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Cholera

(1,183 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Definition The term cholera is found in Hebrew as chaul rah (“fierce sickness”). It is etymologically unclear whether the name of the disease comes from the Greek choládes (“intestines”) and refers to intestinal illness, or from the Greek words for “bile” ( chólos) and "river" ( rhóos) (“river of bile”), relating to the doctrine of the four humors, or whether in reference to profuse diarrhea it is related to  cholédra (“gutter," “drainpipe”). Unlike the cholera nostras that had long been known in Europe (so-called “English cholera” in England;  Gallenruhr or “bile flux” in the …
Date: 2019-10-14

Fever

(983 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Definition The most infallible and timeless subjective markers and symptoms in general are the sudden, unexpected, and even unnatural perceived increase in temperature in the body, accompanied by sweating, paradoxical-seeming fits of shivering, debility, and, often, aches and pains. Texts on fever from European Antiquity define fever as significant, even when there was no distinguishing criterion in the governing theory of disease of the time to allow for further differentiation.In the 15th and 16th centuries, the conception of fever originating with Hippocrat…
Date: 2019-10-14

Herbals

(1,063 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Definition Herbals in the early modern period were printed books about plants. These compendia offered detailed descriptions of plants and herbal remedies with explanations of their medical applications. Works often also included animals, animal products, and minerals that were used in medicine.Wolfgang Uwe Eckart 2. Precursors and development in early centuries Ancient botanical works and herbals served as important sources for reference on medical and herbal knowledge until well into the early modern period (Pharmacy). The main authorities w…
Date: 2019-10-14

Clinical school

(809 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Beginnings in LeidenIn the history of European medicine, the clinical school made its first appearance in the late 17th century at the University of Leiden, which played a pioneering role in the birth of clinical medicine, when for the first time ever instruction was given alongside the sickbed (Greek klíne, “bed, couch”). Previously the faculty of medicine (Medicine, faculty of) had limited itself to theoretical instruction; including a hospital in the teaching was not considered.In the first half of the 17th century in Leiden, Otto van Heurne had already sou…
Date: 2019-10-14

Blood, circulation of

(1,204 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Theories before Harvey From antiquity into the 17th century, people generally believed that the blood circulated centrifugally in the body, according to the canonical theory of the circulation of the blood of the Greco-Roman physician Galen of  Pergamum. Blood was produced by the liver, passed through the vena cava into the right ventricle, and then passed through the cadiac septum into the left ventricle, whence it was distributed throughout  the body; it was finally dissipated at the periphery …
Date: 2019-10-14

Brunonianism

(1,445 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. The theory and its background Brunonianism, a medical reform movement, was inspired by the Scottish physician John Brown (1736–1788), who considered life a condition aroused and maintained by internal and external stimuli. The fundamental life force, he maintained, was the biological potential for stimulus or excitation. The critical factor determining the sickness or health of the human body must be considered the individual’s excitability (Latin incitabilitas), the readiness and ability of the organism to respond to stimuli. After c. 1700, a variety of …
Date: 2019-10-14

Irritability

(1,087 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. The concept“Irritability,” from Latin  irritabilis, irritabilitas (see also “sensibility” from Latin  sensibilis, sensibilitas), is a medical description of the condition of the body with regard to its ability to respond to (external) sensory stimuli and to react to them. Abnormalities of irritability and sensibility were considered symptomatic of illness.Around 1700, the Cartesian-mechanistic conception of life came in for increased criticism (Mechanism). Although physical-mechanistic reductionism initially held great attraction as an expl…
Date: 2019-10-14

Anatomy

(2,104 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Starting points for early modern anatomy There was certainly no routine prohibition of dissections of human bodies in medieval anatomy. This was not what we might call an autopsia in the modern sense, i.e. in the sense of personal observation and interpretation of the findings of the dissection as actually found, because the self-contained dogma of humoral pathology (doctrine of humours; see also Humoralism) and of the anatomy and physiology associated with this doctrine offered a model of explanation and action that cou…
Date: 2019-10-14

Healthcare, public

(2,409 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Medieval forms of public healthAttempts to regulate public health date back to the Middle Ages. These included the influence of monasteries in their immediate environments, efforts on the part of the Orders of Knights, rudimentary regulations in cities aimed at improving hygiene, as well as the establishment of special institutions for care of the sick both inside the city walls (hospitals, apothecaries, smallpox foundations) and outside them (leprosariums; see epidemic). The medical regulations o…
Date: 2019-10-14

Baths, therapeutic

(2,146 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. From the bath-house to the thermal spring The decline of the medieval urban bathing culture and the souring of its reputation probably came about primarily because of the rapid spread of syphilis from the late 15th century In many places, this led to the closure of town bath-houses (Bathkeeper), which were held to be dangerous reservoirs of infection (Illness). As this was happening, however, rising timber prices stimulated by increasing construction in towns and the growth of mining, which consumed …
Date: 2019-10-14

Epidemiology

(880 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. ConceptEpidemiology (from the Greek  epídemos, “spread among the people”, and   lógos, “doctrine”) describes the occurrence, causes, and distribution of health-related conditions, events, and risks in populations, and seeks ways of using this information to restore and promote health and to avert illness by prevention. Epidemiological knowledge is generally applied to keep health problems under control in the population. The first work on epidemiology in the scientific sense took place in the 17th century.Wolfgang Uwe Eckart 2. Demographic epidemiology …
Date: 2019-10-14

Infirmary

(996 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Basics In the course of the 17th century, the hospital of the ancient religious and charitable type was transformed into an institution devoted entirely to caring for the sick [4]; [6]. Special forms of the old hospitals decreased in number (leprosaria, pox houses) and new forms appeared (academic infirmaries, lying-in hospitals). In the 18th and 19th centuries, large municipal infirmaries sprang up in the cities, general infirmaries in the towns, and finally pavilion infirmaries in decentralized, multi-functional form. (see 3. below).Wolfgang Uwe Eckart2. Architectural …
Date: 2019-10-14

Addiction

(3,353 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Concept The term addiction (from the Latin addictus, “dedicated/devoted [to a thing]”) was originally a neutral equivalent to “penchant” or “inclination,” before acquiring its modern sense of inner compulsion in the context of opium in the 19th century. The German equivalent, Sucht (from the Gothic  saühts, etymologically related to the English “sick”) is found in glossaries dating back to around the 8th century, and lexicographic evidence shows it to have two fundamental senses up to the 19th century. Originally, it referred to outward…
Date: 2019-10-14

Physiologie

(2,109 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. DefinitionUnter Ph. (von griech. phýsis und lógos, ›Lehre von der Natur‹, ›Naturkunde‹) versteht man heute – im Gegensatz zur antiken Vorstellung (griech. physiológos, ›naturphilosophisch Kundiger‹) – ein Teilgebiet der Biologie und Medizin: die Lehre von den physikalischen, biochemischen und informationsverarbeitenden Funktionen der Lebewesen [6]. In der Frühen Nz. wurde Ph. zum einen sehr weit im Sinne physikalischer Wissenschaften verstanden ( William Gilberts berühmtes Werk De magnete von 1600 trug den Untertitel Neue Ph. des großen Magneten des Erdkörpers; vgl. Ma…
Date: 2019-11-19

Gynäkologie

(1,705 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. BegriffDer Begriff G. (Frauenheilkunde) ist modern und spiegelt die späte Etablierung der Subdisziplin an den Medizinischen Fakultäten des 19. Jh.s wider. Greifbar wird er, gegenüber dem älteren und umfassenderen Begriff gynaikeía (griech. »Frauensachen«), erst im frühen 18. Jh. in der Schrift des Dresdner Stadtphysikus Martin Schurig Gynaecologia (Dresden-Leipzig 1730). Im Titel eines dt. Lehrbuchs erschien der Ausdruck zuerst 1820 bei Carl Gustav Carus ( Lehrbuch der Gynaekologie). Im 16. und 17. Jh. war die Behandlung der klassischen Frauenkrankheiten – mit Ausna…
Date: 2019-11-19

Unfall

(1,006 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. BegriffUnter U. (mhdt. unval, ungeval; Synonym zu Unglück, Zufall, Schaden; engl./franz. accident) wird seit dem MA ein unvorhergesehenes Ereignis oder Missgeschick, meist verbunden mit Personen- oder Sachschaden, verstanden, des Weiteren kriegerische Niederlagen sowie sonderbare Lebens- und Sterbeumstände »berühmter Männer«, wie etwa 1570 in der dt. Übersetzung von Giovanni Boccaccios De casibus virorum illustrium (entstanden 1356–1373) durch Hieronymus Ziegler als »merckliche und erschröckliche unfahl … verderben unnd Sterben großmächtiger Kayser…
Date: 2019-11-19

Lepra [Hinzugefügt 2017]

(2,615 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Definition und frühe Belege Die L. (griech. lépra) ist eine seit der Antike weit verbreitete Hautkrankheit, besser ein Komplex verschiedener möglicher Hautkrankheiten, der mit sehr abweichenden Namen bezeichnet wurde, im Deutschen bis heute mit der Sammelbezeichnung ›Aussatz‹ (mhdt. ûʒsetzel, ûʒsetzic, entsprechend lat. leprosus; frühneuhdt. ausseczickeit), aber im MA und in der Nz. auch in den Adjektiven ›schuppig‹, ›uneben‹, ›rau‹. Paläopathologisch ist heute geklärt, dass sich seit dem MA dahinter oft tatsächlich eine Infektion mit mycobacterium leprae verbarg. Al…
Date: 2019-11-19

Humorallehre

(714 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Grundlagen Gesundheit und Krankheit waren in der Nz. bis zur Mitte des 17. Jh.s im akademischen wie im allgemeinen Verständnis (in der Volks- und Alternativmedizin noch weitaus länger) wesentlich durch die antike Säftelehre (Humoralphysiologie/-pathologie; von lat. humores, »Säfte«) und die Diätetik geprägt. Erst mit der Ablösung humoralphysiologischer Vorstellungen in der zweiten Hälfte des 17. Jh.s wurden andere Gesundheitskonzepte bestimmend, die sich vom 18. bis ins frühe 19. Jh. v. a. aus Konzepten des Mechanismus (Iatromechan…
Date: 2019-11-19

Therapeutische Konzepte

(1,011 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. DefinitionUnter Th. K. werden heilkundliche Theorien der Medizin verstanden, die aus dem jeweiligen Verständnis von Krankheit entsprechende Heilweisen ableiten; diese folgen dann in der Praxis nachvollziehbaren Theorien und Regeln. Prinzipiell kann für die Nz. zwischen magischen und rationalen Th. K. unterschieden werden (s. u. 2.). Den rationalen K. der Schulmedizin liegt die antike Dreiteilung der Therapie (diätetische, chirurgische, medikamentöse) zugrunde, wobei die Diätetik auch vorbeugende (prophylaktische) Ziele verfolgt und zugleich die dem Kö…
Date: 2019-11-19

Anatomie

(1,817 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Ausgangsbedingungen der neuzeitlichen AnatomieBereits in der ma. A. waren Sektionen menschlicher Körper keineswegs durchgängig verboten. Von einer autopsia im modernen Sinne, d. h. von einer eigenen Betrachtung und Interpretation der tatsächlichen Sektionsbefunde, konnte keine Rede sein, denn das in sich geschlossene Dogma der Humoralpathologie (Säftelehre) und der in diese Lehre eingebundenen A. und Physiologie bot für fast alle Erkrankungen ein nachvollziehbares Erklärungs- und Handlungskonzept. Nach neuen anatom.-physiologischen Er…
Date: 2019-11-19
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