Medicine and Public Health - Roman Britain to c1350

megrusson's version from 2015-05-23 11:19

Section 1

Question Answer
In what year did the Romans conquer Britain?43BC
What did Hippocrates believe that was different to those before him?That illness was not sent by the Gods and had a physical, rational basis that could be treated
What did Galen do that increased his knowledge?Carried out some of the first dissections
What were the three Roman ideas about causes of disease?1) A supernatural reason - sent by the Gods, or a curse 2) Caused by bad air (swamps or bad smells) 3) An inbalance of humours
Did Romans make the link between hygiene and disease?Yes, but they didn't know why.
Why did the army help with Roman public health?Romans made the link between having healthy people and producing healthy army to protect their empire.
Why were Roman national communications so good?Through their building of good-quality roads.
Did the Romans have sewers?Yes, they built some sophisticated ones in places such as York and Lincoln. Romans also used sponges to wipe bottoms and rinsed their hands in fresh water.
How important were the public baths to the Romans?Very important - hygiene was an important aspect to lifestyle and they were also a good meeting place. Romans were big fans of fitness and women would even lift weights in the baths. Being clean largely kept the Romans healthy.
Did Romans have a good water supply?Yes, Romans invented water pipes and aqueducts which brought fresh water to cities.

Section 2

Question Answer
What happened to Roman structures when the empire was abandoned?Fell into ruins and disrepair. They were not used so public health deteriorated.
Did ideas about prevention and treatment of disease progress in the Roman period?No, not really - the Romans still believed in the Four Humours and Theory of Opposites and took little interest in taking understanding any further.
How did people in the Middle Ages find cures?Largely through the process of trial and error, and writing things down that worked in "Leechbooks".
What was the importance of the Church in the Middle Ages?Highly important - it was an international organisation and the Christian Church had great control. They believed Galen, so it was only his ideas that were preserved.

Section 3

Question Answer
What was the main centre of medical training in the Middle Ages?Alexandria in Egypt
Did doctors need to be formally trained? Could anyone be a doctor?No, formal training was not needed and anyone who wanted to be a doctor could just set up a business.
How did doctors learn?Reading Hippocratic books or working with an existing doctor
What changed in training by the 13th century?Most towns would not let a doctor set up a practice unless he could prove he had been studying for several years.
Did the church control this training?Hugely - the Church controlled everything, enforced Galen and prevented the study of anatomy or looking for mistakes in Galen's work - therefore, slow progress.

Section 4

Question Answer
In the Middle Ages, what was the water supply like in London?Pretty awful - few people actually drank the water, most drank ale instead as it was safer.
What would in walk in the streets have been like?Excrement, rubbish, slaughtered animals, rats... a breeding ground for disease and filth.
Were there any public toilets?Yes, some were provided, but some people just relieved themselves in the street.
When was the first Sanitary Act and what did it attempt to do?1347, and attempted to clean up the streets
Who had the best hygiene standards in the Middle Ages?The rich population, plus monks and nuns, who often had toilets and a fresh water supply.

Section 5

Question Answer
Did hospitals do much curing in the Middle Ages?Not really - they had a "care, not cure" kind of philosophy.
Who ran most of the hospitals?Monks and nuns, as part of their Christian duties, who had little knowledge of actual curing.
Did any patients get better?Some did, as a result of the warmth, comfort, good food and rest they received.
What were leper houses?Where patients with leprosy had to live, as it was a terrible disease causing nerve endings to die which was infectious. At this time, there was no cure.
Would patients with infectious diseases be admitted to hospitals?No, and neither ones with "incurable" conditions. So hospitals weren't really very effective overall.
In what year did the Black Death appear in Britain?1348