was affecting them.
- Disease attacked the body from the outside, not inside.


Why was Observations Medicae significant in relation to older theories about the causes of disease?

Sydenham claimed that the personality of the patient did not cause/affect the disease that they were suffering from. This laid the foundations for ending belief in the Theory of the Four Humours.


What did Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek develop and when?

By 1683, with funding from the Royal Society, Developed microscopes that were powerful enough to see tiny “animalcules” in plaque scraped from teeth.


Did people still believe that God caused disease in the Renaissance?

Yes- the wider population of Britain held on to superstitious beliefs longer. God’s role was particularly still seen in times of epidemic diseases like Plague.


Who didn't believe that God caused disease in the Renaissance?

The intellectual classes who were becoming more and more scientific in the 1600s.


What were the other theories about the causes of disease that people still believed in the Renaissance?

- The Theory of the Four Humours - although by 1700 it had been discredited, it was still believed by the wider population of Britain who were poorly educated.
- Miasmata


Treatments from Middle Ages that people continued to use in Renaissance, without changing them

- Humoural treatments, most notably bleeding, sweating and purging, stayed popular due to a strong continued belief in someone’s constitution (linking to the Four Humours).
- Avoidance- never having too much of things and having them in moderation.


How were herbal remedies developed from Medieval times?

- They remained popular, but people began to think more deeply about certain remedies that might help certain illnesses.
- They became more exotic due to England’s global exploration at the time.


Why did the 'Regimen Sanitatis' decrease in popularity during the Renaissance?

- Bathing actually became less fashionable because of the growth of a killer disease called syphilis and rumours spread that it could be caught by bathing.
- It became more popular towards the end of the period.


What completely new methods of prevention/treatment were there in the Renaissance?

- Experimenting with medical chemistry a.k.a iatrochemistry (particularly in the 17th century)
- Homeowners fined for not cleaning up the streets outside their house- this was seen as a cause of Miasma
- People began avoiding very dirty areas altogether.


What did Paracelsus theorise about methods of treatment for disease?

1500s: argued that cures needed to be developed that could attack disease. He experimented with early chemical cures such as arsenic, antimony, and mercury.


Exact examples of herbal treatments

- Colour treatments
- Vervain to expel stomach worms and keep the liver healthy.
- Cinchona bark from Peru to treat Malaria.
(actually worked for a time if it was continually taken)
- People experimented with the new arrival of coffee.


Exact examples of 'colour treatments'

- Yellow herbs such as saffron to treat jaundice.
- Drinking red wine and wearing red clothes to cure smallpox.


When was the Pharmacopoeia Londinensis published and what were its contents?

- 1618
- Included details on 122 chemical treatments including mercury and antimony, which was shown to cool the body down if given in small doses.


What chemical treatment became popular, when did it become popular and why?

- Antimony potassium tartrate after 1657
- Said to have cured Louis XIV of France of typhoid fever.


What was the role of physicians in the Renaissance?

They were contracted to hospitals were they would visit patients and even prescribe cures.


How did the role of physicians change from Medieval times to the Renaissance?

In medieval times they would have diagnosed patients but not prescribed treatments.


Were physicians well-educated in the Renaissance?

- Retrieved better training in universities
- More detailed textbooks covering detailed descriptions of human body + new forms of treatments such as medical chemistry.
- From the 17th century onwards, learning became more hands on and less about learning from ancient books.


Define iatrochemistry

Medical chemistry


How did Apothecaries change from Medieval times to the Renaissance?

- Became more professionalised
- Organised into guild systems: you would first have to be an apprentice and learn to be a master of the craft.
- Exploration of the New World + growth of iatrochemistry meant new ingredients were introduced into the stores of apothecaries.


Did hospitals provide good care in the Renaissance?

- Offered patients a good diet
- Offered a visit from a physicians
- Offered medicine with a remedy put together by an apothecary.


What happened in 1536?

Dissolution of the monasteries reduced the amount of hospitals in England. The oldest hospital in England, St. Barts, only survived because Henry VIII re-opened it himself in 1546.