So, for a quick summary: there were two competing medical theories in the Renaissance. 1) Humoralism, also known as Galenism. Think the four humors and bloodletting. Bile. All that fun stuff stretching back to Hypocrites. And 2) Paracelsianism, which was a combination between a slightly better informed science (emphasis on the slightly) and alchemy. […]Read more "Romeo and Juliet: Critique of Medical Theory"
In the minds of many contemporaries, sharp increases in mortality during the Renaissance were caused by the “three arrows of God”—war, famine, and pestilence. Disease, beyond the scientific illness, was a complex social construction. According to Renaissance thinking, disease was caused by anything from God and witchcraft to the stars to natural causes. The remedies […]Read more "Comedy of Errors and the Invasion of Disease"
As in the Middle Ages, surgery during the Renaissance was mostly concerned with the surface of the body: stitches, amputations, bandaging wounds. In the Renaissance, this tendency continued and expanded. With the rise of syphilis, surgeons became concerned with helping the infected to present a face to the public. Surgeons became managers of exterior appearances […]Read more "Troilus and Cressida: Shakespeare’s Medicine of Politics"