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Alec Shetterly

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Medieval Occupations - Candlemaker, Carpenter, Cartographer. Medieval Jobs. Bloodletting. 10 Bizarre Medieval Medical Practices. Creepy Medicine is one of the cornerstones of modern civilization—so much so that we take it for granted.

10 Bizarre Medieval Medical Practices

It wasn’t always the case that you could just waltz into a doctor’s office to have them cure what ailed you. In medieval times, for example, things were a lot more dangerous, and a lot stranger. 10 Boar Bile Enemas Enemas in medieval times were performed by devices called clysters. Even kings were high up on the clyster. 9 Urine Was Used As An Antiseptic Though it may not have been common, there is evidence to suggest that urine was occasionally used as an antiseptic in the Medieval Era.

This isn’t quite as insane as it seems: urine is sterile when it leaves the body and may have been a healthier alternative than most water—which came with no such guarantee of cleanliness. 8 Eye Surgery (With A Needle) During the Middle Ages, cataract surgery was performed with a thick needle. Of course, eye surgery changed rapidly once Islamic medicine began to influence European practices. 4 Trepanning. Health and Medicine in Medieval England.

Health and medicine in Medieval England were very important aspects of life.

Health and Medicine in Medieval England

For many peasants in Medieval England, disease and poor health were part of their daily life and medicines were both basic and often useless. Towns and cities were filthy and knowledge of hygiene was non-existent. The Black Death was to kill two thirds of England’s population between 1348 and 1350. In 1349, Edward III complained to the Lord Mayor of London that the streets of the city were filthy: No one knew what caused diseases then. Other theories put forward for diseases included “humours”. Astronomers blamed the planets going out of line As important, no-one knew how diseases spread – the fact that people lived so close together in both villages and towns meant that contagious diseases could be rampant when they appeared; as happened with the Black Death.

Physicians were seen as skilled people but their work was based on a very poor knowledge of the human anatomy. Operations were carried out by ‘surgeons’. Tony Robinson on the top five superstitions that gripped medieval Britain. Ancient Britons didn’t despatch people willy-nilly, but in times of crisis – if a whole community was rocked by plague, say – then they might decide to sacrifice somebody as a way of bartering with the gods. In some cases, a wicker pyre in the shape of a man would be stuffed with animals and even human offerings.

We can trace this practice back to Celtic times. The Celts saw the world in which they lived as crammed full of gods. To appease them, they would sacrifice something important: tools, jewellery, a sword (which would be as valuable as a car in today’s terms), slaves or, ultimately, members of the community. This ritual only ended when new religions, like Mithraism and Christianity, took hold. Malleus Maleficarum, a handbook explaining how to identify, capture and kill a witch, was first published in Germany in 1487 and then circulated around Europe, stoking hysteria about witchcraft.

Changelings Possession Vampires. 10 Completely Uncanny Superstitions From The Middle Ages. Weird Stuff In the pre-scientific Middle Ages, the world was at the same time both fascinating and frightening.

10 Completely Uncanny Superstitions From The Middle Ages

In the absence of proper knowledge, people had no choice but to fall back on their own imaginations to make sense of the myriad natural phenomena around them. The result was a world where everything seemed magical, a place teeming with angels and demons, fairies and goblins, elves, gnomes, and witches. This list takes us inside the medieval mind and the fears and superstitions through which it tried to explain the world. Ireland’s most sinister superstition: The changeling. This appeared in The North Clare Local in April.

Ireland’s most sinister superstition: The changeling

“Are you a witch, or are you a fairy? Or are you the wife of Michael Cleary?” (Irish children’s rhyme) When you scratch the surface, most human beings share the same common, primal fears. Chief among them is the loss of a loved one, especially a child. The idea of the changeling- that fairies could steal a child away, possibly forever, and leave a horribly altered substitute in its place- is one of the most sinister traditions in Irish folklore.

Why would a fairy steal a human child? Perhaps the most sinister purpose for stealing away a human child comes from the Scottish tradition. Cross-breeding was another motive for kidnap.

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