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Blood, inflammation and guts

2 - 7 July 2024

Blood, inflammation and guts - tales from the medieval physician 

 

It took good health to visit a doctor in the Middle Ages. Medical science was not as advanced as it is today, and it was believed that diseases originated from "imbalances" in bodily fluids, and all treatment was aimed at restoring this balance. This was almost entirely wrong, so often the doctor's treatment was far more dangerous than the disease itself. Bacteria and viruses were unknown, and one was largely powerless against infections.

 

There were indeed trained physicians in the Middle Ages, but their education was based on ancient Greek superstition - and on misinterpretations that they had guessed at themselves. Autopsies did not exist because one was not allowed to interfere with God's creation. Therefore, the battlefield and the gallows were the only places where one could truly see what was inside people, and where physicians could gather knowledge that could actually be used. However, knowledge of medicinal plants had been gathered in the monasteries, which often did work; so one was not entirely without resources.

 

Between 2 and 7 July, Sundkøbing will be visited by the sharpest medical science that the year 1414 had to offer. Come and listen to the physician speak about medicine, about broken bones, unpleasant bodily fluids, and squishy entrails. We guarantee that afterwards you will be REALLY grateful for modern medical science!

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