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Preservative

(939 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Medicine Preservative (from Latin  praeservare, “preserve,” “prevent”) was originally a term from the technical language of medicine, which then was borrowed into other areas. German Präservativ in the sense of condom did not become common until the 19th century (see 3. below).Originally, a preservative was understood to be “a medicine that protects against diseases and forestalls them” (means of protection, Latin  remedium mali imminentis, “remedy against an imminent evil”) [2. 94]. In Krünitz, at the end of the 18th century, preservatives were means of s…
Date: 2021-03-15

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

Physiology

(2,263 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. DefinitionToday physiology (from Greek  phýsis and lógos, “theory of nature,” “nature study”) is a subdiscipline of biology and medicine: the theory of the physical, biochemical, and information-processing functions of living beings [6]. This meaning contrasts with its meaning in Greek antiquity (Greek  physiológos, “expert in natural philosophy”). At the beginning of the early modern period, physiology was understood very broadly in the sense of physical science (William Gilbert’s famous  De magnete [“On the Magnet”; 1600] had the subtitle A New Physiology of …
Date: 2020-10-06

Insanity

(1,882 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Definition Insanity (Latin insania) is a term in the history of medicine and culture that has undergone dramatic changes in meaning since the end of the Middle Ages [6]. In the early modern period, it covered a broad spectrum of possible pathologies, from depressive melancholia (or melancholy) and low spirits to impaired reason and changes in one’s ability to form judgments - a spectrum that was seen as an entire complex of related illnesses in the 19th century. This shift in meaning took place against the backdrop of…
Date: 2019-10-14

Dentistry

(1,566 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Definition and traditions Dentistry, also called stomatology (from the Greek  stóma, “mouth”), is the branch of medicine dealing with conditions of the oral cavity, including the jaw and teeth, while odontology (Latin odontologia, from Greek  odús, odont-, “tooth”) is concerned with the anatomy and physiology of the vertebrate dental system, including the human [1]; [2]; [9]; [4]; [8]; [7].Medieval dentistry continued to owe much to ancient ideas of dental anatomy and humoral tooth ailments. Extractions were done by the bathkeeper or barber-surgeon (Surgery), if the usual  m…
Date: 2019-10-14

Experimental medicine

(1,240 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. IntroductionThe old authorities of university medicine were thrown out in the 17th century, and the era of empirical, experimental medicine began. William Harvey shook the foundations of the ancient doctrine of the humors (Humoralism) with his experimental research and description of the circulation of the blood, and new concepts of medical thought and action - post-Paracelsian iatrochemistry and Cartesian iatrophysics (iatromechanics) - usurped its traditional place. Chemical and mechanist thinking based on experimental findings now gained influence in medicine.W…
Date: 2019-10-14

Anatomical theater

(843 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
An anatomical theater was the site of public anatomical dissection in the early centuries of the modern period. The concept goes back to Alessandro Benedetti (1445-1525), an Italian physician and professor of surgery and anatomy in Padua [5]. He was probably the first to have a separate wooden structure built for anatomical dissections at the University of Padua (ca. 1490). Benedetti’s successful and influental major work,  Anatomice, sive Historia corporis humani (Venice 1502: “Anatomy, or, History of the Human Body”), probably contributed to the spread of the id…
Date: 2019-10-14

Naturopathy

(1,022 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. ConceptNaturopathy in the strict sense took shape in the German-speaking world in the early 19th century, inspired by Rousseau’s demand “back to nature” (Rousseauism). It vehemently opposed allopathic school medicine, its dangerous drugs, and its excessive use of bleeding and voiding therapies, and promoted instead a turn to natural methods of healing and living. To begin with, the focus was entirely on hydrotherapy (Baths, therapeutic) and vegetarianism. This core was expanded over the course…
Date: 2020-04-06

Medicine, faculty of

(1,239 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Definition There were already medical faculties (from the Latin  facultas medica; “medical faculty,” “medical power,” figuratively “medical corporation”) at medieval universities. Within the corporation of the university, they formed an autonomous venue of medical training that awarded medical degrees, that is, essentially the title of licentiate (Latin  licentia doctorandi; “licence to teach”) or a medical doctorate (Latin  doctor medicinae), following the passing of an examination. Later, they also acted as regulatory authorities for medical qual…
Date: 2019-10-14

Natural History School

(973 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Concept The Natural History School (German: Naturhistorische Schule) was a tendency of the first half of the 19th century in clinical medicine, distinguished by its strictly empirical procedures and rejecting on principle the use of general theories of illness (e.g. humoralism, vitalism, Broussaiism, Brunonianism, homeopathy, etc.; cf. Therapeutic concepts). It was therefore in conscious opposition to schools of medical thought based on natural philosophy (e.g. that of Schelling). Instead, it advocat…
Date: 2020-04-06

Gynecology

(1,945 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Concept The term gynecology is modern, and reflects the late establishment of the specialty at 19th-century medical faculties (Medicine, faculty of). It first emerged in competition with the older and more general term gynaikeía (Greek “women's matters”), only in the early 18th century in the treatise by the Dresden city physician Martin Schurig,  Gynaecologia (Dresden-Leipzig 1730). The term first appears in the title of a German-language textbook only in 1820, with Carl Gustav Carus’ Lehrbuch der Gynaekologie (“Textbook of Gynecology”). During the 16th and 17th ce…
Date: 2019-10-14

Psychiatry

(2,069 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. DefinitionThe term psychiatry (from Greek  psychḗ, “soul,” “mind,” and  iatrós, “physician”) was coined in 1808 as a Greek neologism by Johann Christian Reil, a physician in Halle (originally Psychiaterie [4]; [5]; [12]), in the sense of the art or science of healing the soul or mind. Until well into the 19th century, the term also included a broad spectrum of neurological illnesses such as epilepsy and St. Vitus’ dance ( Huntington’s chorea).The history of psychiatry can be divided into three major periods from its beginnings to the early 20 century [14]; [6]. (1) For the pe…
Date: 2021-03-15

Health

(1,727 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Concept Until the mid-17th century, the concept of health in the early modern period was still dominated by the ancient doctrine of the humors (humoralism and physiology) and dietetics. In the second half of the 17th century, as humoral physiology lost ground, other ideas of health took its place from the 18th to the early 19th centuries, drawing primarily on mechanistic (iatromechanical), animistic, and vitalistic views of human life in health and illness (Animism; Vitalism). Against the backd…
Date: 2019-10-14

Homeopathy

(1,089 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. DefinitionHomeopathy is a concept of illness and therapy developed by the German physician Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann (1755–1843) based on the ideas of vitalism, though its therapeutic conclusions differ radically from the notions of illness in vitalism and earlier ideas. According Hahnemann’s theory, the holistic physical phenomenon of illness is a “disorder” of the vital force caused by pathogenic stimuli. The physician encourages the vital force in its resistance not – as in conventional medicine (allopathy) – by means of antagonists ( contraria contrariis; “o…
Date: 2019-10-14

Iatrophysics

(765 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. BasicsIatrophysics (from Greek  iatrós, “Arzt”; physis, “inanimate nature”) was a 17th and 18th-century theory and practice of medicine that interpreted all phenomena of health and illness as dependent on the internal physical structure of the body, its external form, and mechanical alterability [5]. With reductionistic simplification, it attempted to apply the findings of the new experimental natural sciences to the realm of life, where everything must also be explicable physically, reconstructible mechanically (iatromechanics), …
Date: 2019-10-14

Medical code

(1,008 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Definition and background In the 16th and 17th centuries, medical codes in the form of government decrees, edicts, and ordinances primarily regulated the behavior of the various medical occupational groups and their representatives (Medic) towards each other, defined criteria for training and certification, and also occasionally included hygienic instructions (for avoiding epidemics) and pharmaceutical advice. They were an expression of territorially defined government care (including city and town governments) for the health of subjects and citizens [1]. The transi…
Date: 2019-10-14

Hygiene

(1,952 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Terminological history Hygíeia (or Hygeía, Latin Salus) in Greek mythology was the daughter of Asclepius and the goddess of health. The word “hygiene” derives from her name. During the early modern period, the sense of the term hygíeia expanded. Zedler’s  Universallexikon defines it as “health, good condition of the body, consisting in a good temperament (mixture of humors), evident from the fact that the individual can well do what is required of him, feels nothing untoward in himself, eats and drinks well, sleeps well, urinates and makes stool properly” ( guter Zustand des L…
Date: 2019-10-14
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