Early medieval medicine was decidedly a mixed bag. On the one hand a decent practitioner could mend a broken bone, bind a nasty wound, and give you the best attention possible in the event of fever. There would be a decent chance your healer could rely on a book of herbal remedies from the ancient Greeks. Not too bad.
On the other hand, your healer was strictly bound by the medical theories of those same ancients, theories which began and ended with the infamous “humors” of the body. The herbal remedies had been copied many times over, usually by scribes who had never seen the plants being referenced. And indeed, those plants grew in the eastern Mediterranean, not northern Europe. Other medical ‘texts’ are filled with references to things like how to tell if a person is going to die via holding a tick from a black dog in the healer’s left hand.1.Peregrine Horden, What’s Wrong With Early Medieval Medicine?, Social History of Medicine, v.24, n.1, pp.5 – 25. Be sure not to miss the discussion of “vulture medicine.”
Footnotes [ + ]
|1.||↑||Peregrine Horden, What’s Wrong With Early Medieval Medicine?, Social History of Medicine, v.24, n.1, pp.5 – 25. Be sure not to miss the discussion of “vulture medicine.”|