Why were doctors still reading Galen in 1400?
Galen was a Greek physician who revived the wok of Hippocrates and other Greek doctors. Galen died in the Roman era but his work was still read in the medieval times. Regression in medicine was caused by many factors including war and religion which meant that doctors had to use cures and theories that had already been discovered such as Galen’s theory of the 4 humours and opposites. Due to lack of progress in the past 1000 year’s doctors continued to use Galen’s theories. Firstly, Galen’s ideas were regarded as sensible and believable. He put great emphasis on clinical observation – examining a patient very thoroughly and noting their symptoms. Galen also accepted the view that disease was the result of an imbalance between the 4 humours which were blood, phlegm, yellow and black bile. He came up with the theory of opposites, if a patient appeared to have a cold he would be treated with heat. Many of Galen’s ideas were incorrect but were still used 1000 years after he died; one main factor that contributed to this was war. War led to lack of progress and held back new medical ideas from developing. Firstly, at the time a war would cost an awful lot of money, the government would be compelled to spend all their money on new military equipment and salaries for the soldiers hence the government could not afford any new medical equipment or could not give any money in helping research new medical ideas. Secondly, a war was very busy and chaotic. Due to the fact that soldiers were injured in thousands doctors did not have any time to research and develop new ideas, all of their time would be occupied in using what they already know to help cure/save a soldiers life. Lastly at the time of a war many medical books were destroyed and thus some very important and new medical ideas were lost forever causing regression in medicine. Another factor which contributed to regression in medicine was religion. At the time of Galen...
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