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Pain

(3,004 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. DefinitionPain (from Latin  poena via Old French  peine; German  Schmerz from OHG  smerza/ smerzo and MHG  smerze/ smerz; Greek  álgos; Latin  dolor, acerbitas) is a complex sensory perception; as an acute event, it serves as a warning sign and guidepost, but chronic pain has lost this element. An early modern synonym of  Schmerz is Pein (from OHG  pîna and MHG  pîne/ pîn, from Latin  poena, “penance, punishment”; cf. English  pain), usually associated with punishment, torture, torment, and so on (cf. German  peinliche Befragung, “painful inquiry,” i.e. torture). In an…
Date: 2020-10-06

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

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

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

Iatrochemistry (chymiatria)

(951 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe | Müller-Jahncke, Wolf-Dieter
1. Definition and basicsWhile the influence of iatroastrology, like that of iatromagic, waned after the 17th century, with the appearance of Paracelsus’ works beginning in 1560, the importance of chemistry as a cornerstone of the new concept of life increased (Paracelsism; Chemical sciences). The central assertion that all life processes are essentially chemical solidified into the intellectual system of iatrochemistry (from Greek  iatrós, “physician,” and neo-Latin ( al) chemía, “chemistry”; also called chemiatry and chymiatry) [7]; [3]; [6].The iatrochemistry of the …
Date: 2019-10-14

Paracelsism

(2,744 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe | Bergengruen, Maximilian
1. Concept and theory 1.1. IntroductionParacelsism on the one hand denotes the theories in natural history, hermetic alchemy/chemistry, medicine, philosophy, and theology of the physician and naturalist Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim (called Paracelsus, 1493-1541) [2], and on the other the reception of those theories from the late 16th to early 18th centuries (see below, 2. and 3.) by a group of authors in various disciplines, most of them physicians sympathetic to alchemy and followers of heterodox forms of Protestantism…
Date: 2020-10-06

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

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

Health insurance

(1,068 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Definition and originsFrom the 19th century on, “health insurance” referred to a solidarity-based community healthcare system for journeymen and laborers that would take care of people who had fallen on hard times due to illness, and of their families. Thus, health insurance can be seen as an expression of social-paternalistic efforts on the part of factory owners and entrepreneurs. The phrase “health insurance” first appeared in today’s sense in the second half of the 18th century (e.g. Kranken-Casse zu Paris für fremde evang. Sattlergesellen, (“Health insurance in Pa…
Date: 2019-10-14

Medicalization

(2,145 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe | Jütte, Robert
1. DefinitionThe term medicalization goes back to the French medical historiography of the  Annales school [4]. It was first defined by the French historian Jean-Pierre Goubert [9. 170]. He understood medicalization as a long-term process that began in the second half of the 18th century, in the course of which physicians succeeded in imposing their medical services on broad strata of the population with the help of the state. This was a process that expanded the medical marketplace, in which one professional group wa…
Date: 2019-10-14

Medic

(1,643 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. General The term  medic (German Medizinalperson) here encompasses all the early modern non-academic medical practitioners who practiced their healing arts for the “common man” [16] in fixed locations or as itinerants. Medics ( Medizinalpersonen) “are individuals whose occupations focus on the ailing body and the recovery of the sick, including physicians, barber surgeons, obstetricians, midwives, apothecaries, and orderlies” [1]. In an extended sense, the term also included so-called Pfuscher (amateur practitioners), Storger (“mountebanks”),  Landfahrer (“dri…
Date: 2019-10-14

Epidemic

(1,474 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Diseases and plaguesThe correct identification of early modern plagues and epidemics in terms of modern pathology is highly problematical. Even evidence of symptom correlation is open to doubt. This is true of the plethora of pestilential fevers, but no less true in the case of illnesses that are apparently identifiable without difficulty, but behind which may lurk in principle any infection with epidemic propensity. The learned world of the 15th and 16th centuries certainly knew of the ominous …
Date: 2019-10-14

Illness

(2,447 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Concept Until the mid-17th century, the early modern concept of illness was still primarily shaped by classical humoralism and dietetics. The ideas of humoral physiology were gradually replaced by other concepts of illness, which from the 18th to the early 19th century were based on mechanistic, animistic, and vitalist notions of human life in health and illness. Around the middle of the 19th century, thanks to the development of scientific physiology, cellular pathology, and bacteri…
Date: 2019-10-14

Psychology

(3,246 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe | Greve, Ylva | Klippel, Diethelm | Walther, Gerrit
1. Introduction and general history 1.1. Definition and early terminological historyThe word “psychology” comes from the Greek ( psychḗ, originally “breath,” “soul”; i.e. “lore of the soul”). The modern empirical science of psychology established its first research institute at Leipzig in 1879, but from a philosophical perspective, European psychology (as a study of the properties of the soul) began with the work of the Presocratic philosophers in the 5th century BCE.The Croatian Humanist Marcus Marulus (Marulić) is said to have written a treatise (now lost) entitled Psichio…
Date: 2021-03-15

Quack

(1,430 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Concept and scopeThe term “quack,” short for “quacksalver” (Early New Dutch quacksalver, German  Quacksalber, composed of quacken, “to cry,” “to quack [like a duck],” and  salver/Salber, from the OHG salbari, “physician,” or Latin  salvare, “to heal”; French charlatan, Italian  ciarlatano), generally referred to someone pretending to be a healer and practicing without authority, or sometimes to certified healers who advertised their skills or remedies stridently (Latin circumforaneus, “around the marketplace”) [2]. First attested in English in the 1630s, Quacksalber i…
Date: 2021-03-15

Occupational medicine

(1,503 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Ramazzini and his precursors Early modern occupational medicine began with the seminal treatise of the Italian physician Bernardino Ramazzini,  De morbis artificium diatriba (Modena 1700; “Investigation of the Diseases of Artisans and Craftsmen”), clearly comparable in its significance for early industrial hygiene to Morgagni’s De sedibus et causis morborum (Bologna 1761; “On the Seats and Causes of Diseases”) for pathological anatomy. In it Ramazzini described in details the various illnesses of the most important occupational groups of…
Date: 2020-10-06

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
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