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Medical Practice in the Middle Ages

From Early and High, to the Late Middle Ages, this guide covers all the basics of medieval medicine.

Definitions

Middle Ages: the Middle Ages are a time period that occurred between 476-1500 CE

Early Middle Ages: the portion of the Middle Ages taking place between 476-1000 CE

High Middle Ages: the portion of the Middle Ages taking place between 1000-1250 CE

Late Middle Ages: the portion of the Middle Ages taking place between 1250-1500 CE

Islam: "the religious faith of Muslims including belief in Allah as the sole deity and in Muhammad as his prophet" (Merriam-Webster)

Medieval: an equivalent term for "Middle Ages"

Humor/humour: "one of the four fluids of the body that were thought to determine a person's temperament and features." The four humors include "blood, phlegm, choler (yellow bile), and melancholy (black bile)" (Encyclopedia Britannica)

Cauterize: "to destroy tissue using a hot or cold instrument, an electrical current, or a chemical that burns or dissolves the tissue" (National Cancer Institute). In the Middle Ages, this would likely be a hot or cold instrument.