Key Features of the Renaissance 1500-1700
The word ‘renaissance’ means ‘rebirth’ in French. The period 1500-1700 was
calle...
to new ideas being formed and spoken about. The domination of the Catholic
church was threatened for the first time.


The...
In 1500 the most important books used in the training of doctors were still those
written by Claudius Galen. Galen’s ideas...
From the late I5th century, a ‘Renaissance’, or re-birth,
of interest in the sciences spread from Italy through
Europe. A ...
At the beginning of the 16th century many surgical and medical treatments had not
changed for hundreds of years. The main ...
In 1565, Ambroise Paré described an experiment to test the properties of the Bezoar Stone. At
    the time, the bezoar sto...
Until the early 17th century Claudius Galen’s books were still being used in some
medical schools. Although Andreas Vesali...
Circulation of blood

William Harvey announced his discovery that blood
circulated around the body in 1616. He had success...
The Medical Renaissance Key Personalities




                   Andreas    Ambroise   William
                   Vesalius...
Leading figures of the Medical Renaissance


Aspect         Andreas Vesalius                  Ambroise Pare               ...
How effective was Renaissance Medicine? Case Study: The death
of Charles II
Feb 2 At 8 in the morning the King collapses a...
How would you treat Charles II?
Use this worksheet to record the way you treated Charles II. You can choose as
many of the...
Which Statements do you agree with and which do you disagree
                            with?

                   Which s...
Renaissance Common Assessment Task and Mark
Scheme




RW RENAISSANCE BOOKLET                        14
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Renaissance booklet

  1. 1. Key Features of the Renaissance 1500-1700 The word ‘renaissance’ means ‘rebirth’ in French. The period 1500-1700 was called the Renaissance because during that period there was a rebirth of interest in the ideas of the classical period. Once more the ideas of Hippocrates and Galen were studied. The Four Humours became the focus for medical treatments and bloodletting was very popular. Modern science as we know it began in this period and began to replace superstition in medicine. The Royal Society, a body of leading scientists, was founded in 1660 in England with King Charles II as its patron. During this period it was seen as important for well-educated people to be knowledgeable in both science and art. Leonardo da Vinci is best known for his works of art like the Mona Lisa, but he was also a scientist and regularly attended dissections. The picture on the left is an anatomical drawing made by Leonardo da Vinci. Printing In 1445, a Swedish man, Thomas Gutenberg, invented the printing press. Before printing, books had to be copied by hand. This meant that there were few copies of books. Printing encouraged the spread of new ideas, and books were more widely available and were also much cheaper. The Reformation happened during the Renaissance period, largely because people were thinking about the things around them and were not content just to accept what had always been. In 1517, Martin Luther nailed a list of things that he thought was wrong with the church to the door of a church in Wittenberg in Germany. Many people liked his ideas. They became known as Protestants because they protested against the Catholic church. There was much debate which led Martin Luther RW RENAISSANCE BOOKLET 1
  2. 2. to new ideas being formed and spoken about. The domination of the Catholic church was threatened for the first time. The Catholic church persecuted many renaissance thinkers. Galileo Galilei was imprisoned for life for saying that the sun was the centre of the universe not the Earth and Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake for suggesting that there was more than one universe. Galileo (1564-1642) Paracelsus was a German physician and chemist. In 1527, he began a lecture to students by burning one of Galen’s books and calling Avicenna a kitchen master. He disagreed with the four humours theory. Paracelsus believed that disease attacks the body from the outside and that cures should help the body to defend itself against attack from disease, His criticisms of Galen encouraged medical thinking towards scientific thought by people such as Vesalius. Paracelsus (1493-1542) Vesalius (1510-1590) conducting a dissection with students at Padua university Despite the efforts of the Church to preserve the existing order, new ideas, inventions and discoveries did take place in what we now call the Renaissance. Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) RW RENAISSANCE BOOKLET 2
  3. 3. In 1500 the most important books used in the training of doctors were still those written by Claudius Galen. Galen’s ideas had been dominant for hundreds of years, but were only proved wrong for the first time by Andreas Vesalius. Who was Andreas Vesalius? Vesalius was born in Brussels and completed his medical training in Paris. He went on to become Professor of Anatomy at Padua University in Italy. During the Renaissance Padua was a famous centre for medical training. Vesalius believed that the dissection of human bodies was necessary if doctors were to find out how bodies worked. However, the dissection of human bodies was restricted by the Church. Vesalius therefore had to resort to taking bones from graves and even stealing a body from the gallows so that he could explore the anatomy of the human body. How did he become well known? In 1543 Vesalius wrote the first major book about anatomy. It was called ‘de Humani Corporis Fabrica’ (The Fabric of the Human Body). Vesalius worked closely with the famous artist Titian who produced 277 anatomical illustrations for his book. He pioneered the use of highly illustrated medical text, where the drawings showed the human body in greater detail then ever before. How did he change medical ideas? Vesalius’s work brought about an important change in medical thinking. He was able to prove that some of Galen’s theories were wrong. Galen, who was only able to dissect animals, assumed that humans had the same anatomy. Vesalius by performing dissections on humans revealed anatomical structures previously unknown. How important was Vesalius? Vesalius helped establish surgery as a separate medical profession. At the time, though he was criticised, as many people refused to believe that Galen’s work could be wrong. The popularity of Vesalius’s book, however, meant that his views gradually gained acceptance and greater emphasis began to be placed upon the study of anatomy in medical training. A picture of Vesalius, carrying out a dissection at Padua University, surrounded by medical students. Did advances in scientific knowledge improve the understanding of human anatomy? RW RENAISSANCE BOOKLET 3
  4. 4. From the late I5th century, a ‘Renaissance’, or re-birth, of interest in the sciences spread from Italy through Europe. A re-discovery of the ancient Greek and Roman texts was combined with a new, more rigorous approach to the study of science. The emphasis now was on explaining the natural world through observation and experimentation. Artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Titian in Italy began for the first time to accurately record their observations. With the invention of printing, their detailed anatomical drawings could be faithfully reproduced and published widely. The writings of Galen attracted renewed his books on anatomy were published in Paris, translated directly from Greek into Latin. A medical student in Paris, Andreas Vesalius, read Galen’s text when it was published. Later, as Professor of Anatomy at Padua university, Vesalius published a number of anatomical texts, most famously ‘The Fabric of the Human Body’ in 1543, based on his own human dissections. He discovered that some of Galen’s observations were incorrect; Galen’s description of the liver, for example, was based on an animal’s liver, not one from a human. The discoveries of Vesalius, and other scientists like Ambroise Pare and William Harvey, encouraged other doctors to question their long-held assumptions about the anatomy of the human body. A picture of Vesalius from ‘The Fabric of the Human Body published in Latin in 1543. Think about this: • The difference printing made to the dissemination of information • How the availability of bodies for dissection during the Renaissance helped improve anatomical knowledge • The benefits of a scientific method in the study of medicine. Ambroise Pare (1510-1590) RW RENAISSANCE BOOKLET 4
  5. 5. At the beginning of the 16th century many surgical and medical treatments had not changed for hundreds of years. The main method of stopping a wound bleeding, for example, was to cauterise or seal it with a hot iron. Muslim doctors had developed this technique 500 years earlier. The man who stumbled upon a better method was Ambroise Pare. Who was Ambroise Pare? Pare originally trained as a barber-surgeon and later joined the French army as a surgeon. The French were involved in many wars during the 16th century so Pare gained a great deal of practical experience. How did he make his breakthrough? Ambroise Pare It was by chance that Pare made his important discovery about the treatment of soldiers’ wounds. In an attempt to stop soldiers bleeding to death, wounds were usually scorched with burning oil or a hot iron to seal them. Pare had run out of oil in the battlefield so had to try an alternative method. He made a dressing of egg whites, oil of roses and turpentine, which he applied to a wound. A similar method of treatment had originally been used by the Romans. The dressing successfully sealed the wound and provided relief from pain. Pare also developed the use of a ligature to stop bleeding after an amputation. He realised that by tightening a belt around an artery the blood supply could be stemmed. After an amputation, Pare recommended that silk thread ligatures be used to tie off the individual blood vessels before the ointment was applied. Was he accepted by the medical establishment of his day? Few surgeons adopted Pare’s ideas. He had no formal university medical training and this meant that many other physicians did not take his ideas seriously. However, Pare did enjoy a long medical career, during which he made other advances to help wounded soldiers, including the design of artificial limbs. Pare was also interested in obstetrics; he wrote a book on midwifery and founded a school for midwives in Paris. How important was Pare? Pare’s ideas were important as he developed an alternative to cauterization which was a major breakthrough in wound treatment. However wounds could still become infected. Despite opposition from the medical establishment, his case studies were published with the support of the French King. He was the official royal surgeon to four French Kings (serving Henry II, Francis II, Charles IX, and Henry III). He is considered one of the fathers of surgery. A Scientific experiment in the service of the king: RW RENAISSANCE BOOKLET 5
  6. 6. In 1565, Ambroise Paré described an experiment to test the properties of the Bezoar Stone. At the time, the bezoar stone was commonly believed to be able to cure the effects of any poison, but Paré believed this to be impossible. It happened that a cook at the king's court was caught stealing fine silver cutlery, and was condemned to be hanged. The cook agreed to be poisoned, on the conditions that he would be given some bezoar straight after the poison and go free in case he survived. The stone did not cure him, and he died in agony seven hours after being poisoned. Thus Paré had proved that the bezoar stone could not cure all poisons. An end to cauterisation The facts Wars produced terrible wounds and the invention of firearms added gunshot wounds to the horrors of the battlefield. When soldiers became badly injured they often preferred their companions to cut their throats than to suffer an agonising death. Even if the wounded soldier reached the operating table he had only a slim chance of survival. Amputations were carried out without anaesthetic, so the patient had to endure an enormous amount of pain. The main methods used to stop the flow of blood were a red-hot iron (called a cautery iron), or hot oil. Ambroise Pare a barber-surgeon serving in the French army developed an alternative to cauterising when he ran out of oil while treating soldiers on the battlefield. He used a mixture of egg white, turpentine and rose oil and found it was more effective and less painful in treating wounds than cauterisation. However, although Pare practised as a successful barber-surgeon for 20 years and served four successive kings he was not accepted by the medical Pare treating wounded soldiers establishment and many opposed his ground- breaking methods. Memory time... • Only 450 years ago wounds and amputated limbs were sealed with either a red hot iron or boiling oil • In 1545 Pare published his new method of treatment, using a mixture of eggs, rose oil and turpentine • Pare was a barber-surgeon and his new methods, although around-breaking, met with opposition from more qualified surgeons. William Harvey (1578-1657) RW RENAISSANCE BOOKLET 6
  7. 7. Until the early 17th century Claudius Galen’s books were still being used in some medical schools. Although Andreas Vesalius had proved some of his ideas to be incorrect, Galen’s explanation of the heart was still preferred by most doctors. It was William Harvey who proved that Galen was wrong and so made one of the most famous of medical discoveries. Who was William Harvey? Harvey was a doctor at St.Bartholomew’s hospital in London and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. He was also the physician to James I and Charles I. Harvey studied at Cambridge and in Italy at the University of Padua where he became interested William Harvey in anatomy and in particular, the work of Vesalius. What were his important discoveries? In 161 5 Harvey began to work on the idea that blood circulated around the body. By experimenting on live animals and dissecting the bodies of executed criminals, Harvey was able to prove that the heart was a pump which forced blood around the body through arteries. Veins then returned the blood to the heart where it was recycled. Harvey’s work was helped by the discovery that veins contained valves. Harvey realised that these valves stopped the blood from travelling back the wrong way to the heart. Galen’s theory (that the body made new blood as its supplies were used up) was proved wrong. In 1628, Harvey published details of his work in his book entitled ‘An Anatomical Disquisition on the Movement of the Heart and Blood.’ Why did Harvey face opposition? After his work was published, Harvey actually lost patients, as his ideas were considered eccentric. It was not until after his death that others became convinced that he was right. Marcello Malpighi (1628-1694), an Italian physician, used better quality microscopes to prove that Harvey’s ideas were correct. How important was Harvey? Harvey’s work made little difference to general medical practice at the time. Blood letting continued to be a popular practice and it was not until the 20th century that doctors realised the importance of checking a patient’s blood flow by taking a pulse. Harvey’s work did encourage others to investigate blood circulation, e.g. the blood’s role in carrying air from the lungs. His discovery of blood circulation was central to a proper understanding of the workings of the body. RW RENAISSANCE BOOKLET 7
  8. 8. Circulation of blood William Harvey announced his discovery that blood circulated around the body in 1616. He had successfully challenged Galen’s view, popular for 1400 years, that blood was continually being made and used up. Instead, Harvey proved that there was a fixed amount of blood which was pumped around the body by the heart. He also showed that blood flowed in one direction only. By the use of experiments and demonstrations using ligatures, Harvey set about proving his theory. In 1628 Harvey published his book, ‘An Anatomical Exercise Concerning the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals, which explained these findings. This book made him famous throughout Europe and also generated much criticism from those who were unwilling to accept new ideas. This is an illustration in Harvey’s book on the circulation. It shows one of his experiments in which he ‘milks the vein downward’ to demonstrate the one-way action of the veins. While the heart pumped blood around the body via the arteries, the veins returned the blood to the heart. The valves in the veins proved that only a closed, one-way system of circulation could work. However, Harvey was not the first to believe in the circulation of blood. Ibn an-Nafis, an Arab doctor in the 12th century, had disagreed with Galen, but his ideas had not been followed up. In fact, nobody realised what he had said until his book was he had said until his book was rediscovered in 1924. The Egyptians had also believed that blood flowed through the body and had used leeches and bleeding to unblock the passages carrying blood.Harvey’s theory on the heart and circulation of the blood met with much resistance as by implication it threw doubt on the value of blood letting. Given it was now known that, there could not be too much blood in the system the practice of bleeding seemed unnecessary. Memory time... • William Harvey discovered that blood circulated around the body in 1616 • Galen’s view, that blood was continually being made and used up, had been popular for 1400 years • In 1628 Harvey published his book, ‘An Anatomical Exercise Concerning the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals’, which explained these findings. RW RENAISSANCE BOOKLET 8
  9. 9. The Medical Renaissance Key Personalities Andreas Ambroise William Vesalius Pare Harvey Who was he? When? Where? What did he do? Why is he important? RW RENAISSANCE BOOKLET 9
  10. 10. Leading figures of the Medical Renaissance Aspect Andreas Vesalius Ambroise Pare Sir William Harvey (1514-1564) (1510-1590) (1578-1657) Belgian doctor. Studied in French army surgeon. English doctor. Educated in Paris. Professor of Surgery Apprenticed to his brother. Cambridge and Padua. Worked at Background and Anatomy in Padua (Italy). Later trained in Paris. Served St Bartholomew’s Hospital, Influenced by artists who with the French army in various London. dissected bodies. wars. Became royal surgeon to 4 French kings. Dissected human bodies and Discovered a new way of Carried out experiments to prove used artists to draw them for treating wounds when he ran that the heart acts as a pump, Major work use by medical students. out of boiling oil to ‘cauterise’ or which controls the circulation of Realised that Galen was wrong seal them. Instead he used a the blood. Valves in the veins in important respects such as lotion of natural substances. prevent blood from moving the the anatomy of the heart, liver Stopped bleeding by typing silk wrong way. and the jaw. ligatures around arteries. The Fabric of the Human Works on Surgery (1575) On the Movement of the Heart Book Body (1543) and the Blood in Animals (1628) His work seriously undermined Another challenge to traditional Harvey finally disproved Galen’s Galen’s authority and opened ideas. Pare’s methods reduced idea that new blood is made in the Importance up medicine to modern medical pain from wounds. The use of liver. Harvey did not have an research based on scientific non-sterile ligatures could cause effective microscope to prove the dissection of the human body. further infection until Lister’s existence of capillaries. development of antiseptic surgery. RW RENAISSANCE BOOKLET 10
  11. 11. How effective was Renaissance Medicine? Case Study: The death of Charles II Feb 2 At 8 in the morning the King collapses as he is being shaved. He lets out a terrible shriek then falls unconscious. His physicians (doctors) are called for. TREATMENT 1 The King’s doctors open a vein in the King’s arm and bleed 16 ounces of blood. This did not lead to an improvement in his condition but the doctors repeated the treatment an hour later. TREATMENT 2 Three hours after this the King’s servants started to complain that the doctors were not doing enough to cure him, so they gave him some pills that PURGED him (made him empty his stomach) Other treatments considered: Place pigeons against the soles of the King’s feet; Shave the King’s head and put burning tongs against his skin. Feb 3 Briefly the King starts talking again; but then he shrieks again and falls unconscious TREATMENT 3 The King is bled again: this time 2 veins are opened. Other treatments considered: Call Mistress Holder and ask her to give the King a herbal remedy. Give the King some SACRED TINCTURE which will keep his bowels empty. Feb 4 The King seems to be better in the morning: in the afternoon though he has another attack TREATMENT 4 The doctors continued purging the King. Other treatments considered: Give the King a Medicine composed of: spirit of human skull mixed with an ounce and a half of cordial julep. Just giving up Feb 6 The King is declining rapidly TREATMENT 5 The doctors consider giving the King the following remedy: 2 and a half grams of BEZOAR STONE. This is a green stone found on the stomach of goats, which is a famous remedy for illness. Before they get the chance to administer the Bezoar stone the king dies. The doctors send their bill to James II, the new King. RW RENAISSANCE BOOKLET 11
  12. 12. How would you treat Charles II? Use this worksheet to record the way you treated Charles II. You can choose as many of the options for each decision as you like. After you have made your choices work out your score from page 110 in the SHP white book. Decisions – tick Reasons for your choices Score your choice 1a) open a vein b) Mistress Holder c) nothing d) X-ray 2a) bleed b) nothing c) purge d) pray 3a) purge b) shout at servants c) pigeons d) shave head 4a) Mistress Holder b) bleed c) purge d) run away 5a) bleed b) purge c) use medicine d) abandon treatments 6a) yes b) no 7a) send your bill b) see James II c) run away RW RENAISSANCE BOOKLET 12
  13. 13. Which Statements do you agree with and which do you disagree with? Which statements do you agree with? Which don’t you agree with? The King’s Doctors understood the King’s illness The King’s Doctors did more harm than good The King’s Doctors believed in the ideas of Galen The King’s Doctors were scientific in their approach, and did not believe that illness was caused by magic or the Gods The King’s Doctors didn’t really have a clue what was going on RW RENAISSANCE BOOKLET 13
  14. 14. Renaissance Common Assessment Task and Mark Scheme RW RENAISSANCE BOOKLET 14

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